Holiday Stress & Self-Care

At this moment Thanksgiving is less than a week away and the holiday season is officially upon us. This is normally a season of increased stress for most people but it can also bring a lot of joy so we tend to handle the stress a little better and it all seems worth it for a fun and festive season.

This year is different though! The things that brought us joy may not be accessible in the middle of a pandemic. I think we all want to be safe and protect our loved ones from illness and suffering, so it is important to do the right thing and give up some of our traditions this season. For those without close families or the many families that have experienced loss this year, this may be a time of deep sadness and further isolation. Our hearts and minds are being taxed a lot more in 2020 and we need to focus on our mental health and well-being now more than ever.

Our mental health affects not only our quality of life but it can damage our physical health too. One very common symptom of...

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10 Songs to Start Your Day With


Music is magical. Hearing a song can transport you back in time to a specific memory, calm you down, amp you up or make you feel warm and fuzzy! Most of us know the power of a good playlist at the gym - I know several people that will forfeit a workout if they forget their headphones. This is why I think finding a motivational song to start your day with can be transformational. I have included my top ten choices below. Each song has a different genre or energy about them in hopes you can find one that will resonate with you. If you have a song that can uplift you and shift you from "waking up on the wrong side of the bed" to being excited for the day to come, please share your secret song in the comments! The songs are linked to Spotify and I have added more songs to the playlist here.
 

1. Happy 

2. Beautiful Day

3. Don't Worry, Be Happy

4. I Got You

5. You Can Get It If You Really Want

6. Walking on Sunshine

7. With My Own Two Hands

8. Feeling Good

9. Lovely Day

...

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Medical Marijuana - Friend or Foe?

I'm not shy about the fact that I use medical marijuana but I'm also not one to scream it from the rooftops either! I did create a medical marijuana journal to help people track what works to help their ailments because I have struggled to find the correct strain for my needs, but other than that I don't share too much about it.... until now.

Last Friday was my birthday and I decided to give up marijuana until at least the end of 2020. This decision came for a small variety of reasons but primarily because I have had one of the hardest months of this health journey and I have turned to marijuana so much that it feels like a really unhealthy coping mechanism. I think it is important to see how my body feels without it and to start turning to healthier coping mechanisms. It is really the only habit I have that I question whether it is healthy, and if it is truly helping me cope and manage my symptoms or if it is limiting my healing ability.

On a good day, I don't want to touch it. I...

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10 Things to Let Go of Today to Help Your Nutrition Journey!

The reason I don't just give my nutrition clients a meal plan to start is because our eating habits have so much to do with our mindset. Your mind is what sabotages your diet, not your body. Handing someone a precise meal plan to follow may work for a short term period but if you really want to make a long term lifestyle change then you have to let go of your limiting beliefs. Reclaiming your freedom from the food police, the demons that keep you in body shame and the never-ending self-attacks requires you to give up those negative mental thought patterns. 

Letting go of the old will allow you to create space for the new, positive and encouraging thoughts! Are you ready to let go of your limiting thoughts and begin to eat without fear, guilt or shame? Getting to that place doesn’t happen when you continue to hold on to habits, beliefs and people who are keeping you down, over and over again into your own worst nightmare of negative patterns.

Here are 10 of the most...

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50 Ingredients to Avoid!!

At this point in the world, I don't believe anyone can live a chemical free lifestyle but I still think it is important to make a large effort to clear out the chemicals you can. I wanted to make you a brief list of what you should really try to cut out when you can but the list became long quite effortlessly. These ingredients are so hard to spell and pronounce that I know looking at a label can be like reading a foreign language, but that is a sign that what you are about to eat is NOT food rather it is a chemical food product.

The reason I say that you can't be truly chemical free is because the FDA has approved a list called GRAS, meaning Generally Recognized As Safe. You can look at the list here https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/food-additive-status-list They have decided that these items can be added to our food without research on the safety repercussions of long term use. In all, there are an estimated 1,000 GRAS substances for which safety decisions were...

