Sunday, April 12, 2009

We've Moved to Wordpress

I'm still unpacking boxes and rearranging the furniture--well in this case blogs. But I've moved my blog to wordpress. If you have an rss link to my blog or subscribe please make a note and follow me to worpress.

My latest post is announcing my new book. It Started With Pop-Tarts 2.0: The Secrets to Surviving & THRIVING in Your Teens.

Happy Easter!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Women's Wellness - Get Inspired to Act

Have you thought about doing something to improve your life in the past week? Anything? If you could have whatever you want, what would it be?

Is your life so busy you had to really stop and think about it? For many women life is a series of scheduled appointments, deadlines, and caring for family. When and how do you take a break? If you're like most of the women I talk to you don't. Most women either don't feel they deserve it or are so attached to the "to do" list they can't let go. I can relate. At home there is always "stuff" you gotta do. To really relax, sleep in and chill I go away. Plus I get revived from the change of scenery.

But most of us can't afford to go away regularly either because of finances, kid duty or commitments to work. (And those that travel regularly for work would kill to stay home!)

This is part of the problem. So many women aren't really happy with their life. Are you? Maybe you get a good day here and there and when the weather is really nice it boosts your mood. But - at the core are you really happy? Do you know what it would take to make you happy?

Far too many women are in unhappy relationships, or wishing they had one. Miserable in their jobs or wishing they had one. Unhappy with their bodies, but feel they have no control over their diet or have tried every diet out there and haven't found success. I rarely meet women that are truly happy. That is so sad!

This is your life! This is it! If you're living through years of misery and unhappiness you don't get another chance. So why don't you fix it, why not do something to make your life better, happier? For most women it's because the fear of stepping out of their comfort zone is more than they are willing to risk.

Comfortable is hard to break. That's why women continually turn to comfort food, alcohol or relationships that may not be good for them. Because they are comfortable..aka it's what they're used to. Even though they may not like the way they're treated. We often seek out relationships that mirror the way we were brought up. Why do they call it a "comfort zone" anyway? Moving outside the box we were raised in or are used to involves change. And for many women change equates to very real and intense fear. Fear of being alone, fear of finding another relationship, fear of what other people will think. Fear of...the unknown.

I've got great news. Moving out of your comfort zone to explore new relationships. new situations, jobs and experiences is very rewarding. Even Sheryl Crow's says, "A Change Will Do You Good."

It's springtime, the time has changed, the days are getting longer. What better time to take a step out of your comfort zone to do something new and make a positive change in your life? Making positive mprovements in your life will also improve your health.

Speaking of women's wellness I'll be speaking at several women's events in the next couple of weeks. These will be informative, fun, inspirational and even include free gifts! Here's the schedule:

Saturday, March 21st
Ventura Library, LifeForward Series (Balanced Nutrition on a Budget) 10:30 am -12:30 pm
Casa de las Amigas, Women's Wellness Seminar (Learning to Let Go) 2:00-5:00 pm

Saturday, April 4th
LaVerne Country Club, A Toast to You, Women's Retreat (Hey Superwoman! Trading Stress and Dis-ease for Peace and Balance) 8:30am -12:00pm

For more details and and to RSVP for these events, click here.

Check out my new Weekly Webbies posted on YouTube every Wednesday!

To your health!

Monday, March 2, 2009

What's "Right" In Your Life?

Do you remember being told by your teacher (or parents) to focus? I can still hear the words, "focus, focus!" being shouted at me. Concentration wasn't something I came blessed with. Often when I was practicing violin or piano or reading several chapters of my homework my mind was off somewhere else.

Do you know where your mind is most of the time? What do you think about, what thoughts occupy the bulk of your day? Do you spend all your time keeping score and writing a mental list of everything that went wrong or didn't happen the way you wanted it to? Do you spend time engaging in idle gossip or talking about people you don't like and what they do that irritates you? Some people get caught up in everything that goes wrong at the office. How they are mistreated by their co-workers and not appreicated. (I hear that one a lot.) Then they spend time scheming how they will outsmart or get back at someone who "did them wrong". Could it be your children that keep you in fits of anger, frustration and score keeping on how awful and misbehaving they are?

