Pets Boost Your Health For A Lifetime

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From childhood throughout our entire adult life and elderly years, owning a pet gives us a a significant health boost that lasts a lifetime.

Here’s what the medical literature has to say about why caring for an animal just might be one of the best things you can do to protect your health over a lifetime.

 

1.  Childhood:

 

You’ve probably heard that exposure to dirt in childhood is an essential part of boosting immunity and decreasing future allergies… but did you know the same is true for animals?

Early exposure to dogs and farm animals (during the first year of life) statistically significantly decreased the development of asthma in children 5+ years later.

Published on November 2, 2015 in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers found that exposure to animals decreases future development of asthma, a very important finding because the worldwide incidence of childhood asthma is steadily increasing.

 

Looking at data from over 1 million children born in Sweden from 2001 to 2010, researchers followed children from birth through the first decade of life, tracking their early childhood exposure (or non-exposure) to dogs and farm animals as well as their subsequent asthma diagnosis and treatment.

They found that having a dog as a pet during the first year of childhood reduced the incidence of asthma diagnosis by 10% by the time the children were 3 years old and up to 13% by 7 years old.

They also found that living on a farm went even further… decreasing the childhood rate of asthma by the time the children were 7 years old by over 52%!

Living on a farm with animals in early childhood (as opposed to simply visiting a farm but not owning any of your own animals) slashed the rate of asthma more than in HALF.

 

Another study showed that children who lived in homes with pets had less colds and ear infections during their first year of life than children from pet-free households. 

This is important information for parents to be aware of, so that they can understand the appropriateness of having their children around animals and pets and that the timing of this is important — during the first year of life.

And well beyond the medicinal benefits of animal exposure in early childhood, having pets:

  • gives children a very healthy exposure to unconditional love
  • provides stability and continuity during times of unavoidable stress in the child’s life (such as during a move to a new home, entering a new school, or a change in the family dynamics such as a death or divorce)
  • and gives a framework to talk about holistic and important topics such as death (as inevitably pets have a shorter life span than humans and often the death of a pet is a very healthy introduction to speaking about death before it pertains to a human family member, such as the loss of a grandparent.)

 

Loving and caring for a special pet is a priceless, priceless gift during childhood.

My kids saw baby guinea pigs and rabbits being born, nurtured just-hatched baby chicks, held special pets as they grew old and died in their arms, hand bottle fed a baby cockatiel and helped house train all their puppies!

 

 

I have found that not only are animals good for the body from a medical perspective by decreasing asthmatic responses and infections in the body during childhood, but also getting children up, outdoors, and active.

Sitting for extended periods of time (like in a school setting!) is unfortunately the worst thing you can do for your body… so having a pet that gets children up and active, such as walking a dog daily, is one of the best things you can do to encourage a long healthy life habit in your child.

This goes against the current model of our school system, which would have your child remain quietly seated from roughly 8 AM to 3 PM on a daily basis.

It’s hard to justify the sedentary “sit still at your desk with only a half hour for lunch and recess” parameter of traditional school any longer… even medicating children so that they will sit still… when many medical studies have proven that sitting still is one one of the biggest threats to our life span (as we will discuss next!) 

Prolonged sitting has a profoundly negative impact on cancer risk, sleep quality, and diabetes risk over a lifetime.  

And this is not only true for children, but adults as well.  Let’s take a look:

 

2.  Adulthood:

 

Walking a dog every day is so healing, so healthy, that it is as effective in cancer recovery as chemotherapy!

Published on Jan 13, 2013 in the Journal Of Clinical Oncology, researchers followed 2,300 colorectal cancer patients and measured their activity level before and after cancer diagnosis.

The more active the patients were, the better their long-term outcome.  Even patients that were doing no physical activity prior to diagnosis… if they began increasing their activity level after diagnosis and during recovery, their outcomes were improved as well.

Active colorectal cancer patients had a 0.58 risk reduction — this is a decrease in mortality rates by almost HALF! — and those who were not active had an increased rate of mortality (death)…. a 1.36 risk increase.

These results suggest that being active has a greater impact on cancer prognosis than chemotherapy! 

How active do you need to be to show the protective and healing benefits? 

Turns out, not very active.  It is way more important to just be up and walking around, to decrease sedentary time, then it is to exercise strenuously.  The amount of activity that triggered this protective benefit was only the equivalent of 20 minutes of walking a day. 

Pets are the perfect motivator.  

 

Just the equivalent of walking for 20 minutes each day, or about 150 minutes of walking a week, made all the difference in the world — literally saving lives and modifying mortality rates significantly.

Recently released in 2015 at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, the first meta-analysis looking at the effects of walking on sleep in cancer patients revealed that walking improved sleep in all different types of cancers studied.

Sleep disorders are very common during cancer treatment and recovery with many patients reporting daily sleep disturbances which in turn affect physical function, healing, mood, energy levels, and quality of life.

Although it is well know that exercise has been shown to improve sleep due to boosted immune response, core body temperature regulation, autonomic function, enhanced endocrine function, and mood, these parameters have never before been studied on such a wide scale specifically in cancer patients before.

Looking at 9 different randomized, controlled trials, walking was found to improve sleep equally in all different types of cancers followed in the study (including breast cancer.)  And, important to note, walking significantly helped sleep no matter what stage of cancer the participants were in — the effect did not differ among early vs. late stage cancers. 

With walking being such an accessible, low cost, and holistic approach for supporting better sleep in cancer patients, walking should be part of the healing Rx for ANY cancer patient wishing to optimize their time spent in restorative, healing sleep.

All it takes, to improve cancer outcome (and decrease your cardiovascular and diabetic risk too, as we will talk about next) is to simply decrease the amount of time you spend sitting and increase the amount of time you spend walking.  And that’s where a beloved pet or farm animal comes in. 

Turns out adopting a dog and taking it on a few short walks a day is as good a cancer treatment plan as anything else we have to offer right now. 

The same is true for diabetes prevention.

Published on February 2016 in Diabetologia, researchers looked at whether sedentary time, breaks in sedentary time, and/or total physical activity was associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in 878 participants.

The results showed length of time spent sedentary actually had the biggest impact on blood glucose levels.  Revealing that time spent in sedentary behavior (sitting or lying down) actually impacts your diabetes risk more than moderate to vigorous physical activity does.

The bottom line? 

Time spent sedentary is the biggest risk factor of cardiometabolic health we know of.

 

So folks who are at high risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular events or metabolic syndrome should have a goal of being up and about more throughout the day… instead of sitting all day long in a chair and then exercising one time that day.

See the shift? Folks who knock out an exercise routine and then spend time sedentary in between trips to the gym are at higher risk for cardiometabolic disease then folks who are simply more active throughout the day. 

 

That’s why being a caretaker for a pet is more healthy than any gym membership on earth. 

Simply having fun in your body and moving it in a way that brings you joy is more important then any exercise program out there!

 

That makes things like walking your dog… tending to a garden or farm… collecting eggs from your chicken coop… and other activities that you may not *count* as important as exercise… actually more important than structured exercise! 

Having pets and farm animals encourages an entire lifetsyle shift that is more active over all, instead of simply adding in an exercise routine. 

 

And more active over a lifetime = a longer lifespan.

 

Yet another study came out showing that prolonged sitting each day is associated with an increased risk of death from all causes including: cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

And important to note: exercising did not protect against this risk or prolong life… even those who exercised strenuously had a higher risk of death if there were prolonged periods of sitting in between work outs.

