The HeartMark!

Connect through Love!
Nutrition and Health

Breathing Exercise!
The HeartMark can let you focus inwardly to recharge.  Make a HeartMark to create a focal point.  Breathe out any stale air through the HeartMark, then breathe in fresh new air.  Focus as it fills your tummy, slowly up your abdomen, until it completely fills your chest.  Make sure not to shorten your breath--if you lift your shoulders up too soon then you only filled the top cavities in your body.  Try it again, and make sure your belly rises as it fills. 
Positive Thinking Exercise!
Make a HeartMark to center your thoughts.  Exhale out fully all the stale air.  With it, get rid of any negative energy, frustrations, and distractions from the day.  Take a nice, long deep breath.  Visualize the fresh oxygen traveling to your cells, giving you a fresh new perspective.  You have renewed your body and heart.  You will feel so much better after this exercise that you will achieve great things for the rest of the day.  Focus on positive goals that you can achieve.  Congratulate yourself.  You are half way there.  Your body and your soul are ready! 
Positive Thinking Exercise!
Make a HeartMark to center your thoughts. Exhale out all the stale air.  Take in a fresh breath.  You deserve to be healthy. 

You are a great person.  You treat others with respect.  You treat

Teach Children to avoid junk:
It is almost Halloween.  Tell your children that typical store bought candy is poison!  Tell them you feel sorry for people who eat junk food.  Tell your children that people eat junk food because they cannot afford to buy the healthy food you buy.

Companies earn too much money from selling chemicals laced with cheap sugars.  Tell your children that the companies sell it to children because they earn a lot.  They don't sell it because it's food.  They sell it because they can earn from it.  But the ingredients are not food! 
On tricks by Candy Manufacturers:
 Junk food manufacturers package candy in shiny colorful containers.  They constantly try to make candy more appealing.  They love to trick children into wanting to put that stuff into their mouths.  But it's just not food! 

Make your own healthy Candy:
Ever heard of xylitol?  It is a completely natural sugar, found in the bark of plum trees for example.  Your body even manufactures xylitol on its own.  It kills the bad bacteria in the mouth.  It helps children with ear infections because it fights the bacteria in the ear as well.  It has 1/3 the calories of sugar, but tastes really great!  Everyone loves it.  You can buy a lollipop making kit online to make your own candy.  You can buy xylitol in health food stores. 

Other Uses For Xylitol:
You can make your own ice cream, pudding, or cakes from scratch!  It takes just as long as making them out of a package.  Use xylitol and a milk of your choice.  Just make sure it has calcium in it.  This way, you can enjoy your sweets and benefit from them at the same time!

Junk food is not food!
None of the ingredients have any nutritional value.  If you really saw the ingredients in powder form, you would never put them in your mouth!  Your child wouldn't either.  Tell them that.  Don't be afraid to call it poison. 

Junk Food is A Thief!  (TM)
Junk food robs your body of valuable nutrients that you need.  Think of all the nutrients that you get only from real food as little soldiers.  The soldiers work to build and repair the body.  When you eat junk, the soldiers work to get rid of the junk.  You waste your soldiers on getting rid of the poisons in the junk food, instead of using them to build new or damamged cells.  There are enough other "poisons" like pollution and stress.  We don't need to add junk food to further stress our body.  

You Are Not a Garbage Can! (TM)
When you throw garbage away, you never have to think about it again.  That is because the garbage can is opaque.  Out of sight, out of mind.  But your body is not a garbage can.  When you put food through your mouth and swallow, you do need to think about it!  You need to visualize the food as it travels through your body.  Does it give you more energy, or less energy?  Does it hurt your teeth after?  How do you feel about yourself after you eat it?  Make a HeartMark so as to take a brief time out, breathe, and think about the food you are about to eat.  Will it make you feel good after you eat it?  If you are midway through your meal, take time out to pay attention to how you feel already.  Are you satisfied?...  This is a much bigger topic than I can devote in this section.  Just remember to treat yourself well, think about what you eat, and that you deserve the best!   Read more about the Garbage Can or hire me to inspire you that you are not a garbage can! 

