ayurveda, blissful living, health and wellness, healthy living, stress reduction, Uncategorized

Avoiding Fat Traps while eating out

In my business there are times that I travel a lot which means that I am eating out a lot. I have had countless friends, family and acquaintances ask me how do I manage my figure and my weight so well, with such a hectic and busy schedule, so I decided to share some of my secrets for successful weight management with those of you that travel a lot, eat out a lot or just want in on my secrets.

Considering that many people go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner up to five times a week, you would think that by now people would have become pros at eating what is right for their body and makes them feel good. You would think that with all the information out now days about how to eat healthy, people would have learned to avoid the fat traps that keep them stuck in the “fat” mode. Well it just isn’t so. We all know that if we are at a restaurant and we order a “Blooming Onion,” it is going to be loaded with calories due to the fat that the onion is fried in but what about that chopped salad that sounds so healthy and delicious? Here is something to note, that salad may not be as healthy and fat free as you think. In an effort to make things on the menu seem healthier, trendy restaurants are revamping their menus to look and sound healthy, but it can make a surprisingly large dent in your diet. I’ve looked at seven of the sneakiest dishes that can actually add to your waistline even though they sound healthy.

  • Ever go to an Italian restaurant and they place nice warm bread and olive oil on your table? I’m sure you have, so check this out, while Extra Virgin Olive Oil is hearth healthy, many people go overboard, soaking up as much as a tablespoon of about 119 calories with each chunk of bread that is dipped in it. Food for thought, if you dunk four chunks of bread into that Extra Virgin Olive Oil, you have just taken in over 400 calories and you have even gotten to your meal yet. Here’s a Blissful Tip: Drizzle a little olive oil onto a small plate and add balsamic vinegar to dilute the fat and pump up the flavor. Better yet you might want to use some butter. At Cornell University researchers found that when people spreaded some butter on their bread, they consumed 21 percent fewer calories per slice than those that dunked their bread in the olive oil. Here’s the catch, butter eaters consumed more bread so be sure to cut yourself off after one piece.
  • Having a chopped salad always seems like a great thing to do and can seem light compared to other items on the menu. Here is something to be aware of, because everything is so finely chopped, the restaurant can actually fit way more onto a plate or in a bowl. Some chopped salads can contain upwards of 700 calories and with the pieces being so small, it is often difficult to tell what you are eating, which is important in terms of satiation.

Here’s a Blissful Tip: Order a regular tossed salad instead. If you are building a salad at the salad bar, add no more than five toppings and avoid crispy Chinese noodles, dried fruit and other high calorie options. Get your salad dressing on the side, along with a few wedges of lemon or vinegar. You can make a little vinaigrette that will go a long way in avoiding the fat trap.

  • Sweet potato fries have become so envogue and are a wonderful super food but when cut into strips and deep-fried, they end up being just “French fries.” Besides a lot of restaurants load them with salt to balance out the vegetables natural sweetness, bringing the salt count to 800 milligrams, and opposed to 40 milligrams for regular “French fries.” Here’s a Blissful Tip: Gram for gram sweet potato fries contain about the same number of calories as regular fries. Since they contain more fiber, calcium and vitamin A, the sweet potato type is definitely better than regular fries. The key to keep portions down is to order them when you have someone else to share them with and only eat a handful.

Rest assured that even though these tips seem small they could play a huge role in successfully managing your weight when you go out to eat whether you are at home with the family or traveling. Small changes that you make in the way you consume your food can have a huge impact on the improvement of successfully managing your weight and your health and well being. So give it a try and see the difference it makes in your life.

I welcome your comments and any additional tips below.

Wishing you much health and wellness!


Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS

The Queen of Feeing Fabulous







Twitter: @rochelelawson





ayurveda, blissful living, health and wellness, healthy living, stress reduction, Uncategorized


Over the course of years as a healthcare professional I have noticed that people seem to be angrier than in times past. I don’t know if it has to do with the abundance of stress that society is faced with on a daily basis or if we have just become angrier people. In Ayurveda, anger is associated with the element of fire and people of the Pitta Dosha tend to have more challenges with keeping the fire within them from sprouting into an angry rage.

Anger is an enchanting and complex emotion. It is the type of emotion that can spring forth from what appears to be nowhere. What seems like a sense of calm can in an instant become like a raging volcano when a trigger is activated and before you know it, the volcano has erupted like Mount Saint Helens. However you might be the type of person that has a slow burn style of anger that simmers and bubbles beneath the surface, only erupting in tiny bursts.

Anger is a fiery emotion. Even when it’s cold it requires a lot of energy. When we pay attention to how it feels in our body, we might notice a knot in our stomach, a clenched jaw or fist, tightness in our chest, shallowness in our breath and an increase in our heart rate. We may notice that the state of anger can strongly taint our thoughts and how we interpret the world in conjunction with our emotional element.

Deep within the anger, we may be storing feelings of rejection or inadequacy that causes us to see threats and injustices where no real threat exists. It helps to uncover and uproot these feelings and deeply held false views. At the same time, anger can have beneath it a wise and powerful protectiveness that can lead us to believe that we are enforcing a sense of justice in the face of someone wronging us. In fact, anger is so powerful that it can ruin any situation. If it is allowed to lurk inside us it becomes more spicy and intense and will make us sick. It is one of the most ugly and yet most powerful emotions that exist. It has astronomical power.

Rich, complex and powerful, anger benefits from contemplative time and reflection, which in turn can teach us a lot about what is truly going on beneath our outbursts. If you are prone to angry outburst or can’t seem to get a grip on the fire raging within, I suggest you follow this little exercise to help you get back on the cool track and calm the fire within. I call this exercise “Cooling the Flames.”

  • When you notice yourself feeling angry and aggressive, turn your attention and awareness to how you are feeling. Where are you feeling the anger within your body? What is happening at that moment in time?
  • Now take a few long, slow deep breaths allowing your abdominal area to fully expand and contract, taking 3-4 seconds to do this with each breath. Listen for your thoughts without adding to the inner dialogue, or trying to silence your thoughts. When you are offended, you’re usually holding onto a rigid definition of yourself. What are your thoughts saying to you?
  • Now come back to observing how the anger is manifesting itself within your body and breath coolness into that part of your body. Observe what the anger may be trying to teach you at this moment. Is it self -compassion? Forgiveness? Or something else?
  • Now affirm something that you want in the present moment that will calm the anger such as “ May I find the resources to understand and transform my anger,” or “May peace and calmness be restored within me now.”

Once you have completed the exercise, take another slow, long deep breath extending the breath to 5 seconds to seal off the volcano. Although it may take a little practice for you to get used to using this technique, keep at it because eventually you will notice, see and feel the tremendous benefits of utilizing the “Cooling of the Flames” technique. You will gain a greater sense of control and be able to align yourself with your natural, balanced and peaceful state.

When you are ready you can take the “Cooling of the Flames” to a deeper level by learning how to awaken bliss within you and your life. (www.awakeningbliss.com)

I welcome your comments below.

Wishing peace to your mind, wellness to your body and tranquility to your spirit!



Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous

Host of “Blissful Living”

Author of : “Intro to Holistic Health, Ayurveda Style”

Co Author of:  “Answering The Call, ” “Rapid Change For Heart Centered Women”  and “The Live Sassy Formula”