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Wednesday, 04 May 2011 09:02

Going Au Natural

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We often take great care in what we put in our bodies (food), but don't think twice about what we put on our bodies (products). It is important to recognize that 60% of the product we put on our skin is absorbed into our body. Think about how many personal care products you use a day. Is it five? Ten? On average, we put 126 unique ingredients on our skin daily. Did you know that the government doesn't require any pre-market testing or health studies for these products? There is no requirement that companies test personal care products for safety…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 13:15

Just Say No (to Prescription Drugs)

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Last year my mom was rushed to the emergency room within minutes after taking a drug for a sinus infection. Her doctor said it was unlikely that it was from the medication, despite the fact that the symptoms happened immediately upon taking the first pill. After doing some research, I found many others who had experienced the same side effects. Despite best intentions, doctors, the FDA, and pharmaceutical companies do not have all the answers. You need to watch out for your own best interests. My mom is not alone. Each year, an estimated two million Americans are hospitalized from…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 11:12

My Love Affair with a Mountain

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My love affair with a mountain began just over ten years ago when I first moved to the East Bay of San Francisco. As soon as I laid eyes on the 3,849-foot beauty that is Mount Diablo, I knew it was love at first sight. Since that time, I have enjoyed numerous hikes, runs, strolls, and picnics on the mountain. I love watching the colors of the mountain change throughout the year—from lush green in the winter to golden brown in the summer. I enjoy spending time on the mountain alone as well as with friends. I feel lighter and…
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 10:24

Stress Kills. Just Breathe.

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According to the American Institute of Stress, nearly 45% of all adults suffer adverse health effects due to stress and 75 to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints. Long-term effects of stress include high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, muscular aches and pains, ulcers, skin rashes, and food intolerances. In addition, stress has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, digestive system diseases, cancer, and aging. Stress is not to be taken lightly. It can absolutely affect our health. There is no doubt that what is happening in our mind is affecting our body. The good…
Thursday, 24 March 2011 18:15

Living in the 80s

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I'm a health coach which means I know about nutrition. I know what's good for me to eat and what's not good for me to eat. However, this doesn't mean that I'm perfect all of the time. I'm a big advocate of the 80/20 rule. I try to eat healthy 80% of the time. When I am in the 20% and eating the unhealthier foods, I try to be mindful of what I eat so that I savor every bite.Eating healthy 100% of the time is not realistic and can be unhealthy (if it causes stress). If we strive for…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 10:17

There is No There

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I need to take the news in small doses. Years ago, I stopped getting the newspaper. I no longer watch the news at night. There are plenty of good things happening in the world, but the news tends to focus on the bad—it's what sells. I find that my heart is too heavy when I open myself up to unlimited news. I still keep in touch—hearing the highlights from my husband, my friends, the radio, and the internet. I know enough of what I need to know. When the earthquake and resulting tsunami first hit Japan, my husband and I…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 09:21

Losing My Mind(fulness)

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I don't forget appointments. I'm one of those people that is always on time, if not early. That is, until recently. Now I'm someone who forgets appointments. I'm mindlessly busy. Who am I and where is the Dina that has been with me for the past 40 years? A few weeks ago, I left my friend Liz patiently waiting for me at a coffee shop. She texted me 15 minutes after we were supposed to meet just letting me know she was at the coffee shop (which I thought was a very nice way of saying, "Where the heck are…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 09:25

We Are The Environment

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We are the environment and the environment is us. Of the four quadrants, the environment is probably the one that people think least relates to their own health. The environment is seen as somehow separate from us. It is viewed as external rather than internal. However, we are intimately connected to our environment. The air we breathe in comes from the environment. The air we breathe out goes out to the environment. The air also touches our skin, moving into our bodies through our pores. The water we drink goes into our body. The water we bathe in goes in…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 09:14

The Trendy Diet

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Are you on the trendy diet? If you were alive in the 1860s, being on the trendy diet would mean you wouldn’t be eating carbs. If you were alive in the 1980s, you would be eating carbs. And, if you were alive in the early 2000s, you wouldn’t be eating them again. Carbs are bad, carbs are good, and carbs are bad. The same fate was shared by fat. It was good, then it was bad, and now it is good again (the good fats). Soy too. Soy was a nutrition darling for a while and then it got blacklisted.…
Tuesday, 08 February 2011 09:04

Living in the Flow

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For the first four decades of my life, I feel like I have been searching—searching for my purpose, my passion, my flow. I saw a greeting card a while ago that had the quote, "Not all who wander are lost" by J.R.R. Tolkien. I bought the card and hung it on the board by my desk. It made me feel better that just because I was wandering did not mean I was lost. Despite the nice sentiment, I felt lost. I have looked into countless careers in my 40+ years, including event planner, franchise owner, therapist, entrepreneur, photographer, private detective,…
Tuesday, 01 February 2011 10:09

Crazy Runner Girl

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The Relationships quadrant is not only about our relationships with our loved ones, but also about our relationships with our community and the world. There is no doubt that our community health affects our individual health and our collective individual health affects our community health. I read a story in Runner’s World magazine a couple of years ago that inspires me to this day. It is a great example of how one individual can impact many and how many individuals can impact one.Anne Mahlum, in the February 2009 issue of Runner’s World talks about how she would run by a…
Tuesday, 25 January 2011 10:20

