How to Get Clear & Anchor Into Your Big Why

Finding our deeper why when making changes in our health and life is so important. It gives us the juice in our lives and breathes devotion into our daily practices and disciplines.

When we connect to our deeper intentions, we have a reference point to see whether or not our actions in the present moment are actually in alignment with what we yearn for.

I had this lovely client a couple of years back that came to me hoping to lose weight and eat healthier. It turned out that, for the most part, she knew what to eat how to lose weight and she had expended vast amounts of personal energy and financial resources in pursuit of this goal. She thought her excess weight held her back from everything in her life, especially the one thing she wanted more than anything in the world- to be a singer and songwriter. After weeks of watching her self sabotage, I realized that this false intention of losing weight was just a distraction from feeling that desire, that longing to be living in her purpose and channeling her God-given gifts as a singer and songwriter. She fooled herself into thinking that she had to lose weight first, and in many ways this idea was keeping her safe from courageously pursuing what she really wanted. It wasn’t until she owned this and accepted the fact that her weight didn’t need to hold her back that she started to feel lighter and more juiced up to finally take care of herself in the way she’d been striving to for years. Because she was finally feeling the desire for what she really wanted, self-care became an important step in being able to channel her gifts and show up in her full light and power.

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Is Your Healing Approach Creating More Dis-ease? Learn The 6 tell-tale signs of counterproductive healing protocols

Once upon a time, I thought I’d never find the light at the end of the tunnel of my own struggle with health. I was spiraling downward with worsening symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, riddled with anxiety, and held back by depression. My weight was unresponsive to my heroic efforts and I felt so damn confused and overwhelmed by conflicting information. What I didn’t know at the time, was that my very best intentions and efforts were only making matters worse.

In this blog, I’m going to give you 6 tell-tale signs of unsustainable and ineffective healing protocols.

Because if you’re diligently following a poorly designed healing approach there is a very real risk that you’ll create even more imbalance and metabolic damage in the process.

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Discover The Hidden Causes Behind Your Sugar Cravings

This winter my consumption of sweets got a little.... well, excessive.  With two moves during the first year of being in business for myself, stress was high and I reached for sugar many times, either for convenience or to self-soothe.  This spring I noticed a few symptoms start to crop up: fatigue, weight gain, and anxiety or depression.  So, over the past 10 days, I've been resetting my body with whole foods and damn, I feel so much better already!  In retraining my taste buds, the cravings for sweets have just fallen away.

Let's talk about sweets- how to embrace the cravings, and take back our personal power in doing so!

The amount of guilt that we carry around as humans for craving sweet foods is crazy! We rob ourselves of our power by labeling ourselves as willpower weaklings, but the truth is that we are designed to crave sweet foods.

The craving is not the problem. It’s in our choice.

Instead of mindfully eating foods like grains, tubers, fruits, and goat’s or sheep’s milk dairy when faced with cravings for sweetness we turn to much more extreme sweet flavors like refined white sugar in baked goods, pints of Ben & Jerry’s, or even excessive amounts of whole food desserts made with heaps of honey and maple syrup. Yep, I found myself feeling the affects from these choices made over the past winter, and it ain’t pretty!

The good news is that there is always an opportunity to course correct and find your way back to balance, so that excessive sugar consumption doesn’t continue to rob you of an experience of vitality and hormonal harmony.

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A Powerful Daily Ritual that Will Improve Your Digestion and Boost Your Metabolism

I'm about to reveal one of the most effective, simple, AND OVERLOOKED tricks to boost your digestion, assimilation, and metabolic power.

Good health is often said to start with digestion. However, stress keeps optimal digestion and assimilation from happening.   Stress activates the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system which governs the biochemical processes required for a fight or flight response. The parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system, on the other hand is responsible for relaxation and digestion. Any stressor, real or perceived, will thwart digestion by diverting blood from the digestive organs to the heart and muscles of the limbs for fight or flight.

Eating under stress results in compromised digestive functioning. Low levels of stomach acid due to stress may increase intestinal permeability leading to leaky gut syndrome, which leads to food sensitivities over time. During stress, the secretion of saliva and digestive enzymes is slowed and intestinal contractions and nutrient absorption are hindered. Eventually we won’t produce enough digestive enzymes to properly digest our food, which results in nausea, constipation, gas, and bloating. Because of the above digestive shutdown, we can be eating the healthiest diet and taking the best supplements, but if we are in a physiologic stress response, we will not be able to absorb the nutrients. We aren’t what we eat. We are what we absorb and assimilate instead.

