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Friday, December 30, 2011

Good Bye 2011, Hello 2012!

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday, a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa! I always feel that the holidays are so highly anticipated, and than are over before you know it.  This year, I did my best to breathe, be present, and enjoy the company I was in. I had a lot to be grateful for...

I read Kris Carr's most recent blog, and it inspired me to write about a similar topic.  It is very important that you take time for reflection.  Whether it is to reflect your day, week, month, or year... reflection gives us a chance to step back and view what has happened, without the power to change it, and rather to just accept it.  It provides us the opportunity to propel ourselves forward, give gratitude, be proud, and create change.

In 2010 I met with my first psychic (who I have referred to many times..)  She told us (among the other things she was spot on about)... that 2012 will NOT be the end of the world but rather there will be a big shift. She said that the months leading up to 2012, will be months of change.  I for one can say that 2011 was a year of a lot of change! And like Mother Nature, one change was the catalyst to another. The little changes I made this past year to relax, breathe, and meditate, resulted in much bigger things... I relaxed more, and so I had room to open my heart more, falling deeper in love with myself and with others, and having the confidence to take risks (ie: becoming a health counselor and writing this blog).

An old man once said, "There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living." 

So, with the last few hours of 2011 upon us, I ask you to sit down and write your 2011 in Review followed by your 2012 Preview of all the things that you will do next.  The last big risk I am taking this year is sharing with you my Review and Preview:

2011 in Review….
  • I did my first cleanse, fell in love with juicing and huge raw salads, and ditched gluten.
  • I almost lost my dog, Avery, so I changed her diet to a mostly vegan diet (like myself), gave her digestive enzymes, green smoothies, and lots of love-- and she survived!
  • I fell even deeper in love with my fiance than I ever thought I could… beginning with him staying up and taking care of Avery all night when she was sick.
  • I stuck to my guns, said no, and didn’t feel bad about not doing things other people wanted me to do.
  • I completed my first year of teaching, learned how to relax, manage stress, and let go of things (children) I cannot control.
  • I became a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, became a certified health counselor, and began launching my own business.
  • I realized I found my soul mate, and want to spend the rest of my life with him… and we got engaged ;)
  • I became a better friend, had a lot more fun, and rekindled old friendships.
  • I traveled to Boulder, CO to visit my best friend, Jacque, all by my self! And almost got stuck in Kansas City.. whew!
  • I experienced my first earthquake, and have a funny story to tell about my reaction. (Ya know the ESPN commercial with the bear tearing through the wall...)
  • I completed P90x like a champ… and hated Tony Horton. Now, I kinda like him again.
  • I fell in love with running, and survived my first run in a thunderstorm… in the woods... and ran my fastest mile because of the thunderstorm :)
  • I encouraged and didn’t get jealous when John went to his first bachelor party, in Atlantic City.
  • I became savvy with homeopathic pills.
  • I began blogging again.
  • I meditate! (Thank you Chopra Center 21-Day Meditation Challenges)
  • I give gratitude every day, three times a day: When I first wake up, after I meditate, and before I go to bed.
  • I stopped obsessing about weight, and have fallen in love with ME.
  • I finally got the car I always wanted… thanks to that vision board I made!
  • I became a God Mommy to my beautiful niece.
  • I saw a different side of my mother, and accepted/appreciated her more. I love her.
  • I lost a good friend… and realized how fragile life is.
  • I attended too many funerals, and gave even more thanks for who I have in my life.
  • I ditched my ancient flip phone, and got an iphone
  • I got monthly massages.
  • Got good at Bikram and now attend Silent classes!
  • I journal.
  • I ditched birth control, and said helloooo to my libido.
  • I rode my bike to the beach on weekends.
  • I made new friends through work and IIN.
  • I saw Dr. Hyman, Dr. Katz, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Furman at the IIN Conference…Which I traveled to with strangers, who I now adore
  • Dr. Hyman liked my picture of my juice so much, that he shared it on facebook!
  • I ate/juiced from my abundant garden.
  • I became a member on the Food Administration Board and the Wellness Committee in my district.
  • I managed my stress and anxiety with Bach.

2012 Preview…
  • I will plan a wedding, and enjoy the planning... and from the wise words of a friend, "It is not about them..."
  • I will write more.
  • I will market more and build my business (despite fear!)
  • I will take on clients and help change their lives.
  • I will listen to my body (eat what it needs, and rest when needed).
  • I will cook more.
  • I will save more money!
  • I will buy a house.
  • I will clean more (err).
  • I will sleep more (natural HGH booster, thank you Dr. Oz!)
  • I will see Dr. Oz.
  • I will write an article, and get it published.
  • I will cleanse again, and ditch alcohol.
  • I will work on accepting criticism better.
  • I will travel more and visit my friends.
  • I will ski.
  • I will hike more, run less (for hips sake).
  • I will pay more attention to Avery.
  • I will visit my parents more, and pay more attention to Keisha.
  • I will do more Pilates, yoga, and stretching.
  • I will call my grandparents more.
  • I will try new things.
  • I will be present.

