5 + 1 Reasons You’re Not Feeling Well

There are many different factors that can affect one’s health. When these underlying stressors go unaddressed, healing cannot take place.

Here are the main reasons you are not feeling well:

  1. Immune Challenges
    • Viral – A viral disease (or viral infection, or infectious disease) occurs when an organism’s body is invaded by pathogenic viruses, and infectious virus particles (virions) attach to and enter susceptible cells.
      • Flu
      • Cold
      • Warts
    • Bacterial
      • Strep throat
      • Staph infections
    • GMOs – A GMO, or genetically modified organism, is a plant, animal, microorganism or another organism whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory using genetic engineering technology. This creates combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and virus genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional crossbreeding methods.
    • Parasites – Parasites are organisms that live in and feed off a living host. There are a variety of parasitic worms that can take up residence in humans. Symptoms of an intestinal parasite infection may mimic symptoms one would see with digestion, skin or any number of other issues.
      • Tapeworm – Usually due to drinking water contaminated with tapeworm eggs or larvae. Raw or undercooked meat is another way tapeworms can find their way into people.
      • Flukes – You can get them when you drink contaminated water among other things.
      • Hookworms – The most common way to make contact with this type of roundworm is to walk barefoot on soil infested with hookworm larvae.
      • Trichinosis worms – The most common way humans get trichinosis is by eating undercooked meat that contains the larvae.
    • Fungus – These types of skin infections are caused by a fungus and are most likely to develop in damp areas of the body, such as the feet or armpit. They can also be found in the digestive tract.
      • Athletes foot – Contagious fungal infection that affects the skin on the feet. It can also spread to the toenails and the hands.
      • Ringworm – “Ringworm” is a misnomer, since a fungus, not a worm, causes the infection. The lesion caused by this infection resembles a worm in the shape of a ring.
      • Oral thrush – It’s normal for a small amount of C. Albicans to live in your mouth, without causing harm. When your immune system is working properly, beneficial bacteria in your body help keep C. Albicans under control. But if your immune system is compromised or the balance of microorganisms in your body is disrupted, the fungus can grow out of control. You may develop an overgrowth of C. Albicans that causes oral thrush if you take certain medications that reduce the number of friendly microorganisms in your body, such as antibiotics.
  2. Chemicals
    • Formaldehyde – found in laundry & dish detergents, bath soaps, body washes, furniture, pet products, new carpets, gas stoves, hair treatments.
    • Glyphosate – found in produce, meat and packaged foods.
    • Radiation – found in natural sources like rock, soil & atmosphere. It is also found in man-made sources like medical tests & treatments, nuclear power plants, electrical products.
    • Plastics – direct toxicity, carcinogens, disrupt the endocrine system which can lead to cancers, birth defects, immune suppression and developmental problems in children.
    • Fragrances – Since there is no FDA mandate requiring companies to list their scent formulations, many chemicals can hide behind the term “fragrance.” When you see “fragrance” on a label, it can mean nearly anything, but it typically means toxic chemicals. Research by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics links the chemicals in perfume to short term memory loss, central nervous system disorders, and even severe depression due to altering the brain’s biochemistry. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has long admitted that poor air quality, poisoned by chemicals, does contribute to neurological ailments including fatigue, dizziness, migraines, and forgetfulness.
  3. Metals
    • Aluminum – Found in vaccines, antacids, dyes, baking mixes, processed cheese, deodorants, foil, cookware, shampoos, cosmetics, lotions, cans, soy products. Although aluminum-containing over the counter oral products are considered safe in healthy individuals at recommended doses, some adverse effects have been observed following long-term use in some individuals, and can possibly cause Alzheimer’s.
    • Mercury – found in vaccines, thermometers, scientific instruments, streetlights, advertising signs, fish and shellfish. It can affect cognitive thinking, memory, attention, language, fine motor skills. It can cause tremors, emotional changes, insomnia, neuromuscular changes, headaches, changes in nerve responses.
    • Arsenic – found in pesticides, wood preservatives, copper, lead alloys, glass, veterinary medicines & some rice. Long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water can cause cancer in the skin, lungs, bladder, and kidney. It can also cause other skin changes such as thickening and pigmentation.
    • Lead – found in and around homes including paint, ceramics, pipes, plumbing, gasoline, batteries and cosmetics. Exposure to high levels of lead may cause anemia, weakness, and kidney and brain damage. Very high lead exposure can cause death. Lead can cross the placental barrier, which means pregnant women who are exposed to lead also expose their unborn child. Lead can damage a developing baby’s nervous system.
    • Uranium – found in rocks, ocean water, granite counters. Known to cause kidney damage & cancer.
  4. Foods
    • Wheat – causes gut inflammation, increases intestinal permeability, increases vulnerability to gut autoimmunity.
    • Dairy – when conventionally processed it can be linked to prostate cancer, early puberty, can cause sinus congestion, digestive problems and aggravates irritable bowel
    • Sugar – instantly inflames the entire body and weakens the immune system making you more susceptible to disease.
    • Artificial Sweeteners – Many consumers report headaches, dizziness, rashes, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, and digestive problems after ingesting artificial sweeteners. These side effects could build up over time and cause serious long term diseases with regular consumption of these processed sugars.
    • Commercial & saturated fats – increase heart disease risk, cause weight gain.
    • Allergens – if you have an allergy or sensitivity to a certain food and continue to eat it, it will cause inflammation in the body.
  5. Scars
    • Collect nerve energy and can interfere with many systems of the body.
  6. Electromagnetic radiation from cellphones and computers
    • 5G is here
    • Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders, and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plant and animal life.
    • www.Magnetudejewelry.com/drlisa