That’s because it only takes 6 hours of sitting still to significantly decrease the effective blood flow through your arms and legs.  Turns out, sitting at work (or at school) raises your mortality risk no matter how hard you exercise before or afterwards.

All in all, researchers have shown that a sedentary lifestyle contributes to at least 35 different chronic diseases and counting, from diabetesosteoporosis, breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease, depression, back pain… even erectile dysfunction!

A great overview study on this was published June 28, 2018 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.  

Another study showed that inactivity is more deadly than obesity. 

So sustainable health is not about weight, it’s not about working out, it’s not about exercising, it’s not about dieting, it’s not about being a weekend warrior, it’s not about how hard you push yourself on the treadmill, and it’s not about fitting into any Body Mass Index category.

Real health isn’t about a measurement, a weight, a percentage, an exercise program. 

Real health is about enjoying the body you are in. 

 

I would rather you simply enjoy play time with a pet daily over pushing your body to the limit in an exercise routine you don’t enjoy three times a week.   Over a lifetime, daily activity this makes a bigger difference to your long-term wellness.  And as you will see next, elderly folks who own a pet enjoy a more active and healthy lifestyle than those who do not. 

That’s because health is about moving your body.  Health is about flow.  Health is about feeling the joy of using your body to complete the activities you’d like to do each day.  Health is about zoning out less (in front of the TV, the computer, the gaming system) and about appreciating the body you are in more.

 

3.  Seniors

 

Medical studies have now shown that pets increase your heart health, actually giving you a survival advantage when recovering from heart attack!

One study followed 240 couples and found that those who lived with pets (even on top of the fact that these were couples who lived together with their human partner!) had lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate, and maintained this more relaxed heart healthy state even when undergoing stressful medical proceedures, plus they had quicker recovery after stressful events.  

This is an added benefit from owning a pet, on top of simply having human companionship, which means pets confir additional health benefits over living with a partner or spouse.

Another medical study that followed 421 adults with severe cardiac disease for an entire year after heart attack found that there was a significant surivaval advantage in patients who owned a pet, no matter how severe the initial heart attack was! 

Pets increased owner lifespan following even the most severe heart attacks.  

 

Owning pets also help to stabilize mood, as interacting with a pet increases serotonin and dopamine in the brain (decreasing depression and anxiety) as well as providing theraputic touch… something that anyone at any age can benefit from… childhood on up.

Another medical study of over 2,500 elders aged 71 years old and older, followed over a span of 3 years, found that those who walked dogs routinely had increased strength, increased mobility, and most importantly…

…increased functionality around the home, maintaining higher levels of activities of daily living (ADL) which predicts greater independence.

And yet another study, looking at adults aged 65 + showed that those who owned pets needed 30% fewer doctors appointments than thosw who did not own pets!

 

So… do you need a gym membership to be healthy?

Nah.

Do you need to set aside structured time each day to pound out a work out?

Not unless that’s what you love to do! 

Do you need to force yourself to stick to a painful or intense exercise program?

Nope.

 

All it takes, to support your health from childhood (decreasing asthma and infectious disease) through adulthood and your elderly years (improving cancer recovery, enhancing sleep, supporting heart health, decreasing diabetes and obesity, improving mood, and extending mobility and functionality throughout an entire lifetime) is simply to get a pet and get walking.

Turns out adopting a dog and taking it on a few short walks a day is the best longevity plan!

Enjoy this empowering information and instead of fighting your body… grab your favorite animal and go on a walk with it!  

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

 

 

Is Your Job Driving You Crazy? You Are Not Alone. Here’s Help.

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A new study, published in Lancet Psychiatry on May 10, 2018 , suggests that occupation alone might cause as many as one out of every 7 new cases of depression, anxiety, and other common mental disorders.

Even after adjusting for lifestyle factors, stressful life events, temperament, personality, family history and personal history of mental illness, researchers found that job strain alone was responsible for a statistically significant number of mental illness cases over a lifetime.

 

14% of all common mental disorders that onset in midlife was attributed purely to job stress.

 

Researchers looked at over 6,800 participants, ranking job strain at age 45 with risk of mental illness at age 50.  The results were astounding.

  • Having a job that is highly demanding increased mental diagnosis rates by 70%.
  • Having a job that causes high strain (moves at a fast pace, or is highly risky, for example) increased mental diagnosis rates by 220%.
  • Having a job in which the employee had very little control over decisions increased mental illness rates by 89%.
  • All in all, researchers estimate that simply having higher job stress increased the overall likelihood of subsequent mental illness significantly, accounting for 1 out of every 7 new cases of mental illness in midlife.

 

Forget the usually-thought-of triggers such as divorce, bereavement and serious medical issues… job strain alone can put you at significant risk for mental disorders.

 

What constitutes a stressful job?

 

A job that requires high intensity, a job that moves at a fast pace, a job that has high risk, a job that gives you very little control over your duties, and/or a job that doesn’t allow you to make your own decisions were all factors that contributed to job strain.

If you are thinking… yes my job is stressful but I really love it, it’s not enough.

Job satisfaction is not protective of the strain that job stress can put on mental health.

Although ideally we would all have meaningful soul satisfying jobs… even when they are super fulfilling soul careers, they can actually still be toxic, stressful, high paced, and put us at high risk for mental illness.

And let’s face it, many times jobs simply are not in the slightest bit soul fulfilling at all and yet still are so stressful that they raise mental illness diagnosis, all for a job you don’t even enjoy.  But there are ways to help protect yourself and your mental state.  Lots of them.  Read on.

 

Is your job stressful?

 

Have you been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, or any other mental illness since being employed?  It is worth taking a moment today to consider the effect that job strain truly, honestly has in your life.

Is your job contributing to mental health risk?  The study I reviewed for you today would say definitively yes, so it’s a good idea to run through the following list of ideas to help — because there are lots of things you can do to reduce job strain and boost your mental health.

Here are some ideas to help you decrease the negative effect of job stress on your health:

 

1. Factor job strain into your career choices early on whenever possible.

 

If you have a family history or a personal history of mental illness, it is absolutely imperative that you protect your mental health by choosing jobs that give you autonomy, or at least allow you to participate in decision making.

Or… if you want to work in a tightly regulated job field where you don’t get to have control over the decisions, then select a job where the pace is slow and relaxed and/or the job is low intensity, low stakes.

If one out of every 7 cases of mental illness in midlife comes from having a stressful job, it is absolutely something to take into account when selecting between several possible career pathways.

Look for a job that allows you to be a part of the decision making process, or look for a job with lower intensity and a slower pace if you have an option and want to be protective of your mental health.

 

2.  Modify existing job parameters.

 

If you are already in a stressful job that you want to stay in, consider small ways to modify your current stress levels at work.

There are three different ways you can lighten your job strain: increasing your autonomy (getting to make more job related decisions,) lightening the pace of the job, or lightning the demands on the job.

Even choosing just one way to modify your current work load, even just slight modification, can help reduce mental illness risk:

  • Ask to be part of decisions whenever possible… if there are committees to be involved in, if there are meetings you can speak up during, if there are opportunities for a leadership role — this study shows that even in a highly stressful job, having some sort of say in what decisions are made allows the job to cause less strain over all.
  • Negotiate terms whenever possible… not just the classic example of asking for a raise, but speaking up over anything you can… such as negotiating when you take a break, what shift you work, what snacks are stocked in the vending machine, or what the dress code is can help give you some say in your work day and reduce strain.
  • If you can’t make decision and you can negotiate terms, sharing the burden is another way to reduce job strain.  Asking for help, getting co-workers involved, turning individual tasks into group tasks, forming alliances, delegating and and all tasks that you can delegate — these are all ways to reduce job strain even in jobs that are highly stressful and where you have little control.

