Archives: November 2011

Dr. David Katz Article on Pizza as a Veggie! (click picture to be taken to article)

Last week I was shocked to read in the paper that Congress was working to declare pizza as a vegetable. That’s right, they are considering the tomatoes in pizza to make it a veggie.

I’m not sure I should even continue here because I will probably rant on and on. Fortunately Dr. Katz wrote a wonderful article about this matter that I have attached here and you should absolutely take the time to read what’s happening to our school systems. This is our future, if we feed the kids garbage, they will die early from this garbage.

This is really upsetting to me. Just when I thought Jamie Oliver was making a huge impact on our school lunches now this.

What do you think?

Last week Chad and I took a mini vacation. It started as a business trip for Chad. We went to Manchester, England which was beautiful and decked out in the holiday spirit but we only spent one day there and then flew over to Amsterdam which was the actual vacation part of this mini trip. I say mini because we were away from Wednesday-Monday – it was short and sweet to say the least!

What I’ve learned from this trip was that it was MUCH needed. Sometimes both Chad and I get caught up in the NYC hustle and bustle  of life but it wasn’t until we left the city that we actually felt ourselves “come down” off of our NYC high. In Amsterdam we strolled the whole city, enjoyed delicious food and yes we even indulged in the typical Amsterdam “coffeeshops” where we really let our hair down.

As we returned back to the states, I was not only dealing with jet lag, but the reality of my life here – or how I’ve created my life here – In a rush. I’m always rushing. Why is it that I’m constantly hustling from place to place?

I even find myself hustling in the shower…

I’m aware that if I leave myself just half hour more time I wouldn’t be rushing all the time!

This is unacceptable.

This stops now.

How many of you rush through life? We know that if we left ourselves more time we could stroll to work, watch the birds, smell the flowers, take a leisurely shower but do we execute? So far I haven’t! I know, I know, I’m a yoga teacher and I absolutely love going to work everyday – but, you have no idea how much I am traveling throughout this city, even the boroughs!

Anyway, I don’t want to complain, I’ve done this to myself. Tomorrow starts a new week and my conscious effort to slow down starts immediately.

Over the past week I’ve been reminded not only to slow down but also to take that much needed vacation! It’s time to book it already! No more procrastinating.

Yours in health,


Here is the second half of my lecture. Enjoy!

<After college I moved into Manhattan with my then boyfriend, now husband. I was again stressed out and searching for a job. Through the many informational interviews and internships – paid and un-paid – I came to realize that the line of work I had been searching for just wasn’t doing it for me.

More stress – and the only thing that truly made me feel better was practicing yoga and eating healthy. Two things that I knew I should be doing more of in my life. I was never one to eat a diet filled with lots of sugar, but my diet was nowhere near the healthy level that it is now.

One day, my now sister-in-law and I were talking and as I was recommending a food product that she should try – bam, her comment was: you should do this for a living – and that was it… As soon as I got home I ran to the computer and did research.

I found the Integrative Institute of Nutrition where I could obtain a certificate to become a health coach – PERFECT!

As well as going to school for health coaching, I signed up for yoga school because after going to the same weekly yoga class in college, I knew how amazing it made my body feel and I wanted to be able to give that to others. SO I got certified in an accelerated program in just one month! By the time I was finished with yoga school, I was all ready to learn about health coaching.

As a health coach, we learn about all the different diets out there, that one diet doesn’t work for everyone, and one person’s medicine might be another person’s poison. When talking to my GI doctor about which foods I should eat for my colitis he told me I could eat anything I want. My intuition told me that wasn’t correct so I did lots and lots of research to find out that those who suffer from colitis feel much better when going on a gluten free diet.  So, I tried it and it stuck. I now follow a gluten free diet, I limit my dairy intake since I know dairy causes mucus, and I seem to have an abundance of that, so the least amount of dairy the better for me.

As well as my Gluten free diet, I also stay away from processed foods, refined foods like white flour & white sugar and I stick to natural sugars like honey, maple syrup and agave. I eat lots of veggies as well as some meat but only once or twice a week and I always make sure it’s grass fed and organic because after seeing the movie Food inc I didn’t have a choice… For those who have seen it know what I’m referring to, and for those who don’t, I suggest you watch the grueling film about our country’s food industry.

I have learned an abundance of information about the importance of eating organic and I know that if I don’t pay attention to what goes into my body, then who else will? The way I see it is, my body is my temple, my home and if I treat it like garbage then I’ll most likely feel like garbage.

On top of my diet change, I’ve furthered my yoga practice. After learning how to create my own home practice to soothe my soul, I make sure to meditate and practice breathing exercises such as ujaii breathing, breath of fire and alternate nostril breathing every morning. We’re now going to practice alternate nostril breathing so you can see what I mean. I’ve learned to help calm the mind and body with this exercise. Let’s clear our laps, sit up tall in your chair and feel your feet on the ground: Do 3 rounds of alternate nostril breathing.