If you’re interested in learning more about the stressors affecting YOUR body, give us a call for a free phone consultation @ 410.717.6610.

How to Beat Sugar Addiction

Many healthful food products, such as dairy products, vegetables, and fruit, naturally contain sugars. The sugar in these foods gives them a sweet taste. It is important for people to include these foods in their diet, as they come with a range of other nutrients that provide valuable health benefits.

However, manufacturers tend to add sugar to foods such as cereals and cake and some drinks. It is these added sugars, or free sugars, that cause health problems. Unlike foods and drinks that naturally contain sugar, those with added sugar provide no nutritional value. They are also a poor energy source, as the body digests added sugar very quickly. Consuming too much may cause health problems over time.

The average American Consumes 19.5 teaspoons of sugar every day. This translates into about 66 pounds of added sugar consumed each year, per person.

6 Reasons Added Sugars are Bad for Your Health

  • Inflammation (body and brain)
    1. Damages gut lining which leads to leaky gut – bacteria, toxins and undigested food particles can move out of the gut and into the bloodstream (80% of the immune system is in the GUT)
    2. Causes serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, fatigue, skin issues, aches and pains, hardening of arteries, depression, allergies, pain, cancer, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, etc.
  • Interferes with vitamin and mineral absorption
    1. Depletes the body of:
      • Vitamin D
        • A high intake of sugar, particularly fructose, increases the production of a devious enzyme which degrades stores of vitamin D. A shortage of Vitamin D can lead to a suppressed immune system and numerous health problems, including certain cancers.
      • Calcium
        • Everyone knows calcium is vital for strong bones among other health benefits. However, because calcium absorption is tied to vitamin D levels, sugar’s adverse effects on vitamin D will negatively impact calcium’s absorption as well. To make matters worse, excess sugar intake also increases calcium excretion.
      • Magnesium
        • The high blood sugar and elevated insulin levels associated with excess sugar intake decrease magnesium absorption and cause the kidneys to excrete magnesium faster. Since magnesium is key in stabilizing blood sugar, a vicious cycle commences. As blood sugar regulation is impaired even more magnesium is excreted. Cutting the sugar helps ensure that magnesium, critical for many bodily functions, is absorbed and maintained.
      • Chromium
        • Chromium, like magnesium, is involved in blood sugar regulation. Depletion of chromium contributes to decreased glucose tolerance, a precursor to diabetes. As with magnesium and calcium, high sugar consumption promotes chromium excretion, putting you on a fast-track to deficiency. In fact, one study published in the journal Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental data showed that consuming a diet consisting of 35% simple sugars increased natural mineral excretion rates by 300%!
      • Vitamin C
        • Unlike most mammals, humans are unable to synthesize their own vitamin C so we must obtain it from outside sources. High glucose levels inhibit vitamin C from entering our cells, decreasing absorption rates. Further research has shown that individuals who reduce their sugar intake experience significant improvement in vitamin C levels and its benefits.

