Let’s talk about anxiety- part 3

So far, we’ve talked about overcoming anxiety and stress through decluttering and simplifying our lives and also through nutrition but now for my favorite…..mindfulness and mindset! This topic is such a passion of mind and it is SO POWERFUL. The results you will get from this step alone will be profound and I encourage you to keep a journal if you’re into that sort of thing, just to document your progress.

Mindfulness is the quality of being conscious or aware of something, but in particular, the present moment. Focusing our awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting our feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It’s not being reactive. But, really it’s just awareness. 

Buddha said “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” Jesus said “Be very careful about what you think. Your thoughts run your life.” (Proverbs 4:23). Einstein said “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.” All of these quotes confirm that our mindset plays a monumental role in our life and how we perceive things. I can vouch from personal experience, that until I changed my mindset, I did not see a complete shift in my own life. My anxiety did not start to dissipate until I got my mind right. And yes, getting your mind right can actually improve brain chemistry.

So, how do you do this? Well, it takes work, I’m not going to lie. Get reading, get meditating, get journaling, surround yourself with positive people who view life the same way you want to view life, stop watching crappy television full of drama. Don’t expect things to happen overnight, but if you are diligent in your efforts, you can surely see changes within 30 days as I did. I was relentless in my pursuit of happiness, calm and finding a way to keep my anxiety at bay. Make a commitment to yourself and stick with it- this is key!

I made some pretty hefty changes and completely overhauled my life in order to come to a more peaceful and happy place. Sometimes it means letting go of people and relationships that don’t serve your highest good. Sometimes it means saying no to foods that you know aren’t supporting your body. Sometimes it means saying no to social engagements so you can stay home and do self-care. It’s not selfish to do these things, it’s sometimes just what needs to be done in order to get your mindset right. It’s a high form of self-care that you deserve. No one can make changes for us, we have to be the ones who want change.

Sometimes it’s easier to stay in our holes and be miserable because that’s what feels safe to us or it seems too overwhelming to give that up. That will not serve you in the long run. Going out of our comfort zones always brings amazing things, that I can promise you. So what are you waiting for? Join the mass amount of people who are choosing to up-level their lives and not settle for a life of mediocre-ness, shame, control and high stress! Get your mind right. Make the change.

 If you need more help with this, sign up for coaching with me.

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Let’s talk about Anxiety – part 2

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In post 1, we went over anxiety and how we can take steps to help ourselves overcome this disorder naturally. De-cluttering our lives was the first step in this 3-step process. In this post, we’ll go over the second step in treating anxiety, which is nutrition and supplements. *Please speak to a qualified healthcare practitioner before using supplements.

The research on gut health (aka your digestive system or microbiome), plays a crucial part in anxiety and stress. I’ll try to explain the scientific research in the easiest way possible so stick with me! Significant progress has been made in the last 10 years in discovering the importance of gut health and its connection to brain function. The research shows that the gut microbiota influences brain chemistry and behavior. It also shows that stress influences the composition of gut microbiota and that this communication that goes back and forth affects our stress reactivity. Alterations in gut microbiota can influence anxiety and depressive-like behaviors and neuroscientists are basically really excited to see how these findings will affect mental health in the future. Not only anxiety and depression have been linked to the brain/gut connection, but so has Autism and the spectrum.

Our microbiome is easily damaged by eating processed foods, highly acidic foods, sugar, pharmaceutical drugs, antibiotics, chemicals and toxins. Gut microbiota influences Serotonin and Dopamine production, two extremely important bodily functions! More than 90% of the body’s Serotonin is in the gut and it’s the “feel good” neurotransmitter and helps us have feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Just taking probiotics regularly has been shown to have a therapeutic effect on anxiety and depression symptoms.

So, how can you start healing your gut? Take probiotics regularly (preferably not from a dairy source – it will say on the bottle). Eating fermented foods like raw sauerkraut, dairy-free yogurt and miso are also helpful. Start eating real, whole foods regularly, including a lot of vegetables and cut out the refined sugar. Whole foods just means eating food as close to its natural state as possible. Next, drink lots of water and limit alcohol since alcohol is hard for our bodies to process and it contains a lot of sugar.

Changing eating habits can be extremely challenging for people and it can take a lot of self-control. Hire a health coach if you feel you are the type of person who needs more support in this area. This person will help you incorporate healthy foods and find easy ways to prepare them. Your taste buds will take a few weeks to adjust to your new diet but I promise it will change your life and once your taste buds change, you actually won’t find yourself craving those old, unhealthy foods anymore.

