MILL HALL - With holiday temptations present - such as half-price Halloween candy and Thanksgiving meals in the near future - it can be difficult to eat healthy.
After Gretchen Mangiardi, of Williamsport, heard of a home-based business that includes workshops and client-based instruction from Sandy Considine, a certified holistic health coach, she wanted to try it.
Mangiardi was the first to do the approach that Considine designed and named the "Well-Being Program." Considine gave Mangiardi a two-week detox and recipes and forbade her from consuming wheat, dairy and meat.
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
Sandy Considine, right, of Mill Hall, and Gretchen Mangiardi, of Williamsport, shop for healthy food at Wegmans in Williamsport on Oct. 3. Considine has been studying to become a holistic health coach and spends an intensive six weeks helping clients such as Mangiardi modify their diets.
"I never missed coffee or meat," Mangiardi said.
The reason behind eliminating so many kinds of food is to allow the participant to see what negatively affects the body, Considine said.
For instance, until she eliminated wheats and pastas from her diet, Considine said she did not know she was gluten-intolerant.
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She also said she had joint pain so bad that it hurt to walk. After eliminating dairy, she said the joint pain vanished.
Considine said she likes being
healthy and wants to eat nutritious food because of what it can do for her, and she wants to teach her approach to others.
"I hear that people are like, 'Wow! I wish I could do that! It's just too hard,' " Considine said.
She tries to focus on a "90 percent/10 percent" diet. By that, she means that 90 percent of her food is whole, raw food. The remaining portion is leeway.
"I don't see how you can be 100 percent," Considine said. "You want a piece of cake? Eat it."
Part of her instruction comes from learning to read labels and understanding what they mean. A product with 44 grams of sugar equaled 11 teaspoons of sugar, she said.
Considine tailors the program to meet the individual's needs.
"(I) find what the actual needs are," she said.
The program's primary focus is on being healthy. Weight comes second.
Menopause is something that Considine said a lot of women her age can relate to, but even though there is so much information about it, no one knows how to handle it.
"Let food be your medicine," she said.
Mangiardi echoed that sentiment. Before she started the program, she was overweight and had high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
By doing the plan, she lost 15 pounds, discovered her cholesterol was high from genetics not diet and returned her blood pressure to a normal level.
"I suggest this (program) to anyone getting their health back," Considine said.
In following Considine's guidelines, Mangiardi tried many new things, including dense grains, which she said were "really filling."
There were two parts of the program that she found difficult. First, she had to take a 20-minute bath. During that time, she thought, "Now what do I do?"
Describing herself as too busy, it was a shock for her to realize how hard it was for her to relax.
"It's just the way I am," Mangiardi said.
The other challenge for her was having to journal everything she experienced in the program.
"I didn't like writing my thoughts down on paper," Mangiardi said. "There's a lot going on that you don't want to write down."
Everything else, however, she found easy.
Considine developed her program with "bits and pieces" taken from teachers she had while a student at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York.
"Parts of that made so much sense to me," Considine said. "It addressed diabetes Type 2 and obesity. They go hand in hand."