 

3.  Recover fully when not at work.

 

Create clear boundaries around time spent working vs. time spent not-working each day.

One of the worst habits you can get into is taking your work home with you.  I should know, doctors are the classic “on call” occupation but every doctor I know makes this occupational stress a hundred times worse by bringing work home even when not on call.

I have strained myself beyond capacity for years (decades actually) staying up in the middle of the night on my computer, returning emails from my phone at the wee hours of the morning, packing and shipping shop orders literally around the clock… and I know I am not alone.  In many — if not most — jobs these days, there really are no designated off hours since technology can reach us anywhere, and this can create a situation where there is no down time, no recovery time, no off time.

So you have to be proactive and protective to ensure — for your own mental health — that there absolutely *is* time off from work and time away from all work related activity.

If you are in a job that you can’t modify, can’t control, has high stress, and little autonomy, then the next best thing you can do to protect your mental and physical health is to make sure off hours are actually off hours.

  • Make it harder to access work related tasks… leave your computer at work (if you work from home, leave your computer in a designated *home office* space and do not bring it into the rest of the house!)
  • Put cell phones on airplane mode at night, or better yet turn them off completely.
  • Designate a cut off time in the evening where you will no longer check emails or return business related calls.
  • Prioritize sleep.
  • Make the sleep you do get more restorative by sleeping grounded.
  • Move your body in a non-job related way: exercise, stretch, get into a yoga routine, go on a long walk, have sex, even simple taking a hot bath in Epsom salts will help soothe tense muscles and get you out of “work mode.”
  • Read a book that is absolutely 100% simply for pleasure and *not work related!!!*. I’m the worst at this because I typically read medical journals before bedtime instead of romance or mystery novels but this is one of my new goals.
  • Schedule time for leisure activities — from a designated weekly movie night to a routine family date to time alone — off time is so crucial for balancing out the stress from your job and should be given the same weight (or even more weight) than your dedication to your career.
  • Take time for friendships and relationships that are not in any way work related.  Consider this… are most of your relationships with people in the same work place or career path as you?  Be sure to go out of your way to nurture friendships and relationships that have nothing to do with work at all — if you have to join a knitting club or a book club or sign up for a gym class or introduce yourself to your neighbors — meet people that it would be literally impossible to “talk shop” with in your down time because they do not work with you.  Having outside interests and outside relationships apart from work helps ensure you don’t think about or talk about work in your off time.
  • Take vacation time — up to 1/3 of all vacation days are simply never even used!!!!  What the…?  No way.  Please take those vacation days, every single one of them.

 

4.  Be proactive about protecting your mental health in other ways.

 

Particularly if you know you have high job strain, you want to be sure you are eating foods, taking supplements, staying well hydrated, sleep well, and many other things you can do — even if you can’t modify your current job in the slightest — that will boost your mental health.

To that end, here are more blog posts I’ve written for you on holistic ways to support your mental health:

 

 

Or… consider letting me support you more personally, by joining in my Trauma Resiliency and Recovery Class.

 

You absolutely can stop past trauma’s from affecting your mental health… and there are tons of medical studies that prove exactly which methods of healing truly work.

Let me introduce you to the most powerful ways to release past wounds and get moving in an uplifting direction.  Find out more about this beautiful online healing course right here.

This class has been hugely helpful in giving participants actionable, positive, enjoyable healing tools that are medically based and proven to work.

  • One participant who just took my online classes said that the content on the very first day of the class alone far exceeded what she thought she would get out of the entire class, all put together.
  • Another participant said she felt movement on old stuck traumas from childhood for the first time in her entire life.
  • Another said that even though he had been in treatment for PTSD for years, he learned things he had never been told before about how the body holds on to trauma and how to let it go.

 

I would love to support you in this exact same way as well.  Join me here.

 

I hope this idea list helped!

You don’t have to quit your job to save your mental health.

Even one simple change, like starting an omega 3 fatty acid supplement or a probiotic to increase your mental resiliency, or getting a half hour of extra sleep at night, or being strict about not checking emails after dinner, or joining a committee at work to help make work related decisions and bring more autonomy to your role at work, healing past traumas so you are no longer triggered by the stress of your job, or specifically choosing a job that has a slower pace…

…any and all of these things and more can help make sure that your are not letting your job get into your head!

xoxox, Laura

 

 

 

 

Disrupted Day/Night Rhythm Increases Mental Illness Rates

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A new study shows that disruption of a normal day/night rhythm takes an enormous toll on your mental health.

Do you have a circadian rhythm disturbance?

 

You might if you are restless or active during the night, or are inactive for long periods during the day.

That’s all it took to significantly increase odds of mood disorders, cognition issues, and decreased over all wellness.

If you feel this might be an issue for you, read on.

 

The Study:

  • Published May 15, 2018 in Lancet Psychiatry, researchers analyzed data from over 91,000 people wearing wristbands to record activity for 7 days straight, around the clock.
  • Periods of rest and periods of activity were recorded, and examined against rates of mood disorders, cognition and general wellness of the participants.

 

What the researchers found:

  • Disruption of day/night circadian rhythm (increased activity during the night and decreased activity during the day) resulted in:

increased risk of major depression

increased risk of bipolar disorder

greater mood instability

higher levels of neuroticism

higher feelings of loneliness

lower feelings of happiness

lower health satisfaction

slower cognitive function

 

Because mood disorders have a common onset during adolescence, it’s a little bit scary that in this digital era most teenagers have a significant disruption of circadian rhythm due to staying up late at night on computers, smart phones, reading from tablets, and watching TV.

Is this circadian rhythm disturbance, that is basically mainstream at this point, increasing our society’s risk of bipolar, depression, feelings of loneliness, neuroticism, cognitive decline and more?

This study suggests that the answer to that is yes.

So… double check your circadian rhythm and shore up your sleep hygiene to decrease your own risk.

Whether you are a teenager or not… and whether you are the parent of a teenager or not… it’s worth double checking your circadian rhythm to proactively decrease your risk of subsequent depression, mood disorders, feelings of loneliness, dissatisfaction with health, and cognitive decline.

So to that end, here is a list of my Top 10 favorite holistic ways to support your brain function, to help you get a better night’s sleep and get back into a health sleep/wake cycle:

 

1.  Melatonin — the hormone that signals it is time to sleep for our body, our melatonin levels naturally decline with age.  If you find it hard to naturally  fall asleep, try boosting your own melatonin levels with a low dose melatonin supplement.

 

2.  GABA/L-Theanine — GABA is very soothing to the brain and if you are have trouble with anxiety or racing thoughts at bedtime, you might feel the calming benefits of supplementing with a product containing L-Theanine, which crosses the blood brain barrier and converts to GABA to help relax over active thoughts.

 

3.  Probiotics — the mind/gut connection is completely underrated.  Decreased gut flora has been linked with anxiety and probiotics are now shown to be a very effective treatment for both anxiety and depression, and as a bonus, they boost immunity.

 

4.  Zinc — low levels of zinc are linked to depression.  If your multivitamin doesn’t have zinc in it, consider supplementing your zinc levels with a supplement.

