Sunday, January 24, 2010

Putting the Spotlight on Healthy Fats, by Patti McCabe

It’s the half hour call and you are exhausted.  How are you going to make it through the performance tonight?  Like a ray of sunshine, someone brings you…what?  A cup of coffee?  Soda?  Red Bull?  Candy bar?  Whatever it is, it’s your salvation of the moment.   Sound familiar?  Believe me, I know the drill.   The problem is that the effects of caffeine and sugar are short lived.  So how often do you find that you are back to where you started by the time intermission comes around?   The trick becomes finding a daily routine that supports you all the way to curtain call, thus eliminating the need for quick fixes that can have a detrimental impact on your short and long term health.

I have previously discussed the benefits of increasing your consumption of whole foods and decreasing processed and junk foods.  Whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables will give you longer, more sustained energy.  But in this post, I want to focus on another area, one that has become quite a hot topic in our society - especially given the prevalence of obesity issues.  While a low-fat diet seems to have become one to be admired and emulated to improve health, the truth is we’ve become so obsessed with lowering our fat intake that we are missing out on the incredible benefits that healthy fats do provide. 

Not all oils and fats are created equal. Heavily processed, hydrogenated, “trans” fats and oils that are used in prepared, packaged foods can be extremely damaging to the body. However, fats and oils from whole foods and other high-quality sources can steady our metabolism, keep hormone levels even, nourish our skin, hair and nails and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly. Our bodies also need fat for insulation and to protect and hold our organs in place.

A healthy percentage of high-quality fat in a meal satisfies and leaves feelings of energy, fulfillment and warmth. When there are excess fats and oils in the diet, especially heavily processed fats, symptoms can include weight gain, skin breakouts, high blood pressure, liver strain and an overall feeling of mental, physical and emotional heaviness. Signs of insufficient high-quality fats are brittle hair and nails, dry skin, hunger after meals and feeling cold.

There are many sources of healthy fats and oils. For sautéing and baking, try butter, ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil because they do not break down when used at high temperatures. When sautéing foods at moderate temperatures, try organic extra virgin olive oil. Oils like flaxseed, sesame, toasted sesame, walnut and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressings on top of salads, veggies or grains. Other healthy fats are found in whole nuts and seeds and in their butters like almond butter or tahini. Whole foods such as avocados, olives and coconuts are great sources of healthy fat, along with wild salmon and omega-3 and omega-6 organic eggs.

When selecting oils, buy the highest-quality organic products you can afford, since cooking oils are the backbone of so many dishes. Good words to look for on the label are organic, first-pressed, cold-pressed, extra-virgin and unrefined. Words to avoid are expeller-pressed, refined and solvent extracted.

So, when you are reaching for a snack for a quick pick me up before a performance, consider these options:
•    A few cups of popcorn tossed with olive oil and sea salt
•    Apples and Cashew butter
•    Celery and Almond butter
•    Plain avocado or Whole Grain chips with guacamole
•    Salad tossed with flaxseed oil

I encourage you to experiment with these healthy fat sources and see which work best for you and leave you satisfied.  By nourishing your body this way on a regular basis, you will start giving it the boost it needs to maintain optimal function on stage AND off. 

Patti McCabe is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor who specializes in helping the performing arts community get more out of their lives by getting more out of their food.  She received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and is accredited through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.  She leads workshops on health and nutrition, and offers both individual and group counseling services in person and by phone.  More information at and

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I am thrilled that A BALANCING ACT just received a wonderful review in the highly respected New England Theatre Journal, a scholarly publication by the New England Theatre Conference.

My favorite sentences are:

" Chaulet readily concedes that she has picked up the trail where others ceased blazing, but she is deft in weaving the ideas together into a relevant system" ...

" Plainly, Chaulet makes her case. The craft of acting has had an unspoken need for a system that dedicates itself solely to balancing who we are with who we are required to become.The structure of Energize! is accessible because it provides an overview of various holistic centering techniques, and successful because it serves as a solid launching platform for those who want to develop their own pre- and post-performance rituals with further research."

By J.J. Cobb, Eastern Connecticut State University

You can get copies of the journal by contacting the New England Theatre Conference

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Eric Rohmer, 'New Wave' master, dies yesterday at age 89

Eric Rohmer  left us yesterday...
In my memory remain long afternoons of delicate conversations while sipping tea, in the tireless pursuit of the understanding of the birth of feelings and love.
Weaving the subtle fabric which makes emotions and feelings, Eric Rohmer was, and will remain, a true writer at the camera.

Emmanuelle Chaulet

(Blanche, "Boyfriends & Girlfriends")

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year 2010! This Year, Make the Shift...

2010 is the start of a powerful expansion time, with a realignment of many institutions, organizations, ideas and people. 2010 is opening for all of us the chance to finally raise the planet’s vibration to a level of understanding of the world where the small ego does not rule anymore.

We are ready! We are ready to move from our fearful small self to our Highest Creative and Compassionate Loving Self. Human beings are capable of many things, from the best to the worst. This constitutes our beauty and our strength as well as our most terrible weakness. We are now ready to power upward and reach our highest potential for the highest good of all.

Are you ready to do the necessary work on yourself to be part of the greatest transformation of the planet? Are you ready to change your ways in order to help the global shift?

Reconnect with your creative artist mission,
Listen to your soul,
There is bliss in doing what you are meant to do!
Starlight Acting Institute is here to help you raise your vibration, reach your highest creative potential, recover your energetic balance and reconnect with your creative self. Visit our beautiful new website and check our new offerings for Individual Energize Sessions and Solo Retreat Programs for all creative souls and performing artists.

This year, make the shift…

In Love and Light,

Emmanuelle Chaulet
Starlight Acting Institute, director and founder

January Specials:

Mention the promotional code 01/02/2010 and get the student rate for Energize Individual Sessions (in January only).
Choose a “Creative Soul” Reconnection Package:  3 sessions for $201.00 instead of  $240  (a saving of $39!) Sessions from this package can be taken until the end of March 2010.