A large study involving more than 75,000 women found that those who consumed a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar had up to a 98% greater risk of heart disease, compared to women with the lowest intake of refined carbs & sugars.

  • Hormonal disruption
    • Insulin resistance: Insulin is highly affected by diet because of the many different signals going on throughout the body as a result of the glucose, and the resulting energy that is produced from carbohydrate intake. Once insulin resistance develops, the muscles, fat, and liver cells don’t respond to it properly, leading to a chain reaction in the body.
      1. Causes PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) which disrupts reproductive hormones
        1. Acne, weight gain, difficulty losing weight, excess hair on the face and body, irregular periods, fertility problems and depression.
  • Sleep disorders
    • Sugar is linked to trouble falling asleep as well as restless and disrupted sleep.
  • Irritability & mood changes
    • Sudden peaks and drops in blood sugar levels can cause you to experience symptoms like irritability, mood swings, brain fog and fatigue.
    • Sugar-rich and carb-laden foods can also interfere with the neurotransmitters that help keep our moods stable. Consuming sugar stimulates the release of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin. Constantly over-activating these serotonin pathways can deplete our limited supplies of the neurotransmitter, which can contribute to symptoms of depression.
  • Cognitive decline, memory loss, learning skills & dementia
    • Damages synaptic activity in the brain, meaning communication among brain cells is impaired.
    • Insulin resistance – impairs function of brain cells.

Approximately 80% of packaged foods contain added sweeteners.

How to handle it

  • Recognize it’s an addiction
  • Take it slow
    • Combine craving foods with healthful ones (almonds and dark chocolate chips)
  • Eat regularly
    • Waiting too long between meals might set you up to choose sugary and fatty foods
  • Eat more bitter foods & nutritious foods
    • Choose protein, fat & fiber rich foods – legumes, yogurt, dates, nuts, prunes, eggs, fermented foods, whole grains, sweet potatoes, meat/poultry/fish, butter, avocados, salad with olive oil.
    • Fruits (make a smoothie!)
      • Mangoes, bananas and grapes are HIGHER in sugar
      • Berries are LOW in sugar and HIGH in fiber
    • Incorporate more bitter foods into your diet like arugula, dandelion greens, endive, green tea
  • Skip artificial sweeteners
    • They don’t lessen sugar cravings and they contribute to weight gain
  • Proper supplementation
    • Making sure your body is absorbing the nutrients it needs so you do not crave added sugars
    • Personalized supplementation programs with Nutrition Response Testing
  • Drink enough water (1/2 your weight in ounces per day)
  • Get proper sleep
  • Avoid extra stress and triggers

Sleep & Insomnia

According to the CDC, 35% of adults in America aren’t getting enough sleep.

Sleeping less than seven hours a night is associated with serious health consequences: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental stress.

Common causes of sleep disorders:

Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: These can be two of the most common causes of chronic sleeplessness. Stress, anger, worry, anxiety, and negative thoughts can have a dramatic effect on sleep quality.

  • No one can avoid all stress, but you can counteract its detrimental effects by learning how to produce the relaxation response, a state of deep rest that is the polar opposite of the stress response. The relaxation response puts the brakes on stress and brings your body and mind back into a state of equilibrium. Check out these meditation apps: Headspace, The Mindfulness App, Calm (they are currently running a FREE promotion for teachers!)

Stimulants: Excessive use of caffeine, such as energy drinks and coffee, can be one of the most common causes of intermittent and transient sleeplessness. This is sleeplessness that occurs periodically or only for a few nights at a time.