 

5.  Magnesium — Magnesium is very relaxing and because it helps your muscles relax and release, it is a wonderful nighttime drink.  On nights when I am feeling tense (especially helpful for anyone who grinds their teeth at night or has restless legs!) I enjoy a hot cup of water with a teaspoon of Natural Vitality’s Calm magnesium drink, found in my online dispensary here!

 

6.  Other supplements that protect your brain — if dementia runs in your family, I highly recommend these two supplements.  Omega 3 fatty acids, which preserve brain volume, and Resveratrol supplements, which stop plaques from growing in Alzheimers disease.  Blueberries have also recently been shown to give memory a boost in mild cognitive impairment… if you don’t get enough berries on a daily basis, you could supplement with blueberry supplements to help boost your memory function as well.

 

7.  Decrease EMF exposures in the bedroom.  Decreasing the disruption to your health at night by decreasing your EMF exposures — removing those you can remove, decreasing those you can decrease, and shielding from those you can’t do anything about — will help your body truly restore it’s health during sleep.

Hop over here for a blog post I wrote that gives you a free printable checklist on decreasing your body’s EMF exposures… especially crucial if you suspect you are EMF sensitive.

 

8.  Use A Light Box to correct your circadian rhythm naturally!  Effective to not only boost your daytime energy levels (making you more active during the day) but a light box will also help you sleep better that night… naturally, without taking any mediations or supplements at all.

Perfect for those who don’t want to risk any untoward side effects from taking pills, a light box does more than just correct your circadian rhythm, light boxes have been shown to directly treat depression as good as a Rx medication and even boost libido.

 

9.  Block Blue Light from reaching your eyes.  Ok I’m a mother of two teenagers (oh my how the time has flown) and it’s just completely unrealistic for me to expect them not to use their computers at night to complete homework assignments, or use their phone at night to arrange plans with friends, or to use their televisions at night to catch up on their favorite TV shows or (in my son’s case) watch their favorite sports teams play.  That said, you can make the glow from these screens less disruptive to circadian rhythm simply by the compromise of wearing blue light filtering glasses, like these.

 

10.  Sleep Grounded — To take your sleep resonance to the next level, you can combine your brain’s healing alpha sleep state with the Earth’s energy directly by grounding the body when sleeping with in indoor grounding product.  Increased time spent in alpha brain wave patterns equals greater time in the restorative healing phases of sleep and the healing processing time of sleep, which is when dreams occur.  This is why dreams often increase in intensity when we sleep grounded.  While we sleep, we cycle through alpha sleep states and REM sleep states and each time we do we are held in beautiful resonance with the Earth’s healing energy.

This is one of the reasons why getting a good night’s sleep impacts our entire body from head to toe… because high quality sleep does everything from preserve our brain volume and function to enhancing weight loss!  I have invested a great deal of time and research creating the highest quality, most reliable, washable, and ethically respectful (crafted by hand right here in the USA!) grounding healing tools.

Tools like my eco-friendly Grounding Mattress Panels — the ultimate in grounding all night long using the highest quality eco friendly fabrics (like organic cotton and hemp along with medical grade stainless steel to ground you for years and years and years without fail!). Wash as often as you like with no loss of conductivity!

Or my Grounding Organic Fitted Sheets, or even my Grounding Pad… soft, flexible, reliable grounding, complete with a machine washable cover.

Upgrade your nighttime grounding experience with the world’s best medical grade grounding products right here.

 

I hope this information helps you positively impact your circadian rhythm, helps you boost your central nervous system, boosts your mood, your sleep, even decreases your feelings of loneliness long term.

A good night’s sleep is absolutely crucial to maintaining wellness — one thing is for sure, your body needs good sleep to function!

xoxox, Laura

 

P.S. Want some more sleep support?

Watch this video on additional holistic ways to help your sleep that I made a couple of years ago for you below!

 

 

 

 

Is It Better To Diet Or To Fast Intermittently?

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Two years ago I told you about a medical study that showed fasting for 13 hours (or more) overnight decreased breast cancer recurrence by more than one-third, which was awesome news.

In that study, researchers found that not only did cancer recurrence rates drop, but also the longer the participants fasted at night, the lower their HbA1C levels fell as well.

 

 

This begs the question — if fasting at night helps to lower HgA1C levels, could intermittent fasting help treat patients with Type 2 Diabetes?

 

To answer this question, researchers conducted a new study specifically looking specifically at diabetic patients.

They enrolled 137 adults to be randomly assigned to either a program of intermittent fasting two days a week or to a continuous calorie restriction diet.  Their weight, caloric intake, HbA1C levels, lipid profile and more were followed for an entire year.

The results of this study were published in the JAMA Network on July 20, 2018.

 

The Study:

 

  • Adults with Type 2 Diabetes were assigned to either fast two days a week or to follow a continuous calorie restricted diet.
    • Fasting group:  Two days a week caloric intake was restricted to 500 – 600 calories a day, and eating their normal diet the other five days a week.
    • Diet group:  Calorie intake was restricted to 1200 – 1500 kcal/day every single day.
  • Participants were followed for an entire year, and monitored to see what changes these two diet plans made to their weight, body mass and fat composition, HbA1C levels, lipid levels and more over the long term.

 

The Results:

 

  • Both groups had an equivalent reduction in HbA1C levels over the course of one year — each enjoying a drop of about 0.4% in their HbA1C levels.
  • Both groups required less oral hypoglycemic drugs over the course of the year, and the intermittent fasting group was able to use significantly lower insulin amounts than the daily dieting group.
  • Both groups had a significant weight loss: participants who dieted every day lost an average of 11 pounds during the study and the group who intermittently fasted lost an average of 15 pounds during the study.
  • Both groups had an equivalent decrease in body fat.
  • Both groups has similar rates of glycemic events during the study.
  • Both groups had equivalently lowered serum lipid levels.
  • Both groups had a similar compliance rate, with similar drop out rates.

 

What’s the bottom line?

 

If you find dieting difficult, but you want to lose weight or to lower your HbA1C levels… fasting two days a week and eating normally the other five days a week is every bit as good as dieting every single day, and may even result in a bigger weight loss!

 

 

So that means, it’s your personal preference in what you can stick with more easily:

If it’s easier for you to fast twice a week and eat your normal food intake the other 5 days a week — do that!

If it’s easier for you to maintain a daily calorie restriction every single day to lose weight — do that!

 

I find it’s easier to fast every few days than it is to worry about restricting my calorie intake every single day.

So if you are struggling with a diet and have not yet tried picking two days a week to fast, give this a try and know that you will enjoy the same results as if you had dieted every single day… or perhaps even better results!  Woot!

As a physician I feel this has major implications in relieving the anxiety that is associated with calorie restriction and strict diets.  I also feel that this is a wonderful way to maintain your ideal body weight, boost metabolism and prevent metabolic syndrome, naturally help treat diabetes Type 2, and probably has applications to other diseases such as PCOS, hypothyroid, and other hormone and/or weight related diseases.

 

Some guidelines for a two-day-a-week fasting diet (sometimes called a 5:2 diet):

 

  • You can pick any two days to do the fast, as long as they are not consecutive (i.e. don’t fast for two days in a row)
  • On fasting days, stick primarily with drinking water and one or two small meals that total 500 -600 calories.
  • Most people start the day with a small meal, stay well hydrated all day long, and have a small dinner.
  • An alternative to this is to stay well hydrated all day long, drinking a few small fresh pressed juices as well, and end the day with a small dinner.
  • If you are currently taking medication to treat diabetes, such as insulin or oral hypoglycemic prescriptions, consult with your physician to have these medications adjusted to minimize glycemic events.