When we eat quickly, while multitasking, feeling guilty, or according to externally imposed food rules, we initiate a low-level stress response.  The stress response triggers a hormonal cascade that deregulates appetite, increases cravings, hinders digestion and assimilation, and causes weight gain and inflammation over time.

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A Holistic Approach to Treat Seasonal Allergies

If you’ve ever struggled with severe allergies you know that they can be a royal pain in the ass, turning springtime into a frustrating experience of sniffles, sneezing, and stuffiness.

Most approaches to treating allergies do not address them at their root. We address the symptoms superficially, oftentimes creating unforeseen problems in the meantime. Common over-the-counter remedies for hayfever cause drowsiness, jitteriness and anxiety, and even weight gain. They further depress immune defenses and have been linked to liver tumors and even dementia. Yikes. No thank you, sir.

Today, we’ll take a look at the various factors that contribute to seasonal allergies, and consider an integrated healing approach that addresses the very roots of this oftentimes complex and multidimensional condition. As always, we’ll weave modern science, ancient health traditions, and underlying soul factors that have a powerful impact on health.

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Is Your Detox Doing More Harm Than Good?

Have you noticed that detoxes are all the rage these days?  If you are plugged in to the health universe like I am it's likely that you won’t be able to go to your yoga studio, scroll down your Facebook feed, or surf the web without hearing about the latest and greatest detox.

I can’t help but think that “detox” has just become the trendy, in vogue way of saying “diet.”

Yes, of course, there are people out there who have a healthy weight and complete a detox to achieve even greater levels of optimal health.

Much more common, however, seems to be another subset of women that have been sucked into the detox mentality only to find themselves back on that old dreaded diet rollercoaster of highs and lows.

Keep reading to hear more about some of the most troublesome booby traps that I see with clients on the detox roller coaster, and what to look for in a nutrition program if you are serious about transforming your health and creating hormonal balance.

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Don't Miss Out on This Incredibly Healing Food

I spent much of Thanksgiving morning preparing these lovely jars of bone broth.  That's because the one fall/ winter dish that I can't get enough of is roasted chicken and vegetables.  So I always have organic chicken carcasses in my freezer ready to be made into broth.

The very first time I attempted bone broth was about two years ago after I first read Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions. I didn't yet have my paws on a slow cooker and so I left the pot to simmer overnight on the gas stove.  My boyfriend was terrified that the flame would blow out leaving us to be gassed in our sleep, so he set his alarm every two hours throughout the night to make sure everything was A-OK (Yeah, he's pretttty great).  I'm happy to say that we survived the night and that we have since acquired a slow cooker, making bone broth oh so easy to prepare - too easy not to try if you haven't yet!

Why would you want to try bone broth you might ask?  I'll tell you!

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4 Mistakes You May be Making When It Comes To This Vital Nutrient

Water is an essential life giving and life sustaining nutrient.  It is the body’s most important constituent, making up 70% of the body’s composition.

Water’s important roles in the body are often overlooked.  We need water to moisten the tissues in the body, regulate body temperature, and lubricate our joints.  Water also keeps our elimination patterns regular, dissolves minerals and nutrients so that they are accessible to the body, carries nutrients, hormones, chemical messengers, and oxygen to the cells, and flushes out waste products from the liver and kidneys.  Optimal water intake even benefits the appearance of your skin by giving you a dewy, radiant complexion and softening fine lines and wrinkles.

Be sure to filter your water first to minimize the increasing amount of toxins in our drinking water.

Unfortunately, many, many people are making the same mistakes with water that keeps optimal vitality and health just out of reach.

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Thinking about trying green smoothies? 5 things you must consider first!

The first signs of Spring's impending arrival are in the air…the parks are alive with a frenzy of activity as people awake from their winter slumber and the buzz of spring cleaning is everywhere.  Some friends and I decided to kick Spring off with a whole foods cleanse.  What better way to cleanse than by incorporating nutrient-packed green smoothies and juices into your diet, right?  Well if you do decide to go this route there are some very important things to keep in mind:

1)  Do yourself a favor and add some fat to that green smoothie or green juice.