Green Exercise

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A couple of weeks ago, I came across the term "Green Exercise" in a magazine. How clever, I thought. I had never heard that term before. Was that really a recognized phrase? I Googled it out of curiosity and lo' and behold, a lot of articles popped up. I thought it might be a good topic for a blog in the Environment quadrant of the Four Quadrant Living website, so I filed the idea away for the coming weeks. Coincidentally, a week later, I was contacted by a publisher of a local magazine asking me to write an article about…
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 09:13

Wish I Were Here

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"Having a great time. Wish I were here". I saw this quote on a postcard a long time ago and it always stuck with me. How often are you at a party, going about your daily life, or even on vacation (!), but you are not really there? Perhaps you are still in yesterday thinking about the fight you had with your best friend or maybe you are in tomorrow worrying about your big presentation. I know I should be mindful and live in the present, but it is actually more difficult than it sounds, isn't it? We have so…
Tuesday, 11 January 2011 09:28

Keeping It Real

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Recently, a friend asked me why I thought my cereal was preferable to her cereal. She compared the stats of fat, fiber, protein, and carbs of each and found them to be comparable. Unfortunately, reading the nutritional information is not enough when it comes to making healthy food choices. It is also important to read the ingredients. My friend's cereal is what Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food and Food Rules, would call an "edible foodlike substance." These foods are highly processed and are designed by food scientists. They consist mostly of ingredients derived from corn and soy…
Tuesday, 04 January 2011 21:21

Peace by Nature

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Okay, so I'm writing this blog from Hawaii where it is pretty easy to find peace by nature. But still, peace by nature can be found anywhere. You just have to realize the power of it and make the time to do it (even just a few minutes can bring you instant serenity). There is so much talk about the environment these days. We hear about our carbon footprints and living green. We talk about reducing, reusing, and recycling. We learn about global warming and environmental toxins. We are told that how we are living is poisoning the environment which…
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  • She truly cares

    I initially started working with Dina to help me with my diet for an autoimmune disease I have been battling for years. She has also helped me with stress, relationships, and work. She is very encouraging. I am now happier and healthier because of Dina. She truly cares about you and it definitely shows in the difference it has made in my life.
    Mary M.
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    Reaching out to Dina was one of the best decisions I've made this past year. Every aspect of my life; spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, was out of balance. She was and continues to be exactly what my life was missing; someone to hold me accountable, a cheerleader, a confidant, a trustworthy advisor, a coach!
    Lisa H.
  • Saved my life

    Dina has provided me with the tools and knowledge that I needed to make changing to a healthier lifestyle a manageable goal. She never judged me when I stumbled but has only given me the encouragement and steps I needed to get back up and try again. I will be forever grateful to Dina because she has literally saved my life from the downward spiral I was in.
    Kristin A.
  • Helped me balance my life

    After the my mom's death, I withdrew from life. Dina helped me move past the self-destructive tendencies I had used to cope with my grief. She is a compassionate listener, offers gentle suggestions, and provides nonthreatening accountability. Through our sessions she helped me balance my life. I don't know where I'd be without her.
    Liz L.
  • Lost 10 pounds

    Working with Dina has helped me to manage and control my prediabetes. I have lost 10 pounds with her guidance by being more aware of the food I am eating. I like working with Dina because I feel that she really tries to find ways for me to be healthy in my life—the things I like to do and eat—rather than providing a cookie cutter solution.
    Diane C.
  • Feel stronger and happier

    Dina and her Four Quadrant Living consistently give me simple, easy to implement suggestions to make my entire life healthier. With Dina's gentle guidance, I have vastly improved the way I eat, the way I deal with stress and, basically, the way I balance my life. It is impossible to not feel better, stronger and happier when working with Dina.
    Gracie T.
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    Dina's approach is never threatening or condescending and she offers a variety of services that fit many, many different needs - whether just a little nudge when it comes to diet or organization or an all-out weekly session helping with all four quadrants. Highly recommend!
    Tiffany T.
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    It wasn't just about food but my overall well-being. I got the tools to work toward the things that I wanted to achieve. I love that I can email Dina with any question that I might have along the way! I highly recommend her.
    Gabriela V.
  • Amazed at improvement

    By the end of the 3rd week (of the Detox Program), I started to notice changes. I felt less tired and was actually sleeping less. I was amazed at the improvement in my well being. Dina was great in providing information and motivation throughout the program. She presented a nice balance of telling me what I needed to know without overwhelming me.
    Dave L.
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    Dina offered ideas on dealing with my job stress. I felt the ideas really catered to me and my job specifically, rather than being some general ideas I could get from internet research. I use one of the fantastic ideas religiously to help destress after every shift. I was so pleased with my experience, I recommended Dina's Four Quadrant Living to my sister.
    Bev Y.

Published Articles

Green Exercise: Good for the Sole and Soul
Natural Awakenings, March 2011

Sustainable Danville Area: Find Your People
Danville Today News, February 2012 (Page 6)

Are Genetically Modified Foods Making Your Child Sick?
Active Kids, June 2012 (Page 23)