a special feature from Debra Orringer, Health Coach*

Let’s assume we know our bodies are our machines and we have choices regarding how we fuel them with. Yet at times, it seems so difficult to live that healthy lifestyle we all want to live. You could say that we mean well!  Yes, choosing to eat the right foods seems easy because we know that fruits, vegetables and other whole foods are a lot healthier than the processed foods with chemicals. But let’s face it- we slip up and reach for things we know don’t do any good for our machines. Don’t worry–we all breakdown at one time or another. I am here to tell you we all fall short.

Remember, a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about making better food choices, but about creating a foundation of health for your overall success.  Once you find that magic recipe there is no stopping you to finding the lifestyle that mirrors the healthy vision you see for yourself.

Your emotional machine, the heart of your fuel is equally as important. We talk a lot about food choices, but stress is a major factor in our lives and it comes to us both in waves of positive and negative.  Regardless of the tide, stress is stress and our bodies can’t really function well with enormous amounts of it.

Maybe you can relate to this: an example of positive stress such as – “Yay I got a new car!  No more trips to the garage to get the car fixed.” or “My entire family is coming for a visit!”

Or an example of negative stress; “Oh no! I got a new car! How can I afford the payments?” or, “My entire family is coming for a visit!”

So, how do we combat all this stress?

Well, one of the big things I did this new year is purge a lot of extraneous things from my environment.It’s amazing what a little de-cluttering can do in our lives.  That environmental purge can include the unhealthy food options in our pantry. The literal clutter in our homes and even relationships do not create positivity for a lifestyle. It’s okay to get rid of things that create disorder and at the same time, it’s okay to find a network of people that share the same goals, lifestyle and desires.

Finding positive activities are also helpful – you could schedule time for a relaxing walk in nature or some mindful mediation with deep breathing. Take an art class or a healthy cooking class. Visualize that lifestyle you see for yourself. Unplug from social media for 30 minutes a day or journal or both!

One activity a friend of mine has is pretty excellent. She has a fishbowl by her bed. Every night she takes five minutes and writes down what she is thankful for on a post-it. She puts it into the bowl and at the end of the month or year, she reads and reflects on these amazing moments in her life.

Take a time out and find an activity you can do today to help keep that stress away. Begin to feed yourself what your body truly needs for good physical and emotional health.

There are a lot of foods loaded with nutrients that naturally fight stress.  Try this one on for size:

Creamy Asparagus Soup**

Asparagus is loaded with folate, which is pretty amazing at helping you keep your cool. You can steam asparagus, add them to salads and even sauté them. This is one of my favorite recipes.


  • 2 bunches asparagus
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 5 stalks celery
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup minced thyme
  • 3 tbsps. olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste


  1. Peel and dice onion.
  2. Wash celery and asparagus and pat dry and then chop into ¼-inch pieces.
  3. Bring olive oil to medium heat in large pot and add onion.
  4. Cook for five minutes until caramelized.
  5. Add celery and asparagus and cook for seven more minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Add thyme and combine well.
  8. Add vegetable stock and bring to boil.
  9. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  10. Transfer to blender or food processor and blend on high until creamy.
  11. Garnish with thyme.

**Used with permission from The Integrative Nutrition Cookbook, 2016

“Being Healthy Doesn’t Have To Be Hard”

*Debra Orringer, MS from Naples, FL, is an Integrative Holistic Health Coach and a Clinical Exercise Physiologist with over 20 years in the industry. She has managed the wellness programs at the Kennedy Space Center as well as consulted for several national fitness companies, authored articles, and retains a myriad of advanced level certifications.  Debra produces a nutritional blog weekly at www.DebraOrringer.com and can be reached at debo@debraorringer.com