Supplements that may be helpful in dealing with anxiety are: Ashwaganda, Fish Oil or plant-derived DHA for my vegan friends, B Complex, 5-HTP, L-Theanine, Maca powder. *Please do your own research and speak with a qualified healthcare practitioner, like a naturopathic doctor, before using supplements.

Drinks and Teas I like are: Kava Tea, Magnesium Calm drink, Valerian tea, Chamomile + Lavender tea.

Essential Oils that are good for anxiety: Lavender and Roman Chamomile. Please be sure you are using pure essential oils.

Stay tuned for part 3, which will address overcoming anxiety and stress through mindset and mindfulness.

Let’s talk about Anxiety – part 1

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Anxiety is that thing that you hear people talking about but that nobody really seems to understand, unless you’ve had it. People also tend to talk about as if it’s just some emotion like laughing or crying, yet it’s not and it affects 40 million adults in the U.S. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable but only around 36% of those who suffer receive treatment and those treatments usually involve medication which can cause other horrible issues besides anxiety.

Instead, we need to be treating the root of this serious disorder called anxiety and mindfulness can help.

As someone who previously suffered with this sometimes debilitating disorder, I think it’s important that we have these conversations openly. Anxiety causes people to feel extremely alone, scared and it’s not just something you can turn off. You can go from feeling normal to downright crazy in 1 second flat. It can also cause panic attacks, which is a whole other issue in and of itself. It involves hormones, emotions, chemicals and every system in the body.

Treating anxiety isn’t easy but it starts with taking a look inward. We need to be looking at our lives from a holistic or whole perspective, meaning how everything inter-relates. Is our financial situation causing us to be stress out? Are we eating differently now that we are stressed? Is our family life and relationships affected? Is our job affected? All of these things interplay and affect one another.

The next step is figuring out where to make cuts. If you want to overcome anxiety naturally, you have to make cuts. Where can we delete things from our lives? Is our schedule jam packed with “stuff” to do? Do our kids really need 8 million activities? Do we need to say yes to everything we get invited to? Do we really need to be staying late at work to just finish those emails? And, who says we need to be doing and being all of these things, hmm? And who says we need to do them without help? Does someone or something on TV or social media say we need to be doing these things? Are we stuck in the comparison game? Are we desperately trying to keep up with Mr & Mrs. Jones?

De-cluttering is one of the best things for anxiety. This simply means cutting unnecessary things out of our lives. Seriously, give it a try and you’ll be amazed at how you feel and how much more productive you can be. Start with your closet. Take everything out and start looking at each item and start downsizing (the KonMari method is my favorite way to do this). Next, go through each room in your house and do the same thing with your “stuff”. Get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy and that you don’t love or need. Next, stop spending money on things that don’t matter. Be mindful when you’re shopping and start to only purchase things you need (with the occasional want thrown in for fun). You’ll start to see some major changes, but you’ll really start to feel these changes too.

Keeping a tidy home, with less clutter, will start to allow you to feel less cluttered in your own mind, it’s just how it works. You’ll feel lighter and happier, I promise. Same goes for work and working smarter, not harder. Prioritize your 3 most important tasks as early in the day as possible and then structure your day in a way that allows maximum productivity, (I recommend the book Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy).

In part 2 of this article, we’ll talk about nutrition and supplements for anxiety. Start with de-cluttering and then come back for part 2.

How I stay sane

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Let me start by saying it takes effort. It takes conscious intention but it isn’t “work” once you develop habits around living this way. Also, don’t shoot for perfection — it’s not real.

I learned LOTS about living the right way when I had cancer. I prayed and meditated my way through that whole year and during those meditations, I got LOTS of answers and LOTS of divine downloads as I like to call them.

These “downloads” consisted of tips that came through in such a strong way that I had no doubt about the message. They were answers about life and how I was supposed to move forward and live it. Not only live it, but live it the way I should have been living it all those years prior! But, I would have to let go, surrender and say goodbye to the old me and my old ways of thinking first. I give my tough love approach below because I love you!

Here are my most precious tips that bring value to my life:

1. Make time for self-care. Self-care is anything that takes care of YOU. Yep, just YOU. It’s not selfish, it’s a necessity. Let me repeat that, it’s a necessity. Self-care is the act of doing things that fill up your cup, bring you joy, allow you to rest or regroup. *essential for your health.