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Sunshine: A Natural Remedy

Sunshine brings me so much joy! Sunshine on the skin is an essential component of our health and wellness. Regular exposure to sunshine results in denser bones, stronger muscles, richer blood, healthier nerves, and greater endurance. But just like overeating, over sunning causes free-radical damage to the skin. Even though it can have negative effects when misused, I consider it a natural remedy.
 

Here are some interesting facts about sunshine exposure:

  • Vitamin D, which assists in mineralizing the bones and boosting the mood, is formed when the skin is exposed to sunshine.

  • Sunshine increases the amount of iron in your blood. This creates a "magnetic" presence as is evident in the well tanned look.

  • US cancer rates are highest in the northern states with the least amount of sunshine.

  • Rates of breast, prostate, ovarian, and colon cancer are lower in people with more sunshine exposure.

  • Sunshine exposure may reduce breast cancer up to 30-40% and ovarian cancer by...

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5 Steps to Starting A Meditation Practice

I think the most important part of starting a meditation practice is remembering that it is called a practice for a reason!
 
Nobody is "good" at meditation from the start. It takes practice - lots and lots of practice. The beautiful thing is that you can feel the benefits each and every time you take the time to sit in silence and connect with your breath. Soon you will notice that you are able to keep your mind focused a little longer and when it does become distracted, you are able to bring it back to meditation quicker and quicker.
 
Create a set time in your schedule. 
At first it is best to do it first thing in the morning when you wake up. You may want to splash some water on your face and brush your teeth to make sure you don’t fall back to sleep!

Designate a set duration. 

When beginning a practice it can be hard to set aside part of your day to sit still. You may want to start with three minutes on the first day and set an alarm. See how...

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The Power of a Wellness Journal

 I created this wellness journal over a decade ago and just revised it last month to give it a few upgrades. I find this an incredible way to keep track of what is going on in my body, and my medical team really appreciates me bringing it with me to keep them fully informed. I first created it when I was having a health crisis and there were so many different things going on from day to day that I would forget to tell my acupuncturist certain symptoms and would only remember later in the day after the session was over. I realized I needed to start keeping better track and recording what was happening in order to have more productive doctors and acupuncture appointments.
 

I kept the design simple so if you are printing this out at home you won't use up all your ink! If you want it to be a little prettier, I would just recommend picking a color paper that makes you happy and print it out on that. There are ten main components the Wellness Journal...

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It's ALL About Perspective

 I had one of those "aha moments" last night after sending someone a text. One of my friends sends a few text messages a day to make sure I'm still alive and kicking, and quite honestly I think he is checking to make sure he doesn't need to come pick me up off the floor.  It happens more often than I share so I deeply appreciate him checking up on me.
 
Anyways, when he checked in on how my night was going my exact words were "It's ok, dreaming of a shower for the past hour but I'm pretty weak so still contemplating... I think I've decided it is a great dream to make come true in the morning."
 
It was at that moment when I realized my perspective is one of my biggest blessings.
 
I didn't focus on how frustrating it is that I can't take a shower when I want.
 
I didn't focus on my lack of independence.
 
I didn't focus on how weak I am.
 
I didn't focus on how my body would not get any "hot shower" pain relief all evening.
...
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Illness Etiquette

What not to say to people with chronic illness! (Part Three)

This post is going to come from an emotionally charged head space because I am currently in the hospital and fighting my hardest just to get through the day. I am trying my best to stay positive and hopeful but I am also feeling as weak and depleted as can be. I have to say that my spirit is beginning to suffer in addition to my physical body. I am also severely frustrated with doctors not listening and the disconnects that happen. Simple things like it taking five hours to receive migraine medicine which means my migraine is going to go from a 3/10 to a 9/10 on the pain scale. Now that you know a little about what is going on, here is the text that got under my skin.


 
 

I was truly exhausted so when I got this text from my best friend I simply called her out on it. Like many people, she struggles with knowing what to do or say when I am in pain so I tend to have a filter with what I share. Also,...

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