Advice for the pickiest eaters! 
* Let your child mix cream cheese with chocolate syrup!  Make another mix with ketchup, or cheddar cheese.  You can actually choose to make the cheese sweet, salty, or spicy.  Invent your own recipe, write it down!  You can photograph it and let your child pass it to their child when they are older! 

The HeartMark is in the Media!  See 
or go to
to read the June 09 Issue article about the HeartMark on page 18.  Or you can read a similar version here: 

Helping Children’s “Thinking-Eating Disorders” with the HeartMark™

We’re all concerned about the disturbing phenomenon of eating disorders.  Children who don’t eat enough, or who eat a lot and purge, hurt their growing bodies, developing brains, and long-term health.   However, such problems begin with what nutrition consultant Tali Lehavi Hamer calls “Thinking-Eating Disorders™.”   After all, how we think or don’t think about food affects our choices.   It is important to teach healthy thinking habits about food and to start young.

At Young Chef’s Academy in Scottsdale, we teach children to HeartMark™ before they eat the food.  The HeartMark is a gesture in which you make a heart with your hands.  It allows you to take time out to focus and think.  In order to correct Thinking-Eating Disorders, teach your children to take this important break, and follow four steps.   

First, HeartMark with your hands, creating a peaceful heart.  Take a deep breath in through your nose and let out stale air slowly through your mouth.  Pay attention to your hunger.   Do you feel a deep down hunger?  Continue to step two.   Do you need a quick pick-me-up?   Continue to step two.  If you ate recently but you still want more, perhaps you ate the wrong food and you are experiencing a “low.”   Now make healthy choices described in step two.  If you ate a nutritious meal recently, then you are not really hungry.  This would be a great time to focus on what might satisfy you other than food.

Step two is to envision a healthy meal or a snack high in protein, fiber and vitamin C, and calcium.  Think of a specific meal that will bring you pleasure.   For a deep down hunger, plan a meal with lean protein, lots of vegetables and or fruits, and a high calcium snack.  You could eat a rotisserie chicken with a salad and low-fat string cheese.   For a lighter snack, eat the same food groups as you would in a full meal, but in a smaller quantity.  For example, plan on eating lean chicken nuggets, a tomato, and a light cheese serving.

Step three is to choose and envision honestly the quantity that you will need to feel satisfied.  Pretend that you finished.  Are you satisfied?   You may alter this imaginary amount until you are comfortable with it.   

In step four, visualize the benefits after you will eat this meal.   Connect the protein to the energy you will have, feel cleaner and cancer-free from the fiber, vitamins, and minerals from the vegetables and fruits, and visualize your bones stronger from the calcium. 

Now you may prepare and slowly eat a part of your meal.  Stop midway to see if you are still hungry.  Take a deep breath.  Notice how great you are beginning to feel.  Continue to eat.  If you need more, repeat step one through four until you may leave the table fully satisfied. 

The HeartMark should help you take the time to break unhealthy Thinking-Eating habits™.  Ask yourself:   Do I like myself?  Do I deserve to eat healthy?  Do I deserve to feel great?  How healthy do I want to be?   Naturally, you will choose to be as healthy as you can be.   

Tell yourself that You Are Not a Garbage Can!™   Junk goes into garbage cans and you never think about it after you put it there.  But you do need to think about how food affects your body.  The best way to break a bad food habit is to visualize the damage the food does inside your body.  With a few visualizations, you can teach yourself to not like that food because you will associate it with the damage it does to you. 

Thinking-Eating Disorders are a serious problem.  Often, children develop wrong thinking patterns about food because they hear faulty thinking about it from parents.  Practice the HeartMark to associate positive attitudes toward healthy food.  You will save them from damaging eating habits and nutritional deficiencies.


Chef Alan owns a colorful award winning cooking school for children.  It's a great place for summer camp! 

Tali Lehavi Hamer wants to spread the HeartMark to inspire everyone to connect through love.  You can find more articles, recipes, and fun creations on, www.hmyogalates, and and follow her on twitter.


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