2. Eat whole, unprocessed foods. It should be a no-brainer, but apparently it’s not. Basically, stop eating crap. Do you know how many people I help with nutrition who just aren’t willing to do this? It is single-handedly one of the most effective ways to take your life to the next level! Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. Do the work to find out which foods aren’t helping you and stop eating them. (an elimination diet helps). 80% of your health = proper nutrition and the other 20% = things like exercise, self-care, community, relationships, etc. Find healthier replacements for foods you consider cheat foods. Cut out dairy, it’s not made for humans. Cut out refined sugar (you won’t crave it after 3 days). Limit alcohol. Remember, I love you! *essential for your health.

3. Move your body. Find a way to move your body daily. If you don’t have time to workout (I don’t want to hear about it because if I, as a single mom who works full time can do it, so can you. And yeah….it’s hard). Do anything. Walk, take the stairs, park far away from the store. What I do specifically: I walk for 10 minutes, twice a day at work on breaks. I take the stairs every time I can. I do squats at my desk and pushups against my kitchen counter. I make time to walk 4 miles once a week on a weekend morning and maybe again during the week if I don’t have a conference call in the morning. I do a 10 minute HIIT workout 3 times a week, yoga at night occasionally and that’s it. Little bits here and there, when I have time (and sometimes I’m not successful). The rest is all nutrition, eating right and striving to drink 2 liters of water a day. And…since I’m eating like Jesus 80% of the time, I can afford to have a vegan/gluten free macaroon here and there. 🙂 *essential for your health.

4. Self-Development. I love self-help stuff. I think it’s amazing, helpful and allows you to expand beyond your self-made limitations. Also, I read that all successful people do self-development so I started doing it for that very reason. I listen to 2 hours of podcasts during my daily commute time. I watch YouTube videos and read books. It’s awesome. Spiritual growth is cool. 

5. I’m grateful and mindful. I write in my gratitude journal daily, start each prayer without asking for something but saying thank you for something instead, I meditate and I’m mindful of my actions and attitude. If I notice I’m not in my “flow” state then I make some changes. I choose only funny or uplifting things to watch because your mind takes cues from what you watch, I try to stay away from gossip (I know, it’s hard, we all do it), and I surround myself with awesome high-vibe people. When I’m in a bad mood, I change it by listening to a good song, or watching something funny or being grateful. Works like a charm. If I start to feel like I am getting stressed, I adjust my reaction (meditation teaches you how to do this by re-wiring your brain which in turn, makes you a more peaceful, less reactive person). I love you! *essential for your health.

I don’t want to look back on my life and have regrets so I try my best to live each day with enthusiasm. I do the things I want to do NOW, visit the people I want to see NOW, and focus on the things that are important to me NOW. Who knows if you’ll get the chance to do them later, you know?

Bonus Tip– don’t overschedule and overload your life with too much. Say no more often. Leave room in your schedule for time to laugh and chill. It’s imperative. 

There’s my blueprint! Hope it helps.

xoxo – Heather

The stress solution

Is there such a thing? I think there can be but it takes work. We just don’t live in the same world we did 25 years ago.

Things are a bit crazy now.

Heads buried in phones, less human interaction and less outdoor play.

What’s really sad is that our kids aren’t even getting the same life we did. They won’t know what it’s like to get bored because why would they…everything is at their fingertips. They are even taught on iPads in school!

Our schedules are jammed packed now that it takes two incomes to support a family…for the most part. Activities galore, no time for rest and little family time to just be together.

Simplifying your life includes letting go of things that don’t add value. If you are too busy being stressed about driving your family around to a zillion activities, then let go of some. Focus on things you can do at home or as a family instead…..your kids won’t be ruined. More kids are ridden with anxiety now than ever before. Too much pressure from school and too much pressure from society! I can’t stand it.

Let’s all focus on the now. Right now. It’s all that matters anyways.

Less stuff, less junk, less shopping, more loving, more cooking, more lounging.

xo

Heather

 

 

Minimalism – what’s the hype?

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Minimalism has become the next “people going vegan.” It’s trendy, it’s hot and there’s a reason: it’s awesome! It created one of the most pivotal shifts in my life and I want to share that with you, because I know you’re curious! I get asked about it as frequently as I get asked about recipes/food. *I will try to do a YouTube video on this soon.

Minimalism is learning to live with less. But, so much more!!!

Its philosophy is based from living with less and removing things from your life that don’t add value….sometimes that even means letting go of people who don’t add value to your life. 

Ever hear of a book called “The life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo? She started a revolution with her book about de-cluttering and thus created a frenzy of people who wanted to become minimalists. I will point out that minimalism isn’t all or nothing, “I have to sleep on the floor and only own 5 shirts”…no, it doesn’t HAVE to mean that unless you want that….it’s de-cluttering your life in a way that works for you.