Ever stop to think about where all this focus takes you and what it does to you? Not just mentally, but physically. Many individuals don't think they are "negative", but their conversations say otherwise. By continually focusing on everything that's wrong you will continue find lots of things wrong. And you'll increase the amount of stress in your life because of the state of agitation you exist in. This also affects your ability to be happy because when we continue to keep score of all the wrongs it's hard to even connect with what's right or working.

What if you Flipped it? Make a conscious effort to make mental note throughout the day of all the things that feel good, turn out better than expected, and appreicate what's right in your life.

Start when you first get out of bed in the morning. Take a minute to consciously position your mindset for the day. Make a choice to look for a little surprise everyday. Maybe it's someone you meet who has information you were looking for or can introduce you to someone who can help you. Maybe it's as little as being on the freeway and getting to your destination quicker than expected despite the traffic. Or your child surprises you by cleaning up their room without being asked. If you change your focus and look for a daily surprise you'll find they are always there.

The benefits of this approach is that you'll feel much better both mentally and physically. When you change your focus to notice the things that make you feel good and what's "right" you'll eliminate stress, improve your relationships, your self-esteem and outlook on life.

So Flip it!

In peace, balance and health,

For more information on how to apply these principles in your life visit While you're there subscribe to our newsletter and be entered to win an MP3 copy of It Started With Pop-Tarts!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

OMB! (Oh My Bod!) Will It Ever Please Me?


With all the publicity and events centered around national eating disorder awareness week it brings us back to that sad realization that there are millions of women, men and children on this planet that have extreme shame and even hatred of their bodies. Individuals who simply cannot find a way to be happy in the wrapper they came packaged in.

Conditioning certainly has a lot to do with it. From the time we are young children we receive messages from our parents, teachers, youth leaders, the media, ads in magazines and on the streets of what we're supposed to look like to be 'glam and gorgeous'. The images haven't changed much in the past 50 years. It's still tall, long legged women sans hips, with a gorgeous face and big boobs. The real live Barbie. From a very young age I had an awareness that this is what men were attracted to. And unfortunatley it gets implanted deeply into some of our brains.

But there is a double standard when it comes to men. It's okay if they have a "beer belly" or put on a few pounds, even fifty. Why? Why is it woman are held to the standard of perfection and men can be overweight, unhealthy and still be acceptable?

This is of course only part of the issue. But it's a big one. Everywhere we look, everywhere we go we are bombarded by images. Recently I was in a high-end department store and they were dressing the three manikins in the picture at the top of this post. I stopped and stared for a few moments and had to take the picture. Seeing the actual size these manikins without clothes really hit home, I mean OMB! If this is the mark I was striving for in my 34 years of bulimia given my petite muscular build I would have never achieved it without becoming emaciated or anorexic. It's pitiful. Very few women that I know have a build like these manikins!

And the statistics on eating disorders continue to escalate. Sadly there are many individuals who have yet to tell someone or come out of their dark comfortable haven of numbness to look for help. My mission and goal is to help teens and college age kids avoid the trap of addictions and eating disorders. But as a result of my recent publicity tour I've been contacted by several women much closer to my age in their 40's and 50's who have struggled with an eating disorder since their teens, like I did. After so many years of the chronic cycle of abuse it's hard to know where to turn and even more difficult to think you might actually be able to get help. There is so much talk of anorexia, but there are equally devastating numbers of individuals struggling to gain control over their bingeing bulimic behavior.