Since practicing yoga and breathing exercises everyday I’ve noticed a large shift in my stress level and I find myself able to control my breathing, which causes me to calm down when faced with stressful situations.

On top of all that I’ve already changed in my life to help my healing process, I’ve implemented a seasonal cleanse. My current yoga teacher, William Duprey taught me how to complete a yogic cleanse called dhauti – he was certain it would help clear my colitis symptoms completely. I wasn’t sure about this, but given my openness to trying new healing modalities, I was game. He gave me the instructions to drink a certain amount of Himalayan sea salt mixed with water and do specific yoga postures between each glass of water. Needless to say, I was in the bathroom all night but by the end of it I was completely cleaned out and ready to start fresh. So far, I’ve done this cleanse twice and have felt great after.  I intend to continue doing this each season because cleaning out the body is as healthy as it gets and it helps to clear my colitis symptoms too.

Now that I’ve spoken all about what I’ve done for myself to help me feel better, the only thing that would top off this talk is some actual research! Well, I do have it and I know we all appreciate results on paper – so here it is. I don’t have the numbers from my colonoscopy test in 2007, but when I had one in 2009 my DR. said the colitis was 11 cm up the colon and that number was slightly better then my test in 2007. This year, 2011 I had another test and my DR. said the colitis was just 3 cm up the colon making it proctitis instead of colitis! That’s a huge difference and means what I’m doing is actually working! The first thing the Dr. said when he told me that result was: wow, those enemas must really be working! – in my head I thought – Sorry dr. C but I barely take the enemas and there’s no way they did this healing.

I have to say that all the work I’ve done on myself has really paid off. I can’t say I’m 100% better, there are still days where I see blood and mucus in my stool but I know I’m on the mend, and the fact that doctors say this disease is incurable, well…. We’ll see about that. I have all the positive energy and thoughts to know that what I’m doing is working. With that, I leave you with a thought – even though disease is said to be in-curable, with will-power and the right tools, can it be cured? No one will ever know, but it’s definitely food for thought. I thank you all for listening and I hope I’ve given you some hope that whatever disease it is you or someone you know struggles with, don’t give up, talk to everyone you know until you find the right cure to make you feel better. Questions?>


This week I had the opportunity to speak at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. I gave a lunch lecture speaking about alternative healing, colitis and yoga. The experience was un-like any I’ve ever had before and I felt honored to share my story and how I’ve helped myself heal my colitis and it’s symptoms. The fact that I am spreading the word about alternative healing, and that I am a real life example that it can and does work was amazing for these med students. They love to see results as well as proof that these methods work. I think that’s why they loved my talk so much, besides the fact that I’m close to their age and we can relate to each other too!

I will be posting my lecture in a few different posts, so stay tuned as there will be more to come very soon.


My name is Shira Turkl-Rubin and I have ulcerative colitis. I’m here today to talk to you about how I’ve healed myself using alternative methods such as diet and yoga.

I’ll back up quite a bit and give you some history about myself first.

I grew up in an affluent town in Northern NJ called Tenafly. Throughout my childhood I suffered from frequent stomachaches, which my doctors eluded to me being lacto intolerant. That may have been the case, but my stomachaches were no small matter, and they kept getting worse. There came a point when I was around 12 years old that I noticed blood in my stool. I thought maybe it would go away but finally my parents decided to take me to the GI doctor who ran some tests and sent me for a colonscopy.

They found out I had proctitis – inflammation of the rectum. They wanted to put me on oral steroids for the rest of my life, and my parents, being a bit alternative themselves, decided to go the natural route and found a vitamin regiment to put me on.

For many years I took L-glutamine, fish oil, acidolophilous, vitamin E and a multi vitamin. This worked for a while, although I would still sometimes see blood in the stool anyway, but the stomach aches were less. As I grew older, my stress levels grew larger and the stomach aches would return.

Finally I went to college and found yoga. I took my stressed out, lack of sleep body to the yoga studio where I learned the proper way to breathe, move my body and de-stress. I felt great. I continued going to the same class every week as I found it to be my place to relax.

When I was a junior in college, I signed up to study abroad in Barcelona and knew my yoga regiment would be put on hold. Studying abroad was so much fun, but it took a great big toll on my body. I was eating foods I wasn’t used to, drinking coffee everyday and was stressed from missing my friends and family back at home. There were times of struggle While I was gone – my cat who was alive for 20 years died, as well as my aunt, she suffered from Pancreatic cancer and died a week after I returned home. I was a stress case to say the least and had no clue that my stomachaches were getting worse because of it. I noticed cramping, bloating, mucus and blood in my stool and I knew something wasn’t right.

After talking with my parents and doctor, we signed me up for another colonoscopy. The result was ulcerative colitis. My doctor prescribed me nightly enemas to ease my symptoms – sure, the enemas helped somewhat, but they were no cure.>

This is only the beginning of my story and you will see more of it in my next post.

Cheers to spreading the word about alternative health.