  • Are you drinking more than 1 cup of coffee a day? If so, you may be addicted to caffeine which could be contributing to your restlessness. Try switching to green or black tea for your caffeine, and be sure to not drink any past 2pm. You can also try herbal tea 90 minutes before going to bed – look for chamomile, lavender or valerian root.
  • Another common stimulant is technology – stay away from screens 60-90 minutes before you get to bed; your descent into deep sleep will be quicker and more effortless.

Medications: Some medications can interfere with sleep, such as antidepressants, ADHD medication, corticosteroids, thyroid hormone, high blood pressure medication, some contraceptives, pain relievers that contain caffeine, diuretics, and diet pills.

  • With Nutrition Response Testing, Chiropractic & Neurocranial adjustments Dr. Lisa has successfully helped people reduce or completely wean off of medications that could be keeping you up at night.

Allergies and Respiratory Problems: Colds, sinus infections, and upper respiratory problems can make it hard to breathe at night which can cause sleeping difficulties.

  • Reoccurring colds and infections are a sign of deeper underlying dysfunction in the body. With Nutrition Response Testing and Advanced Allergy Therapeutics, Dr. Lisa can get to the root of your sensitivities which can help with sleep disorders.

Nocturia: Frequent urination and constantly getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom can cause sleep disturbances.

  • Don’t drink any fluids 90 minutes before going to bed to avoid getting up in the middle of the night. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, chocolate or sodas.

Chronic Pain: A variety of conditions that cause chronic pain can also disrupt sleep, such as: arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, headaches, lower back pain.

  • If you experience chronic pain, Chiropractic & Neurocranial adjustments can help restore balance to the musculoskeletal system. If Chiropractic adjustments do not completely resolve the chronic pain, there may be underlying dysfunction in the body which can be handled with Nutrition Response Testing.

Foods for Restful Sleep

Complex Carbs

  • Skip the white bread, refined pasta, and sugary, baked goods, which may reduce serotonin levels and impair sleep. Instead, choose stick-to-your-ribs whole grains or proteins for your bedtime snack: Turkey, tuna, popcorn, oatmeal, or whole-wheat crackers with nut butter or good quality cheese are all good choices.

A Handful of Nuts

  • Nuts are a good source of heart-healthy fats. And almonds and walnuts, specifically, contain melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate your sleep/wake cycle. Eating them can increase your blood levels of the hormone, helping you sleep more soundly.

Kiwi, Figs & EZ MG

  • Two kiwifruits 1 hour before bed has shown to improve total sleep time and efficiency.
  • Figs have been known to help an individual sleep due to their high content of magnesium, which is a mineral that is directly linked to improving the quality, duration, and tranquility of sleep. Figs also help regulate the metabolism, to help reduce sleep disorders and the occurrence of insomnia.
  • Magnesium activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for getting you calm and relaxed. It also regulates melatonin, which guides sleep-wake cycles in your body. Try our EZ MG by Standard Process to help you achieve restful sleep.

To watch the Health Talk on our Facebook, click here 🙂

Stress & Mindfulness

Stress is primarily a physical response. When stressed, the body thinks it is under attack and switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing a complex mix of hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine to prepare the body for physical action. This causes a number of reactions, from blood being diverted to muscles to shutting down unnecessary bodily functions such as digestion. In the modern world, the ‘fight or flight’ mode can still help us survive dangerous situations, such as reacting swiftly to a person running in front of our car by slamming on the brakes.

The challenge is when our body goes into a state of stress in inappropriate situations. When blood flow is going only to the most important muscles needed to fight or flee, brain function is minimized. This can lead to an inability to ‘think straight’; a state that is a great hindrance in both our work and home lives. If we are kept in a state of stress for long periods, it can be detrimental to our health.  The results of having elevated cortisol levels can be an increase in sugar and blood pressure levels, and a decrease in libido and other healthy functions.

Stress targets the weakest part of our physiology or character; if you are prone to headaches or eczema, this will flare-up.  If you have low levels of patience or tolerance for others, this will be the first area to present under times of stress.