 

 

 

Some foods that can fit easily into a 500 – 600 calorie fast day:

  • water and more water!
  • black coffee
  • herbal tea
  • yogurt and berries
  • fresh pressed juices
  • soups and soup broth
  • salads with oil and vinegar dressing
  • steamed veggies
  • hard boiled egg
  • small portion of fish
  • almonds, cashews or pistachios
  • a tablespoon of peanut butter
  • oatmeal

 

 

 

Now you guys already know that I have a nice broad definition of what defines a healthy weight.

 

I believe you can truly be healthy at almost any weight and the only weight that I would consider treating medically is BMI’s that are over 35.

So for most of you who are healthy but just concerned about a few pounds, I would comfort you and remind you that not only is being overweight healthier than being underweight, medical studies have shown that it actually gives you a survival advantage.  

So today’s medical literature review isn’t so much about losing weight as it is about finding an easier, simplified, more holistic way to keep HgA1C levels down and to decrease the stress associated with the traditional, strict diets that conventional physicians might insist on.

 

Today’s medical study shows… you have more flexible options that are every bit as good as being on a strict daily diet.  This is more about relaxing into what serves you more than fitting into a particular BMI category.

 

For more ideas on maintaining a healthy weight, you might enjoy these blog posts I’ve written for you:

 

 

To your innately resilient health!

xoxoxo, Laura

 

How To Get The Purest Ground Connection

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I get thousands of emails asking me about grounding in areas where there are EMFs present

(which, let’s face it, is basically everywhere.)

 

The truth is that the very thing that makes grounding so powerful is that we are fully conductive human beings with every single cell in our body completely and totally conductive and ready to receive the earth’s healing energy.

And the very thing that makes us so susceptible to EMF exposures is that we are fully conductive human beings, with every single cell in our body completely and totally conductive, which means we are affected by the electromagnetic fields around us.

This is all one united field of medicine, a field that I am now calling Conductive Medicine.

The health of our bodies absolutely depends on us uniting these two issues, not dividing them.

 

 

To stop grounding because there are EMFs around is to remove the biggest source of power and resilience and healing potential right out from under you…

…cutting you off from the healing flow of your own conductive health.

You don’t want to isolate yourself even further from the earth…  especially when EMFs are bombarding you day and night!

What you want to do is support your conductive health AND protect your conductive health.

 

Both, not one or the other.

 

Your conductive health actually is your biggest asset in healing!

We support our conductive health by grounding.

We protect our conductive health by decreasing EMF exposures… and shielding what we can’t decrease.

These two approaches are both wonderful, powerful, awesome, positive things we can do, and they overlap in beautiful ways… covering us from both angles, not dividing us.

 

To divide the two, and have EMF experts try to take away the healing modality of grounding is to cause division and fear where there is none, and to artificially remove something that is absolutely critical to the longevity of the human body.

But on the other side, to have grounding experts completely ignore that EMFs affect us at all is to stick your head in the sand and only recognize one arm of conductive health.

This division is not good.

 

I am here today to tell you that protecting our conductive health (by shielding and buffering EMF exposures) while boosting our conductive health (by grounding) is a completely compatible combination and absolutely the best thing you can do to support you body’s long term well being.

 

So that said, can we make the ground connection even more pure?

 

Is there anything we can to do really preserve the clarity of the ground connection to the earth when EMF fields are ever increasing?

Until now, the answer was no.

But I can see the horizon and it is card to breathe my friend… the environment is getting covered in more and more toxic e-smog as we speak.

 

So today, I am so so so damn excited to tell you…

…now there is something else available, something that filters and shields your ground connection to the earth, protecting you better than ever before.

 

Enter: the PureGround filtering cord,

proudly made right here in the USA, not bulk manufactured overseas like other grounding cords!

 

 

I wanted to provide you an easy way to use your grounding tools as nature intended, unaffected by the inevitable presence of surrounding EMFs.

Or as affected as little as possible at least!

It’s the ultimate way to bring the field of Conductive Medicine into a peaceful merger.

Watch this video below to see why those of us who are electrosensitive and want to have our ground connection shielded from ambient electrical and magnetic fields in our environment absolutely can:

 

 

 

(click here to watch this video on YouTube)

(click here for more information on the PureGround cord)

 

 

If you have a grounding tool with a standard grounding cord that is not filtered and not shielded… should you stop using it?

 

Absolutely not.

The standard grounding tool is what has been used in all of the medical studies on grounding over the past three decades and still, patient after patient, person after person, year after year, prove… the human body clinically benefits from being grounded.

All of my grounding tools still come with a standard cord.

I am using a standard ground cord too right now, as these new cords are available for pre-order but won’t ship until they come in stock in December!

So never stop grounding!  Your current cord is awesome.

 

But for those of us concerned about the ever increasing strength of the electromagnetic fields on the horizon…

… and for those of us who are particularly electrosensitive, upgrading to a filtered and shielded cord makes sense.

Reserve your PureGround cord right here before they sell out!

 

 

By supporting your conductive health (with grounding) and protecting your conductive health (with shielding) we can get these two powerfully healing approached united, so that they can both ultimately work together to support your innate, robust health.

And now we can ensure that your grounding experience is the most pure ground connection possible by upgrading your standard grounding cord with the new PureGround filter grounding cord.  

You can clip this cord onto any grounding tool that is conductive and it will work!

Compatible with all of the grounding tools I’ve ever sold, as well as any grounding tool sold by other companies…

…simply clip to the edge of the conductive part of any grounding tool and it will be powerfully grounded!

So anyone can use it.  Whether you get your grounding tools from my website or a different one.

Anyone can feel even better than they do right now.

Isn’t that what healing and healing is all about?

No more division.

No more fear.

Just positive action and double the healing.

 

Share this these resources and this new cord with everyone you know who is electrosensitive and let’s unite these two approaches under one umbrella of Conductive Medicine.

Woot!

xoxox, Laura

 

 

Yet Another Study Showing That Overweight Is Healthier Than Underweight

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A new study, this time looking at breast cancer, found the same thing that several previous studies have revealed:

it’s better to be overweight than underweight.

 

The latest study, published in JAMA Oncology on June 21, 2018, found that a higher BMI was associated with lowered breast cancer rates.  Especially if the BMI was higher in early adulthood, there was a reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer.

 

The Study:

 

Researchers collected data from over 750,000 premenopausal women throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Looking at the BMI of women ages 18 to 54 years old and following their subsequent breast cancer diagnosis, researchers found:

  • The highest BMI group had over 4 times lower rates of breast cancer than the lowest BMI group.
  • This inverse relationship between higher BMI resulting in significantly lowered breast cancer rates was particularly strong for hormone receptor positive breast cancers.
  • Young women (ages 18 to 24) who were obese (BMI greater than or equal to 35) developed breast cancer 4.2 times less often than women who were underweight (BMI lower than 17.)

 

The Bottom Line:

Young women (ages 18 to 24) who were underweight went on to develop premenopausal breast cancer over 4 X more frequently than women who were obese.

 

This study was very large — almost one million patients — and was a rigorously analyzed.  Considering breast cancer is the most common worldwide cancer diagnosis for women, particularly young women, this is very important news indeed.