Here are some amazing benefits of minimalism:

  1. Clarity of mind
  2. Less stress/anxiety
  3. Better Health
  4. More Freedom
  5. More Time
  6. Greater Purpose
  7. Extra Money
  8. Family Closeness
  9. Easier to Clean
  10. Good for the Environment

When you begin to incorporate a more minimalist life, you start by taking inventory of what you own. Marie Kondo suggests going room by room (start with your closet), and putting things into 3 piles: one pile to trash, one pile to keep and one pile to donate. The pile you keep should only be things that bring you joy or that you really need. Learning the difference between needs and wants will get you everywhere. It starts to affect your shopping habits too, which is awesome!

Sentimental items that aren’t doing anything for you but taking up space should be donated. What?? Yep. She suggests taking a photo of the item so you can still “have” the sentimental value, which is genius because really, what’s the difference from looking at a photo of something you don’t use from looking at something you don’t use in person? The moral of the story is, you don’t use it so get rid of it.

I cannot tell you how LIBERATING and ADDICTING it is to start living this way. It completely changed my life!! I started in 2014 when I was pregnant, when I started to hear about Marie Kondo’s book and started researching on my own. My first thought was “yes, this resonates with me” followed by “how on Earth am I going to be a minimalist with a baby?” But, I figured out ways to do it.

It feels SO GOOD getting rid of “stuff” that isn’t bringing us joy or happiness. Material possessions do not bring us happiness, happiness is found within. Does this mean you can’t keep that Louis Vuitton purse? Of course it doesn’t, keep that beauty….but only if you actually use it.

I noticed a difference in my frame of mind instantly, once I started going through my apartment and downsizing. You feel the calm energy of the space open up, you feel lighter and it actually affects your mindset and brain! It spreads to other areas of your life, like your schedule, your activities and work. You don’t feel as stressed and I think it definitely has connections to feng shui principles.

This post could go on forever, I am SO passionate about minimalism. Do you think you’ll give it a try? Do you have any questions about it that I can help answer?

xo

Heather

 

 

 

 

 

Why we can’t all eat the same food!

Simply put: we are all made differently with different genes, lifestyles, diets, makeups, habits, bodies.

There is no correct diet for all- it doesn’t exist! Eating must be intuitive & planned in a way that supports YOU, no one else….and no that’s not a free pass to eat donuts.

We must eat with intention & eat for fuel. Our bodies are not garbage cans so it’s crucial we put good food into them.

 

What’s in your shaving cream, makeup, fragrance, products?

Ok….so I have an obsession with toxic chemicals. I’m always looking for ways to clean up my products, living practices and my home environment. I’ve been into this stuff since forever ago but it really started peaking my interest in 2003 when I attended a natural health college. I learned SO MUCH about natural health and natural “green” living and it sparked something inside me.

I love to teach….educate….share. I want to help people. I want people to feel better and detoxify their lives. I want to provide simple solutions to those same people.

I found this video that really is worth the roughly 7 minutes of your time. It helps simplify things when it comes to chemicals in our products and WHY it’s crucial that we ditch them for good.

Video Link Here

My Healthy Morning Routine

As requested, my morning routine:
1. Immediately upon waking…think of something I’m grateful for
2. Listen to uplifting podcasts before work
3. Drink 36 oz. of water within 1-2 hours
4. Drink 1 cup of organic green tea (Numi brand is my fave)
5. Be kind to people, smile and keep gratitude at the top of my mind
6. Try to find a good deed for the day to help others (thx, Dad!)
7. Start the day w/ smoothie or steel cut oats w/ nuts
8. Put on my favorite Pandora station and jam out some work

 

Adrenal Fatigue: the silent killer?

Do you have adrenal fatigue? This topic is super important and I love spreading awareness on it. We are bombarded by stresses, toxins and unhealthy sleep habits that are causing major problems in our bodies.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Not enough hours in the day? Work comes first? Too much on  your plate? Read this great article for more info: Link Here

Holistic Health Tip 8

The tip of the day today is about castile soap! I am obsessed with this stuff and now you can be too. Did you know how versitle it is?? Check out the article below for secret tips!

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/12-great-ways-to-use-castile-soap.html

Holistic Health Tip of the Day- 7

Holistic Health Tip of the Day- 7: The 4 things to avoid in your sunscreen! Most conventional sunscreens break the blood/brain barrier and go directly into our bodies. It’s important to find ways to decrease our toxic load. Read the article below for tips.

Article 

Click here for article