Stress isn’t avoidable but it is manageable. A key action in order to minimize risk is to identify stress-related problems as early as possible, so that action can be taken before serious stress-related illness occurs. (Stress Management Society)

Natural Remedies

  • Exercise: Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
  • Make sure you are getting good sleep
  • Meditation: Mindfulness meditation strengthens a person’s cognitive ability to regulate emotions and thoughts. Brain imaging found that meditation-related anxiety relief was associated with activation of the areas of the brain that are involved with executive function and the control of worrying. Meditation-related activation of these areas was directly linked to anxiety relief.
    • Check out these meditation apps: Headspace, The Mindfulness App, Calm
  • Stay Hydrated
  • Relaxation Exercises: No one can avoid all stress, but you can counteract its detrimental effects by learning how to produce the relaxation response, a state of deep rest that is the polar opposite of the stress response. The relaxation response puts the brakes on stress and brings your body and mind back into a state of equilibrium.
    • Deep breathing: The key to deep breathing is to breathe deeply from the abdomen, getting as much fresh air as possible in your lungs. When you take deep breaths from the abdomen, rather than shallow breaths from your upper chest, you inhale more oxygen. The more oxygen you get, the less tense, short of breath, and anxious you feel.
      • Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
      • Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
      • Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
      • Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.
    • Progressive muscle relaxation: a two-step process in which you systematically tense and relax different muscle groups in the body. With regular practice, it gives you an intimate familiarity with what tension—as well as complete relaxation—feels like in different parts of the body.
      • Loosen clothing, take off your shoes, and get comfortable.
      • Take a few minutes to breathe in and out in slow, deep breaths.
      • When you’re ready, shift your attention to your right foot. Take a moment to focus on the way it feels.
      • Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeezing as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10.
      • Relax your foot. Focus on the tension flowing away and how your foot feels as it becomes limp and loose.
      • Stay in this relaxed state for a moment, breathing deeply and slowly.
      • Shift your attention to your left foot. Follow the same sequence of muscle tension and release.
      • Move slowly up through your body, contracting and relaxing the different muscle groups.
      • It may take some practice at first, but try not to tense muscles other than those intended.
    • Writing: journaling or other forms of writing can help people cope better with anxiety. This can be a thoughtful, in-depth experience, or you can write down whatever comes to mind as quickly as you can. Your writing does not need to be legible, just as long as you are getting out of all of the thoughts that come to mind.
    • Time Management: Some people feel anxious if they have too many commitments at once. Having a plan in place for the next necessary action can help to keep this anxiety at bay. Effective time management strategies can help people to focus on one task at a time. Book-based planners and online calendars can help, as can resisting the urge to multitask.
      • Learn how to say NO when necessary
    • Aromatherapy: Smelling soothing plant oils can help to ease stress and anxiety. Certain scents work better for some people than others, so consider experimenting with various options. Try lavender, chamomile, rose, orange, sandalwood, ylang-ylang.

Foods to Focus on

Certain foods may help lower the severity of symptoms, mostly due to their gut & brain-boosting properties.

  • Salmon: EPA and DHA may help regulate the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which can have calming and relaxing properties. Additionally, studies show these fatty acids can reduce inflammation and prevent brain cell dysfunction that leads to the development of difficulties like anxiety and depression.
  • Avocado: rich in stress-relieving B vitamins and heart-healthy fat that may help to lessen anxiety.
  • Chamomile: contains high amounts of antioxidants proven to reduce inflammation, which might decrease the risk of anxiety & depression.
  • Turmeric: a spice that contains curcumin, a compound studied for its role in promoting brain health and preventing anxiety disorders. Curcumin also has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to prevent damage to brain cells.
  • Dark Chocolate: flavanols (antioxidants in dark chocolate) improve blood flow to the brain and promote its ability to adapt to stressful situations.
  • Probiotics: probiotics promote mental health and brain function by inhibiting free radicals and neurotoxins, which can damage nerve tissue in the brain which can lead to anxiety & depression. Incorporate probiotic-rich foods like full-fat yogurt, miso, kimchi, and kombucha into your diet.