Researchers estimate that every 5 unit increase BMI (an approximately 22 lbs increase) decreased cancer rates by about 23%… so about 1 percentage lower risk for every pound.

Paradoxically, postmenopausal breast cancer rates go up with higher BMI, although in light of this new study we need to confirm this with larger scale studies on post menopausal breast cancer rates, like the size that this one was.

This study wasn’t the first to show an advantage to increased BMI in association with cancer, as I have previously blogged about.

Published Oct 2016 in the Journal Of Clinical Oncology, researchers examined body mass (BMI) and metastatic renal (kidney) cancer survival rates.

They found that obesity actually predicted improved survival in metastatic cancer… improving both the progression free survival rate and the over all survival rate!

 

The Study:

  • Researchers looked at over 1,900 patients from the International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database Consortium and another 4,600 + patients from kidney cancer clinical trials over a ten year period… from 2003 to 2013.  That’s over 6,500 patients total.
  • Patients in the higher BMI category (above 25) survived approximately 38% longer and had longer remissions than those with lower BMIs (below 25.)
  • Surviving almost 40% longer, especially with metastatic cancer, is a very big deal.  Stage 4 (metastatic) renal cancer carries a 5 year survival rate of only 8%.  Extending survival by up to 40% is more than any single chemotheraputic agent has ever been able to do with this disease.

 

The Bottom Line:

Higher BMI patients have markedly better survival rates for metastatic renal cancer than lower BMI patients.

 

The fact that obese patients have better outcomes in metastatic cancer is a real thing — this study had large patient numbers, was reproducible in different cohorts, and is statistically significant.

The numbers are so large and so significant that now physicians are encouraged to take the patient’s weight into account before sharing information on prognosis with their patients.

Of course, anything that shows there is a WIDE diversity to what is considered a “healthy weight” is totally hidden by the media.  That makes sense, as the weight loss industry is a 20 BILLION dollar industry IN THE UNITED STATES ALONE!!!

So, of course the media wouldn’t want you to actually feel good about your current weight or feel there was any advantage in the slightest to having a higher BMI.

 

 

But as I previously blogged about several years ago, an important medical study revealed that mildly obese patients have yet another survival advantage…

…surviving lift threatening infections.

 

Published in August 2014 in Critical Care Medicine, researchers looked at the data of over 1,400 elderly people hospitalized with severe sepsis (requiring ICU care) and compared their body mass index (BMI) with clinical outcomes 1 year after discharge.

The results revealed a 25% improved mortality rate in severely obese, obese and overweight patients compared to normal weight patients… proving that heavier weight allows the body to survive overwhelming bacterial infections, even at advanced age.

 

The bottom line:

Obesity seems to have a survival advantage in sepsis, cancer prevention, and even in metastatic cancer.

 

Researchers further acknowledge that “small excess amounts of adipose tissue may provide needed energy reserves during acute catabolic illnesses, have beneficial mechanical effects with some types of traumatic injuries, and convey other salutary effects that need to be investigated.”

Effects like surviving cancer, surviving infections… and surviving in general.

Because here is another medical study you are unlikely to have heard about (unless you follow my blog, because I reported this to you as well, years ago!) but it is true:

 

Published January 2, 2013 in JAMA:  

After looking at data on almost 3 MILLION people, researchers found that if you are overweight you actually have LESS over all risk for dying then someone in the “normal” weight category.

 

And even if you are mildly obese, up to BMI of 35, you have a death rate that is exactly the same as people in the “ideal weight” category (check out the chart below to figure out where you fall.)  Only severe obesity was associated with an increased risk for death.

This study was a meta-analysis of 97 different published studies that included more than 2.88 million participants. 

Compared to ideal weight individuals, overweight individuals had LOWER mortality rates than ideal weight participants, and those with Grade 1 obesity had no increased risk (having roughly identical death rates as the ideal weight participants.)

Only participants who had a BMI of 35 kg/m2 or HIGHER (significantly into the pink zone on the chart below) had significantly higher mortality rates:

 

BMI Chart created by Vertex42.com. Used with permission.

 

So… if losing those last 10 pounds isn’t actually going to help you live longer… what defines your “ideal weight”?

What defines your ideal weight is how you *feel* wearing the body you wear each day… your energy level, your flexibility, your capacity to get around, your mood, your ability to connect meaningfully with others, your ability to enjoy the things you want to enjoy each day.

When you are in balance energetically your body will choose the weight range that is ideal for you, so purposefully trying to gain weight into the overweight range or lose weight into the underweight range doesn’t support your energetic health best, unless this range is your natural balance.

 

The take home message here is that if you are told you are overweight, this does not mean you should be focusing on losing weight.

The real focus should ALWAYS BE on feeling as healthy and vibrant as possible.

 

This means focusing on muscle tone.

On heart strength.

On endurance.

On lung capacity. 

On bone mass. 

On energy levels. 

On restorative sleep at night. 

On happiness. 

On quality time with loved ones. 

On meaningful relationships. 

On spiritual strength.

 

The only patients that should even be at all *thinking* about losing weight are patients with a Body Mass Index of over 35 kg/m2 or higher — those are folks significantly in the pink zone in the above chart… and no one else!!!

And even if you are at 35 BMI or higher?

Focusing on energy levels, bone mass, restorative sleep and such will create a path of natural weight loss anyway.

 

scale

So my recommendation is NO ONE should be focusing on weight, only on health.  And now you have the science to back that up.

Feel better?  Good!

This is my entire goal and the reason I do what I do.

I want every single person who crosses my path to feel BETTER after working with me then they did before.

Whether it is just reading the thousands of free holistic healing articles on my website, whether it is getting my free newsletter in your inbox (just sign up in the box in the upper section of the right side bar on any page of my website,) whether you have taken an on-line health class with me, or whether you’ve used some of my favorite holistic healing tools

 

…a sense of relief, a sense of life unfolding how it was meant to unfold, a sense of purpose…

…these are your divine rights as a human being and it is my mission to help give you validity to reach for this through your physical health, every single day.

 

Here for you in the journey….

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

11 Essential Health Questions To Ask Yourself Every Fall

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All of the hurricane preparedness this past weekend has me with preparedness on the mind.

So it’s the perfect time for me to run my annual fall & winter preparedness blog post!

 

 

 

We are in mid September now, and the fall Equinox is this Saturday.  And for so many of us, shorter days and longer nights means a dip in our mood.

Fortunately, there are lots of great things to do to get prepared as the seasons change.

Of course there are things like pulling out your sweaters and boots and knitting a scarf or two and planting a winter garden and getting the fireplace cleaned that you might look forward to this fall.

But one thing that I get every year, and absolutely never look forward to, is a drop in my energy level and mood as the days get shorter.

So I want to share with you today my annual fall post — a collection of 11 important, personal things that I do to prepare my body now for a smooth transition to winter.  It works.  Give any or all of these a try and let’s have your best fall yet!

 

11 Essential Fall & Winter Health Questions:

 

1.  Do you have a way to stay grounded, even as the weather outside gets colder?

 

Make your plan now for how you can still get outside and soak in the fresh air, sunlight, and healing earth energy even as the temperature falls.

Getting outside in even the cloudy grey days for a mid-day walk is better than staying inside even under the brightest artificial lights.

Even if the sun appears not to shine, your pineal gland senses the light in the environment and needs this pick-me-up to function best this fall and winter.

