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5 Questions, 1 Expert: Executive Coach and Lifestyle Expert, Michelle Van Otten

by caroline

Good afternoon and welcome to another installment of our “5 Questions, 1 Expert” series! Today we're featuring Michelle Van Otten, one of California's most sought after and in-demand executive weight loss coaches and lifestyle experts. She is a passionate speaker, author, mentor and Peak Performance Coach to the Silicon Valley's business owners, top CEOs, executives, entrepreneurs, physicians, coaches and trainers. Her coaching, strategies and solutions have been called the "Secret Weapon" for success and are second to none.

We did a bit of a switch up today and, instead of asking Michelle five questions, asked her to give us her top four unhealthy food items and habits, plus her #1 golden health rule which, when added together, gives us five juicy health tidbits!

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The Top 4 Unhealthy Foods and Habits:

1. Sugar! Consider that the average Starbucks “froofy” drink such as a Venti Carmel Macchiato (which is isn’t even the worst one) has 300 calories, 39 grams of sugar and 5 grams of saturated fat. Even the most popular drink ordered at Starbucks, the Skinny Vanilla Latte, has 17 grams of sugar. Would you sit down and eat 30 packets of sugar for breakfast? This is essentially what you do when you have a Starbucks habit. Aside from the empty calories and fat factor, when sugar is the first thing to hit your stomach in the morning you are driving insulin up (fat storage hormone) and shutting off all fat burning metabolism in your body for hours until blood sugar re-regulates. This is the single biggest mistake everyone makes who is struggling with weight or health. Sugar = fat, cellulite and unhealthy body! Choose Japanese Matcha Green Tea as a good daily habit instead.

2. The “I’ve been good, I earned this today” habit. The problem here is most people will get into the habit of making this a daily habit! It’s the small pieces of what you choose and do every day that add up and make the biggest impact to our weight, energy, vitality and health.

3. The Wine Habit. Drinking wine with dinner or at night loads the body with toxins and sugars that shut down production of Human Growth Hormone (our fountain of youth), cause unwanted belly fat and weight gain. The night cap or wine habit at night with food is a sure fire way to kill even the best efforts when you are trying so hard with exercise and diet during the day. It’s easy to ruin it all with evening habits.

4. Salad Dressings. Even the most “healthy, natural and organic” varieties pack a whopping amount of bad oils and fats from refined canola, soybean, safflower and other mystery oils that add substantial unhealthy fat calories to your daily intake of what you unknowingly think you are doing right. These oils are linked to skin cancer and cause stubborn fat gain. Choose balsamic vinegar or hummus instead.

5. My #1 Golden Health Rule is: Achieving your best body isn't necessarily something you “do” to your body, so much as it is something you “do” to your mind every single moment of your day. Our results are always a complete and total reflection of our daily habits and rituals and the systems we create to support these. The key is to use the power of your mind and focused thought to create, choose and stay consistently conscious of what you are doing and focus on your goals and desires.

** Read more from tips from Michelle on her blog.

Want to try Michelle's Secret Weapon Kale Salad recipe? Check it out here!!