Natural Solutions for Anxiety & Depression

Your brain and gut are in constant communication, connected by an information highway known as the vagus nerve. Given that your entire body relies on your brain for its basic operating instructions, you might be shocked to learn that far more communication reaches the brain from the gut than the other way around!

Often called the ‘feel-good hormone,’ serotonin acts as both a hormone and a neurotransmitter in our body. Low mood, depression, anxiety, and even autism are associated with altered serotonin levels. For all of its importance to mental well being, you might expect that the brain is where we find most of the body’s serotonin, but it’s not. In fact, the gut contains the vast majority of the serotonin in our body (about 95%) AND is the home of our immune system.

The health of our brain and our digestive tract are intertwined; what goes on in one greatly affects the function of the other. Our thoughts can have a significant impact on our digestive function: a case of nerves can lead to butterflies in the stomach, and significant daily stress can trigger flares of IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. And yet, our mental well being is similarly dictated by our digestive well being. Those with irritable bowel syndrome tend to have far higher rates of mental illness.

Natural Remedies

  • Exercise: Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
  • Meditation: Mindfulness meditation strengthens a person’s cognitive ability to regulate emotions and thoughts. Brain imaging found that meditation-related anxiety relief was associated with activation of the areas of the brain that are involved with executive function and the control of worrying. Meditation-related activation of these areas was directly linked to anxiety relief.
    • Check out these meditation apps: Headspace, The Mindfulness App, Calm
  • Relaxation Exercises: No one can avoid all stress, but you can counteract its detrimental effects by learning how to produce the relaxation response, a state of deep rest that is the polar opposite of the stress response. The relaxation response puts the brakes on stress and brings your body and mind back into a state of equilibrium.
    • Deep breathing: The key to deep breathing is to breathe deeply from the abdomen, getting as much fresh air as possible in your lungs. When you take deep breaths from the abdomen, rather than shallow breaths from your upper chest, you inhale more oxygen. The more oxygen you get, the less tense, short of breath, and anxious you feel.
      • Sit comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
      • Breathe in through your nose. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
      • Exhale through your mouth, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
      • Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to inhale enough so that your lower abdomen rises and falls. Count slowly as you exhale.
    • Progressive muscle relaxation: a two-step process in which you systematically tense and relax different muscle groups in the body. With regular practice, it gives you an intimate familiarity with what tension—as well as complete relaxation—feels like in different parts of the body.
      • Loosen clothing, take off your shoes, and get comfortable.
      • Take a few minutes to breathe in and out in slow, deep breaths.
      • When you’re ready, shift your attention to your right foot. Take a moment to focus on the way it feels.
      • Slowly tense the muscles in your right foot, squeezing as tightly as you can. Hold for a count of 10.
      • Relax your foot. Focus on the tension flowing away and how your foot feels as it becomes limp and loose.
      • Stay in this relaxed state for a moment, breathing deeply and slowly.
      • Shift your attention to your left foot. Follow the same sequence of muscle tension and release.
      • Move slowly up through your body, contracting and relaxing the different muscle groups.
      • It may take some practice at first, but try not to tense muscles other than those intended.
    • Writing: journaling or other forms of writing can help people cope better with anxiety. This can be a thoughtful, in-depth experience, or you can write down whatever comes to mind as quickly as you can. Your writing does not need to be legible, just as long as you are getting out all of the thoughts that come to mind.
    • Time Management: Some people feel anxious if they have too many commitments at once. Having a plan in place for the next necessary action can help to keep this anxiety at bay. Effective time management strategies can help people to focus on one task at a time. Book-based planners and online calendars can help, as can resisting the urge to multitask.
    • Aromatherapy: Smelling soothing plant oils can help to ease stress and anxiety. Certain scents work better for some people than others, so consider experimenting with various options. Try lavender, chamomile, rose, orange, sandalwood, ylang-ylang.

 

Foods to Focus on

Certain foods may help lower the severity of symptoms, mostly due to their gut & brain-boosting properties.