Here's to another year of lessons learned, 
goals achieved, 
hellos and goodbyes.  
Goodbye 2011, and hello 2012-- we are ready for whatever it is you bring next!

For a little comical recap of how crazy 2011 was, watch this video:

Friday, December 9, 2011

'Tis The Season to be Sniffling and Stress, Achoo! Achoo! Achoo! A Choo, Choo, Choo!

Hello Angels,

Truth is, the Holidays are joyful, BUT also stressful. There is no wonder the stress of the holidays brings out many holiday grinches, when a whopping 50% of us are suffering from depression and/or anxiety. According to Julia Ross, Americas are a 100%, yes One Hundred Percent more depressed today, than our ancestors were 100 years ago. Why is this? and what can we do about it?

For starters, we can ditch the junk from the boxes, and eat real whole foods.  Diets have been deteriorating since 1965... 1965 was when processed food companies began distribution. Since then, B6 levels have dramatically decreased and depression and anxiety have increased.

By 1990, Americas were deficient in 13 nutrients! We were cutting out that scary ass fat, consuming highly addictive sweeteners (since 1970s) including corn syrup which is double the sweetness of gluclose= double the addiction.  Our carb intake increased, and so, we became malnourished, depressed, and fat.

The first system of malnutrition is a breakdown of our emotions. We have what is called "false" moods.  In other words, we are grouchy, depressed, and anxious for hardly any external reason.

Here are some things we can do to increase our happiness and decrease depression and anxiety:

1.) Make a food-mood journal.  Record how you feel before and after you eat something.  Does it give you energy? Does it make you tired? Chances are you will find most things from a box will drain your energy, when fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains will increase your energy.

2.) Experiment with an elimination diet to see if you have any food sensitivities (How does gluten make you feel? Dairy? Soy?)

3.) Prevent hypo-glycemia (mood swings due to blood sugar fluctuation).
  • Eat good fats (think avocado, olive oil, flax seed, chia seeds, salmon and other fatty fish (if you eat fish). 
  • Increase the number of meals you eat
4.)Exercise to increase the release of endorphins- the pain killers and comfort chemicals in our brain

5.) Take a good multi vitamin + vitamin C and vitamin D3

6.) Decrease, or better yet, eliminate caffeine intake

7.) Meditate, read here why meditation is so beneficial on the brain (like sex!)

So, what if you are like me, and you do these things ALL THE TIME, and yet still anxiety comes knocking at your door at the most unexpected time? It happened to me Sunday night, my trigger? We were out to dinner and I left my gluten free pasta at home.  Seriously not a big deal, but because I had underlying stressors (budgeting for our wedding, blowing my savings on the two tires I popped in a pot hole the night before, and then planning for my crack down on school lunches), this small event triggered a small anxiety attack.

Unfortunately, it took me a few days to do something about it.  I was still meditating every morning, working out, sleeping, and eating right... but I needed more.  It didn't hit me until Tuesday morning, when I thought about how I felt Sunday, and then how I woke up at 4am, wide awake and super jittery for hours. So, I made a concoction of Bach Relax Serum and Ignatia 200ck in a water bottle.  I sipped it often throughout the day, and felt so much better by midday!

When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol, and therefore your immune system is vulnerable and can be weakened.  In my opinion, this is natures way of telling us to slow down and rest.  By Wednesday night I had a cold, which put me to bed early.  I woke up the next morning with the intention of going to work, but my body was so achy, my head was pounding, and I was terribly sniffly, so I called out sick, took some Umcka, and went back to bed.

I slept for an extra 4 1/2 hrs.... When I finally woke up, this is what I did to naturally ease this nasty cold:

  • Sipped on Throat Comfort tea with lemon and raw honey
  • Made 32 oz of green juice, drank 16 oz then and saved 1/2 for later: 1 cucumber, 1 green apple, 1/2 lemon, 3 stems of broccoli, a bunch of kale stems, 4 stems of celery
  • Throughout the day I sipped on a concoction of Adrenal drops + Pulsatilla in a bottle of water
  • and I snuggled up on the couch and indulged in a very long movie! (Any idea how long the 3rd Lord of The Rings is? I do..)

Hours later, I felt much better than I did in the morning, without taking any medication.

I used to take DayQuil, run through my day feeling as if I was on speed, come home and take NyQuil to knock me into sleep mode... and the cold would come back within weeks... every time.

It is nice to know that my homeopathic remedies do a better job of healing, without the nasty chemicals and side effects. I healed my body without causing harm by using those nasty medications... I healed my body naturally for both my cold and my anxiety :) Oh, and I didn't become a zombie chocked up on meds, instead I wrote this blog post!

Every time I get sick, I am reminded to listen to my body. Our bodies do not lie, sometimes we need rest.

So, with the holiday season upon us, remember to rest your little noggin and to listen to your body. If you do feel off, experiment with some of my natural remedy suggestions rather than the conventional medicine...You will never go back.

Do you have an natural remedies you would like to share?

Xox with lots of self-care, rest, and increased health <3