Make a commitment to get morning or mid-day light (sunshine if possible!) every single day.

Slip off your shoes for a few minutes, or, if it’s too cold, just use your fingers to hold onto a tree that is grounded in the earth.

I even have grounding gloves waiting for you so you can keep your hands inside a warm glove and still be grounded while touching a tree branch, cement, a rock, the earth.

Same with socks that allow you to be grounded through your feet without ever exposing your toes to the cold!

And grounding blankets (limited quantities!) that ground you while wrapping around you in warmth!

Or, maybe this is the year you invest in a way to sleep grounded indoor all winter long… supporting your body’s well being all night long, every night.

The time spent grounding to the earth will refresh your body and soul.  This one daily practice is probably the single best thing you can start right now to smooth your fall transition.

 

2. Do you make enough serotonin naturally?

 

Less daylight can mean a palpable drop in the mood boosting neurotransmitter serotonin.

If you happen to be serotonin depleted, the winter blues are more likely to hit you harder than other people.

You can address this in two ways:

One, by taking supplements that help boost your natural serotonin levels. If you get a mild case of winter blues, you likely don’t need to take prescription medications for that.  Instead, you can make sure that your body is getting all it needs nutritionally in order to make its own, healthy levels of serotonin.  To do that, it needs something called 5-HTP.

A precursor to serotonin (the positive, mood enhancing neurotransmitter that most antidepressants are targeting, in the hopes to elevate brain levels) 5HTP is a nutritional supplement that makes sure your body is getting the building blocks it needs to make serotonin as efficiently as possible.

If you feed your body what it needs (most of us don’t get enough of this precursor as it is) then you have the best chance to naturally create the serotonin you’ll need to keep your spirits up as the light fades.

 

Or alternatively, if you want something to prevent the winter blues and boost serotonin without taking a supplement, Light Therapy is medially proven to not only prevent and treat the winter blues, but it actually treats all forms of depression (and even treats fibromyalgia!)

My very fav, compact, therapeutic light box is clinically proven and is waiting for you right here.

 

 

3. Are you sleeping enough?

 

Allow yourself to re-connect to the natural rhythm of the earth, which means you sleep longer in the fall and winter when nights are longer.

These days of bright artificial lights and TV channels that blast shows 24 hours a day can keep us feeling like there isn’t much difference between the middle of the night and the middle of the day.

There is.  To your body, to your pineal gland, your hormones, your muscles, your brain… the difference between night and day is iron clad.  You are meant to sleep at night, and you are meant to sleep longer in the fall and winter months.

Allow your body to get an extra hour of sleep each night during the winter… at least give it a try this week: vow to sleep an extra hour each night this week and see if your mood, energy level, eating habits, activity level and joy all get a boost!

  • One way to do this is to lower your EMF exposures in your bedroom at night following this free 25 point EMF reduction checklist.
  • Another way to do this is to wear blue light blocking glasses starting 2 hours before bedtime, if you absolutely need to be on the computer, on your cell phone, or watching TV to unwind.
  • Another thing to consider is that those of us who tend to be low serotonin (and get the winter blues) also tend to have trouble making enough melatonin naturally.   This is because melatonin is actually made from serotonin… so folks who are low serotonin are generally low melatonin, and these levels dip in the winter because of the shorter days.

 

So just as serotonin can dip in the winter, adding to the winter blues… your melatonin levels can dip too, wreaking havoc on your nightly rhythm.  Even though the darkness makes you feel more tired and ready to turn in earlier, oddly enough you may find sleep elusive just when you crave it most.

While 5 HTP may helps boost daytime serotonin, at night you can take melatonin, one hour before bedtime, to boost your nighttime levels of melatonin.

Taking melatonin in the fall when the days grow shorter (and you can combine this with using the light therapy box we discussed above!) will help your body re-set to its natural rhythm once winter peaks.  Sleeping well at night is an easy way to feel brighter during the day, beating those winter blues.

 

3.  Do you need to detox?

 

Like I do every year when the earth begins to transition to cooler temps, leaves changing and shedding and the earth diving inwards for renewal…

…I have a natural urge to dive deeper and detox my own body, from the inside out.

There are a million ways to do this… strict raw food diets and prolonged fasting and colonics and a ton of wonderful different ways to feel like you are starting fall with a new you

For me, I go with a very easy and very simple detox. I’m literally aching to do my gentle 5 day detox again, like I do every fall, and this year I want to do it with you!

I’ve designed a very fun 5 day course that we can do together, and each day together we will add a new layer of cleansing, culminating in 5 layers of a fresh new you!

  • It is very basic and very gentle, perfect for anyone.
  • There is no fasting and no radical rules… just a gentle, safe, uplifting re-aligning with Well-Being and a bunch of fun detox tools we will use together.
  • Releasing the old toxins and flushing in health, using a few simple but powerful techniques.

 

So if you are looking to take it up a notch, with a great, simple, easy detox plan that is yours to save and repeat as often as you like (I recommend every fall and every spring…)  join me in two weeks for this 5 Day Detox Bootcamp!

This class comes with a complimentary detox goodie bag, so that you can play along with some new products as we go through each topic of the day.

detox cover

Do you feel it?

The earth is getting cooler, the days are getting shorter, and our bodies are going inwards for a period of renewal.

So Gentle Restart Detox, here I come.  It’s time.  To join me, simply click over here right now.   As of writing this blog post, I have enough kits left for 5 more people to join in!

 

5.  Are your magnesium levels good  (i.e. are you pooping enough?  Are your muscles tense?)

 

Many of us are magnesium deficient and we don’t even know it.  Magnesium is absolutely essential to 300+ different biochemical reactions in our body, like muscle function, nerve function, maintaining healthy blood pressure, blood sugar levels and more.

Without enough magnesium, we can have muscle pain, irritability, insomnia, constipation and even heart arrhythmias.

Are your muscles are tight, or do you feel anxious and have trouble relaxing into sleep?  Are you constipated?

If so, consider boosting your magnesium innate.  Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant, so taking a magnesium supplement at night is one of my favorite recommendations for anyone with difficulty relaxing do to muscle tension or soreness, such as issues with tension headaches, fibromyalgia, grinding teeth at night, TMJ, etc….

Try taking magnesium, soaking in a nightly bath filled with magnesium rich Epsom salts, or drinking a magnesium drink supplement before bedtime (I like to drink mine in hot water, sipping on it like a nightly tea!) to help relax your body and creates a lovely evening ritual all fall, all winter… and all year long.

If you are constipated, I would recommend taking it internally (magnesium drops, capsules or the hot drink mix mentioned above) because it will naturally help loosen your bowels.

It’s normal for everything to slow down in the winter, so if your bowels are feeling full of rich and hearty winter meals and you are feeling dense inside, you can up your water intake, take tons of healthy fish or flax seed oil, eating a prune a day and grounding on the earth each day will help restore your daily rhythms.  But if that’s not enough, upping your magnesium intake will help!

 

6. Do you get enough Vitamin D?

 

Yes, you will get some Vit D when you go outside each day… but as most of us are deficient in Vit D during the summer…

…nearly ALL of us fall deficient in the winter.

Not only is Vit D a powerful antioxidant, it prevents cancer, stroke, heart disease, boosts weight loss, decreases pain… you name it… we need it.  My favorite are Carlson’s Solar D Gems, found in my trusted online dispensary here.  I love these the most because time and time again, when a patient comes to me with Vit D levels that are low despite supplementation with other brands, when we switch to the Solar D Gems, the levels finally return to normal.  Woot!