But you certainly don't have to be diagnosed with a clinical eating disorder to hate your body, obsess about food and be miserable with the way you look. People that eat fast food and sugar on a regular basis have an unhealthy relationship to food aka disordered eating. Many individuals have an addiction to food. It's such an easy way to self-medicate. And it's a socially acceptable addiction. No one will ridicule you for enjoying a large plate of pasta or steak and potatoes followed by a delectible desert or quick sugary snack.

Our bodies do so much in an effort to care for us. They trudge on through all kinds of ups and downs. Deal with our stress and lack of exercise. Put up with the low-grade fuel and sludge we ingest and call our diet. Continue to try and perform at the optimum level with or without sleep and proper nutrition for as long as they can.... till one day there you are with a host of medical issues and ask why me? Our bodies and brains need downtime! We cannot expect our body to function with high energy when we don't provide the proper rest, nutrition and exercise required to stay healthy.

So what is the best body? What is perfect? How can we be satisfied? A starting point is to eliminate as much processed food and stimulants as we can from our diets. When we eat sensible portions of fresh produce and fruits in combination with healthy proteins that aren't pumped full of antibiotics and add natural supplements that may be lacking in our system our bodies will land at that "perfect" place. Perfect for your body.

For more information on how to find a balance that's right for you visit

To win a free copy of It Started With Pop-Tarts...An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia. Sign up for our newsletter, you might just be the next lucky winner!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week - Taking the First Step to Recovery

February 22-28 is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. We need a stimulus package to get a grip on this epidemic! The numbers are staggering yet so many individuals who suffer have never told a soul and aren't counted in the millions of women, men and children in the statistics. It's difficult for them to admit that they might actually have an eating disorder and even harder to reach out for help.

Another group hasn't yet realized that they have an eating disorder because "they don't throw up". Newsflash! Many bulimics don't purge by throwing up! Non-purging bulimics control the weight gain by using strict diets, diet pills, enemas or excessive exercise. If they are obsessive about food, their body image and size, eat massive amounts of food and do something to control the weight gain, followed by periods of shame and embarrassment...they could be bulimic. Anorexics are much easier to spot, bulimics are masters at hiding their behavior.

Many individuals go in and out of treatment repeatedly and don't reach full recovery. There are many forms of treatment depending on the severity of the eating disorder. Some require inpatient treatment at an eating disorder clinic, others seek intensive outpatient treatment. Still others are able to function in their daily lives while hiding the deep dark secret. Many of these individuals seek counseling to overcome their obsessive habits with mixed results.

A breakthrough new approach is leading the way to recovery. The alternative approach was developed by Lori Hanson, award winning author of It Started With Pop-Tarts...An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia. Hanson's Hot Pastry Principles include five strategies to fully integrate mind and body.

Hanson believes full recovery from an eating disorder requires a holistic approach that includes getting the body chemistry back in balance to support the recovery efforts. After long periods of abuse the body is starved for proper nutrition and the brain seeks amino acids to support proper brain function. Individuals often suffer from a sensitivity to sugar which contributes to the compulsion to binge.

Treatment includes improving self-esteem, understanding the causes of the addictive behavior and reprogramming negative thoughts and beliefs which is accomplished using the power of the subconscious mind. Lastly, full recovery requires a reconnection of mind and body. Individuals with eating disorders tend to live in their heads and have no concept of accepting or owning their body. This is accomplished using a combination of alternative healing modalities.

Take some time this week to learn a little more about eating disorders. 85% start between the age of 14-20, but many individuals suffer for years and are now in their 30's, 40's and even 50's. It could be your neighbor, relative or best friend. Get educated and save a life! Follow the posts this week here.

For more information on the Hot Pastry Principles visit

Monday, February 16, 2009

5 Ways to Deal With Dramatic Teens and Tweens

This guest post is by Vanessa Van Petten who runs a parenting blog written from the kid's perspective with 17 teen writers.