  • Salmon: EPA and DHA may help regulate the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which can have calming and relaxing properties. Additionally, studies show these fatty acids can reduce inflammation and prevent brain cell dysfunction that leads to the development of difficulties like anxiety and depression.
  • Avocado: rich in stress-relieving B vitamins and heart-healthy fat that may help to lessen anxiety.
  • Chamomile: contains high amounts of antioxidants proven to reduce inflammation, which might decrease the risk of anxiety & depression.
  • Turmeric: a spice that contains curcumin, a compound studied for its role in promoting brain health and preventing anxiety disorders. Curcumin also has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to prevent damage to brain cells.
  • Dark Chocolate: flavanols (antioxidants in dark chocolate) improve blood flow to the brain and promote its ability to adapt to stressful situations.
  • Probiotics: probiotics promote mental health and brain function by inhibiting free radicals and neurotoxins, which can damage nerve tissue in the brain which can lead to anxiety & depression. Incorporate probiotic-rich foods like full-fat yogurt, miso, kimchi, and kombucha into your diet.

Healthy Lunches

Nutrition & The Body

A school lunch box can potentially make up to 30-50% of our child’s daily food intake.

Effects of poor nutrition, especially with children, go beyond weight gain. A child who eats too much fat, sugar, sodium or processed food and too few vitamins and minerals is likely to develop a higher risk over time for several chronic health problems.

Proper nutrition is also tied to better academic performance, so kids who eat unhealthy lunches are more likely to score worse on tests and have a harder time with schoolwork. Lower IQ scores, memory difficulties, fine motor and language skills into early adulthood and beyond are all associated with lack of essential vitamins and nutrients.

A homemade lunch will keep your kids away from junk food temptations & ensure easy-access to healthier options that they will learn to love.

Better for their body & your budget

When you pack a lunch, you control the ingredients and choose items based on your budget and preference. In some cases, packing a lunch is not only healthier, but less expensive. For approximately the same cost as five days of school lunch purchases, you can buy enough ingredients to pack a healthy lunch each day, with the added peace of mind that your child has a wholesome and nutritious meal to eat.

Sugar Sabotage

80-90% of the immune system is located in the GUT

The body’s microbiome is made up of trillions of good bacteria that digest food, produce vitamins and protect the body from germs and disease. But when kids consume too much sugar, it can alter the balance between good and bad bacteria and weaken their immune systems.

One of the most common effects sugar can have on children are cold-like symptoms: chronic runny noses, excessive mucus, cough, allergies and symptoms of sinus infections. Eliminating sugars can drastically help improve these common symptoms.

Children who are “picky eaters” are most likely loading up on too much sugar, causing stomachaches and poor appetites. Crowd out high sugar foods with healthier options and soon their bodies will crave the real nutrients they need.

Approximately 80% of packaged foods contain added artificial sweeteners.

Foods to AVOID

  • Packaged fruit juice & sugary drinks
  • Flavored milk & excessive dairy
  • High sugar granola bars & processed snack packs
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Packaged dried fruit & desserts
  • Heavy pasta sauces & dressings

Foods to CHOOSE

  • Fresh fruits & veggies
  • Lean proteins
  • Healthy fats
  • Whole grains & carbs
  • Low glycemic options

SWAP THIS FOR THAT!

Instead of flavored yogurt

Try plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit mixed in (you could also add local honey for a sweeter taste & natural immune booster).

Instead of canned fruit

Try chopping up the fresh stuff; a cup of fresh peaches has 13g of sugar, and 1 cup of canned peaches has 33g of sugar.

Instead of sweetened salad dressings & sandwich spreads

Try making your own balsamic vinaigrette or light ranch, choosing mustard, homemade guacamole or hummus vs mayonnaise.

Instead of sodas, juices & dairy

Try adding fruits & veggies like berries, lemon, ginger & cucumber to water for extra flavor.

Instead of lunchables or highly processed meats

Try getting your meat straight from the deli or pack some leftover proteins from dinner the night before.