 

 

7.  Are you drinking twice as much water in the winter as you are in the summer?

Hopefully you’ve kept yourself well hydrated during the summer, when hot temperatures and sweating drive us to remember to drink water more than at any other time of the year.

But in the cooler temps, ones in which you are shivering, not sweating… it’s more important than ever before to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Dry heated air, dry cold outside air, wind chapping our lips, and no internal drive to remind us to drink leads to mid-winter dehydration, brain fog, and a sure-fire road to BLAH.

You can get so dehydrated that you actually feel semi-nauseous all the time and a bit depressed.

Drink water and then drink some more… and start right now.

I take the time to filter out the fluoride in my water… here is the water filter I use in my home.

 

8.  Are you allowing yourself gain a few pounds?

 

You might be an enlightened buddha thriving off the energy of the universe, but your body is an organic, human thing that is connected to the physical earth and responds to the rhythms of the seasons and needs nourishment.

So every winter it is normal to slow down and allow a few extra pounds to sustain and warm you.

It is like-wise just as effortless and natural to lose several pounds in the spring as the world awakens and we are drawn to more physical labor such as preparing garden beds, trimming the lawn, spring cleaning our homes, and walking barefoot on the beach.

If we don’t attach all the typical BS to our weight that we usually do, the few pounds that warm us in the winter will be shed without a second thought in the spring.

This is the natural rhythm of the world all around you.

The first half of winter, while food is still plenty and days grow darker, are a time to allow yourself to find nourishment in foods and warmth under your blankets, eating more and sleeping longer.

In a few months, as the pantry empties out and the holiday parties are long gone, there will be a natural thinning time, a time when the days become noticeably longer and your thoughts turn to the fresh spring salads that will be popping up in your garden.

It is only when we attach a negative meaning to our weight that we attach heaviness and permanency and BULK to it… and these pounds become a part of how we see ourselves forever.  We get locked into battle with them and they fight to stay and add and grow, year after year after year.

As a result, most people tend to gain a few pounds a year (despite being locked in constant battle and fighting against it the entire time) and accrue this mass permanently, instead of easily gaining and losing a few pounds with the seasons. It just shows that fighting weight isn’t the way to go.

If we dropped all our mental baggage around this rhythm, a rhythm of ebb and flow, of nourishment and lean times, of seasons, we would not gain weight year after year after year, instead we would gain and release.  It’s only our society that fears weight gain that makes it almost *impossible* to drop the pounds without thinking twice about it late winter and early spring.

Now is not the time to allow our culture’s baggage to taint what should be a natural time of celebration, stocking up, and preparing for the winter ahead.  If you welcome this seasonal change with gratitude, you will be healthier for it.

 

9. Are you getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids?

 

I’ve already blogged a bit about how Omega 3’s can:

 

 

Omega 3 fatty acids are such an important whole-body nutrient that comes even more into play during the colder months.

Winter means everything from a permanent brain fog to dry tight skin.  Omega 3 fatty acids support brain function, digestion, circulation and skin… all things that we need help with in the winter.

Although I absolutely recommend fish oil supplements year round, if you don’t already take them, plan on starting to take them in the fall and it will help prep your skin for the dry air to come, protect your brain for the dark days to come, soothe your circulation for the colder winds to come, and smooth your digestion for the heavier, thicker, richer foods to come.

 

 

10. Is your skin prepared for the winter ahead?

 

Winter can be a tough time for anybody’s skin… painfully dry hands and cracked heels galore (ouch!)

Dry heated air dehydrates and cracks your vulnerable skin while you are inside staying warm, and combine that with whipping cold winds that chaff skin when you are outside and winter is just no fun on your skin, especially if you suffer from chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema or other forms of dermatitis.

Drinking twice as much water as usual and taking fish oil supplements will absolutely help from the inside out… but if you have specific trouble spots you might want a topical barrier cream to apply directly on a daily basis for protection.

And luckily, if you like the barrier protection of petroleum jelly but don’t want petroleum by-products anywhere near your body, it’s super easy to make your own!

Today I want to share with you the recipe my daughter and I whip up each winter to use on our poor cracked hands and feet.  We have enjoyed this for several years now… thank you so much to One Good Thing by Jillee (which is where I first saw this recipe!)

Homemade (Un)Petroleum Jelly.

Melt together over very low heat in a saucepan or double broiler… once well combined, pour into a jar or recycled container and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

I keep a jar by my bedside and by my kitchen sink to us on my winter cracked hands and heels

And for whole-body relief from tight, dry, itchy skin in the winter, I like to capture the moisture of a shower or bath by layering on some colloidal oatmeal lotion (you can find this at your local drugstore… something like this one…) immediately after stepping out from bathing, and then organic coconut oil on top of this lotion to help seal it all in.

I have found that adding the colloidal oatmeal topical can make all the difference when pure coconut oil is just not enough.  My son’s psoriasis plaques really respond well to the colloidal oatmeal topical treatment, sealed in with either coconut oil or our homemade Non-Petroleum Jelly.

 

11. Do you need to nurture your adrenals?

 

Fall is the perfect time to turn inwards, nurture your adrenal glands, boost your internal energy reserves, and emerge this spring feeling better than you may have felt in many many years.

It’s okay to take these upcoming months slower, to tend to our inner needs more, and to make sure we are getting lots and lots of sleep.  It’s not only okay, it’s what we are *supposed* to be doing.

It’s like Mother Nature hand carved these months out for you to repair your adrenal glands and nurture your energy reserves so you can emerge this spring feeling triumphantly energetic!

Repairing your adrenal glands is actually the easiest to do in the fall and winter.

It’s easier to sleep longer with the days getting shorter, easier to prepare and eat warm foods like soup, roasts, stews, etc… rich with fat, protein and salt (all absolutely crucial when repairing your adrenals) and easier to cocoon in and nurture your body, with less exertion and more repair.

That’s why I run my Adrenal Repair Online Class specifically in the winter — because if you start to take care of your adrenal rhythm now, in just a few short months from now you can be fully recovered from Adrenal Fatigue when spring and summer arrive.

Emerge this spring feeling better than you have felt in many many years! Ready to eat lighter, sleep stronger, lose weight, move your body more.

 

In this 5 Day Adrenal Repair Class, together we will:

  • understand exactly why your cortisol gets out-of-wack
  • learn exactly how to support adrenal repair in a way that you can apply throughout the course and beyond
  • receive an awesome goodie bag filled with items we use together during the course, including adrenal supportive supplements, a grounding wrist band and my very favorite magnesium drink to help you sleep better, wake better, feel better and live better, all included free with the course!
  • get daily uplifting, positive, fun emails packed with information, tips, videos, activities, self assessment quizzes and more
  • culminating in a Q&A phone call where I will answer every single one of your health questions personally, AND send you the recording so you can listen to it at any time!

 

Without understanding and implementing the crucial steps that I am going to share with you in this course, there is no way you are going to have full repair after a stressful circumstance and feel your best.

Just no way.

So let me help you right now with tons of fun, uplifting, actionable things you can do right now to address adrenal fatigue.

 

sacral

Click here to join my

5 Day Adrenal Repair Class today!

Let’s get you feeling better than ever…  and enjoying this cooler weather and the beautiful fall colors that surround us.

I’ll be here for you all the way through it!

xoxo, Laura