5 Ways to Deal With Dramatic Teens and Tweens

I might have been a drama queen. Not for all of teendom, but definitely for a few years…maybe the boys part of my teenage years. I do not know how my parents put up with me! Here are a few tips for you, if you have a Drama Queen or King:

1) Superlatives Rule

It can be a little easier dealing with a Teen Drama Queen or King if you listen and interact with them knowing that superlatives are it. Drama Queens always say (get it always)

“This is he worst day of my life.”

“She is the hottest girl I have ever seen”

“I am the ugliest girl in my school.”

In a drama teen’s mind, there is no grey. Trying to convince them of this is futile. Instead understand that this is how they feel at the moment. It really does feel like the worst hair day on earth.

2) It feels permanent

When your king or queen is in the heat of a dramatic moment, not only is there no happy medium (see above), but also it feels like it will last forever. For teens and tweens the part of their brain that rationalizes is not fully developed, they really feel that upset, and they cannot always see the light at the end of the tunnel.

3) Repeat and empathize

When talking to a teen drama king or queen when they are in the height of a meltdown or blow up, I always repeat whatever they are saying to me in an empathetic tone. Many times, teens just want to be heard, if you repeat what they are saying, you are validating that you hear them.

4) Wait until they calm down to un-reinforce the behavior

Repeating and empathizing that their math teacher is the cruelest person in the world can be seen by the teen as reinforcing that behavior. Once they calm down it is good to go back with them and ask them if they realize she is not the cruelest person in the world and perhaps they did not have to yell and scream to get you to hear them.

5) Ask them what do next time

In this post-drama debrief ask them how you should handle it next time. Say something like, “When you get upset about school I want to calm you down, but I also want to let you vent and think rationally, what can I do next time, what do you need to hear?” This can make them feel supported and listened to which can cut down on dramatic outbreaks.

Be patient, all teens go through dramatic phases whether it is because of hormones or boyfriends, be patient and we will come back to normal!

Related Articles:

Why Teens Have to Be the Best or Worst (

3 Ways Parents Can Get Teens to Talk (

What Do Teens Today Really Worry About? The Top 5 Issues Revealed (

By Vanessa Van Petten who is the teen author of the parenting book “You’re Grounded!” She writes a parenting blog along with 12 other teen writers from the kid's perspective to help parents. Her work as a young family peacemaker have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Teen Vogue, Fox 5, CBS 4 and much more!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Author of Bulimia Book Scores with Kids - Wins Mom's Choice Award

February 2009, VALENCIA, CA—Lori Hanson suffered from bulimia for 34 years until she took treatment decisions into her own hands and turned her life around. Now her book and workshops are getting the attention of a tough crowd: young people. She recently won the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award® ( for her efforts and is busier than ever talking to high school and college students, parents and community groups.

Her book, It Started with Pop-Tarts: An Alternative Approach to Winning the Battle of Bulimia, is part memoir, part detailed how-to. It can help turn around the most troubling eating disorders, says Hanson, who bases her holistic “Pop-Tart Principles” on finding balance, peace and freedom.

In her talks, Hanson candidly describes the path she took over the years (this is where the Pop-Tarts come in). She admits she went through years of trial and error with traditional treatments. Her alternative recipe for healing also costs less than conventional medical therapies, she points out.

Hanson is founder and president of Learn2Balance, a company focused on improving the lives of others, and Shewolf Press. A media favorite, she has appeared on many radio and TV shows to create awareness about the epidemic of eating disorders. Her goal is to help young people find help and healing at a much earlier stage in life than she did.

A dynamic and humorous speaker who also write song lyrics, Hanson covers self-esteem, body image, reducing stress, improving diet and quality of life, and other coping skills that position teens and young adults for success in life. She also consults with individuals on eating disorders, weight and stress issues. Clients learn the five strategies for self-healing through a series of structured sessions, support and referrals to holistic practitioners.

To learn more about Lori Hanson’s services or to order a copy of It Started with Pop-Tarts (Shewolf Press, 2008) go to