A number of studies were published about 10 years ago showing that we actually need fat with our vegetables to absorb their nutrients.  While water-soluble nutrients enter our bloodstream by diffusion, fat soluble vitamins must be consumed together with dietary fat to be absorbed.  In response to these studies, we happily ditched our fat free salad dressings and embraced the delight of olive oil with our salads once again.  Yet health fanatics everywhere are guzzling green juices and smoothies without any fat to actually help usher amazing cancer-fighting, heart-healing nutrients like lycopene and beta-carotene, into our cells.  What gives? In addition to helping you absorb the nutrients, the fat will help mitigate the rise in blood sugar that results due to natural sugars in the fruits.  This leads to more balanced energy levels and mood throughout the day.

I love Flora Udo’s choice 3-6-9 Oil.  This oil blend is rich in omega-3 fatty acids from flax and Gamma Linolenic Acid from Evening Primrose Oil, an omega 6 fatty acid that performs much like omega 3 fatty acids in the body.  GLA is great for helping women to balance their hormones and reduce symptoms of PMS.  Raw coconut oil, avocado, hemp seeds, or coconut milk are also great sources of healthy fat.

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The Secret To Maintaining Your Weight and Staying Healthy During Winter

Eating seasonally is an essential aspect in any weight loss and health plan. Nature supports our body’s cleansing, building, and nourishing rhythms by supplying us with the perfect seasonal foods for the job. You may find yourself inundated with cleanses and detox programs at this time of year building off the momentum of New Year’s Resolutions and the burden our bodies may feel after too much indulgence during the holiday season.  Unfortunately, many cleanses do not take seasonal eating into account.

If we choose to cleanse during the winter, it is important to avoid cooling foods that dampen digestion like frozen fruit smoothies or salads made with summer produce.

Eating cold salads and frozen smoothies in the middle of winter can be very abrasive to the body during the cold months. The body really wasn’t intended to undergo an aggressive cleanse during the winter months. That being said, there are seasonally appropriate ways to support the body's detoxification and digestive processes, and it's never a bad time to give the body a break from excesses of sugar, alcohol, and processed foods.

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3 Hormone-Balancing, Metabolism Boosting Breakfasts

Breakfast is such an important meal of the day for hormonal balance.  While intermittent fasting is all the rage these days, the science shows that it isn't the best for nourishing the adrenals and keeping our thyroid humming.

Proper preparation is critical for those busy mornings when we don't have the time to create a culinary feast for our first meal of the day.  Plus, when we prepare breakfast ingredients ahead of time, we have more spaciousness in our morning hours for meditation and movement - my two favorite ways to greet the new day and create the canvas for a day well lived!

To balance hormones effectively, include protein in your meal with a generous serving of vegetables.  You can even eat dinner leftovers for breakfast!  I'll be honest, one of my favorite breakfasts is leftover Thai Chicken Curry with a generous serving of vegetables thrown in there for good measure.

Here are three breakfast ideas that I return to time and time again:

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The Magic Ingredient for Weight Loss and Vibrant Health...

The answer?  Relaxation!

No, that is not a typo, and yes, this is highly backed by scientific research. I'll be delving into relaxation and chronic stress in great detail over upcoming posts as this is my primary area of interest. Today, however, I want to introduce a distinction between relaxation and laxity, which was laid out so well by B.K.S. Iyengar in his book Light on Life.  

    "In laxity there is chaos and heedlessness as well as carelessness, and therefore the flow of energy is erratic.  In relaxation there is careful adjustment, and hence energy is rhythmic (36)."

So my question for you is... when was the last time you actually relaxed?  When you feel exhausted, do you flip on the television or surf the internet?   If so you are keeping your brain in a heightened state of stimulation, never actually allowing the nervous system to unwind and drop into the parasympathetic response where relaxation, renewal, and digestion take place.  Since the parasympathetic nervous system enhances digestion, increases sexual arousal, and calms the nerves, your multitasking, overworking, and electronic stimulation all translate into digestive troubles like constipation or diarrhea, a low sex drive, and anxiety.  Sounds peachy doesn't it?  And, yet, we convince ourselves that it's sexy and admirable to always be busy, busy.

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