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Gina Cousineau

By Gina Cousineau

The title of the column this month is a mantra I preach to my clients each and every day. It is always followed by the words “and those very pills might be needed to save your life.”

Depending on where you are in your life journey, the repercussions of our behaviors and choices might be rearing their ugly heads, especially after the brutal year we all have encountered. Life hands each of us a variety of obstacles at any given time, but there is a rare moment in history that we are all in the same boat, as we have been with the pandemic.

That being said, the dose and length of time ingesting the poison are really what matters in terms of how harmful it might be to our bodies and whether the positive can supersede the negative effects during this time.

Case in point: cigarette smoking. We know that the effects of this poison (nicotine) in the body can be completely reversed, if permanent damage has not taken place, but it takes time.

When I meet a new client, we take a peek under the hood, looking at past and current blood work, screening tests, and any other pertinent details to evaluate how their body is holding up.

Along with their weight, what they “look” like on the outside, and how they “feel” inside, these particulars allow me to project into their future. Unfortunately, and all too often, my clients don’t like what they will hear.

This information usually provokes a trip to their medical practitioner, with a list of questions and action items, as I encourage them to begin their health advocacy journey. This might lead to medications being prescribed to “patch the sinking ship” and the encouragement of a lifestyle shift, including better nutrition and adding exercise.

Pharmaceuticals such as statins, blood pressure/blood sugar regulators, and bone strengtheners, often bring much angst to my clients. But this is where I assure them the perfect dose of “the poison” will allow them to control the attack that is underway inside their bodies, looking at risk vs. benefit. And then the real work begins.

It is at this moment in time that these individuals must decide to “right the ship.” And given that their medical practitioners are not nutrition or fitness experts, they must look to your qualified influencer.

Enter Mama G. I teach the food-as-medicine approach, encouraging the elimination of the highly processed foods that are acting like “poison” and to instead swap them for delicious and nutritious choices paired with a little calculated exercise.

With this one-two punch, we can begin to heal the body with the goal of preventing and/or eliminating the use of prescription meds and the diseases that are threatening their very lives.

With all the negatives of the past year, I want to celebrate the wins, and more importantly, I want to be part of your wins.

On June 1, I launch a complimentary four-week webinar series (via Zoom, once a week) to help you advocate for your health, tackling how to reduce your risk of lifestyle diseases, which are the leading causes of disability and death in our country.

Our topics will range from healthy advocacy, being a good nutrition consumer, using food as medicine and, finally, providing you with a game plan for a sustainable healthy lifestyle approach.

Gina Cousineau sees clients virtually and in person out of her San Clemente office. Her extensive education—a BS in dietetics and MS in integrative and functional nutrition—chef training, and 30-plus years as a fitness professional allow her to help clients lose weight and improve their health. You can reach her at, 949.842.9975, and on Instagram and Facebook @mamagslifestyle. Register for her complimentary weekly newsletter at

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