Want To Give Fasting A Try? That’s Awesome & Here’s How.

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This is the third and last blog post on losing weight easily and naturally — and that’s because this is the very last week you can sign up to join my in my 5 day Weight Reset Class!

This last one will be a quick intro to fasting — a great lifestyle modification that has long term benefits that are hard to beat: decreased heart attack risk, decreased diabetes risk, decreased cancer recurrence rates, even boosted longevity.  I review all of these benefits for you right here.

 

Nighttime Fasting

 

Fasting at night is the easiest way to fast, even easier than daytime fasting.  After all, every night as we sleep we naturally enter a mini-fasting period without even trying, and then we *break-the-fast* with breakfast each morning.  And if you can simply prolong the amount of time you spend fasting at night — just by not snacking after dinnertime — you can have a profound impact on your health.

Increasing the time spent fasting at night — from 12 hours to 14 hours a night — was found to promote clinically significant weight loss, as well as to improve fasting blood glucose levels, researchers found in this study, published in Nutrition & Diabetes in Jan 2021.

Another study found that fasting for 13 hours a night reduced the risk of breast cancer.  Researchers followed thousands of patients for over a decade and published those results on March 31, 2016 in JAMA Oncology. They found that the patients who ate at night had a 36% higher rate of breast cancer recurrence as well as higher HbA1C levels, along with significantly less restorative sleep.  But, by simply increasing the length of nightly fasting to 13 hours or more, subjects enjoyed significantly lowered HbA1C levels, increased sleep length at night, and decreased cancer recurrence rates.

This medical study, published in Aging Research Reviews in 2017 found that fasting may play a role in preventing and reversing chronic disease, even when total nutritional intake isn’t altered at all.  In other words, these researchers suggest that you can literally improve your health just by restricting when you eat, even if you eat the exact same foods, in exact same quantity each day.

This suggests to me that if you don’t like dieting, and want to choose foods and food quantities freely, you might consider simply shortening the window that you eat them in and you are likely to still enjoy significant health benefits.

 

 

 

 

Daytime Fasting

 

Love to eat at night?  Feel stressed out at the thought of fasting all night long?  You may just be in luck!  If you are willing to fast during the day instead, you may be able to eat freely at night and still enjoy tremendous benefits.

This medical study, published in the Journal of Proteomics in April 2020, found that subjects who ate only at night (fasting during the daylight hours) had massive health benefits.  Odd but effective…. researchers followed patients who ate only during nighttime hours for one month.

After only 30 days, they had significant improvements in blood glucose and lipids levels, boosted anti-cancer blood markers, improvements to their circadian rhythm, improved markers of DNA repair, boosted immunity, even improved cognitive function!  All with just one month of eating only when the sun was down.  Fasting from sun up to sun set… simple enough.

 

 

 

 

Fasting vs. Dieting

 

How does fasting intermittently stack up to dieting every single day?

It turns out, they both provide health benefits and similar weight loss results, so whichever one is easier for you to stick with is the one you should do!

Published in the JAMA Network on July 20, 2018, researchers randomly assigned 137 adults to either a program of intermittent fasting two days a week or to 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.

What did they find?  Both groups had an equivalent reduction in HbA1C levels over the course of one year, 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.  Excitingly, the group who intermittently fasted lost even more: an average of 15 pounds during the study.

Both groups had an equivalent decrease in body fat, both groups had equivalently lowered serum lipid levels, and both groups had a similar compliance rate, with similar drop out rates.

So if you find dieting difficult, 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.

In other words, it should be up to 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 foods freely 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!

 

 

 

Getting Started

 

I find it’s easier to fast every few days than it is to worry about watching my calorie intake every single day.  If you are like me and dislike dieting, try picking two days a week to fast, knowing that you will enjoy the same results as if you had dieted every single day.

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 probably has applications to other diseases such as PCOS, hypothyroid, and other hormone and/or weight related diseases.

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.
  • In addition to staying well hydrated all day long, drink a few small fresh pressed juices if you feel hungry 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.

 

 

 

 

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

  • water and more water!
  • black coffee
  • herbal tea
  • yogurt and berries
  • banana
  • 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
  • popcorn

 

 

 

More Support

 

You already know that I have a nice broad definition of what defines a healthy weight.   And, in fact, I believe it’s slightly healthier to be a bit overweight than it is to be underweight.  Read this article I wrote for you about that for more info on why.  

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 diet.

And what if you don’t want to fast two days a week and you don’t want to diet at all?

Then you should absolutely join in my 5 Day Weight Reset Class.  In it, I go over the medical literature on different ways you may be sabotaging your own weight loss goals… and it’s got nothing to do at all with what you eat.  Or very very little to do with what you eat.  In fact, what you eat is such a minor part of your metabolic profile that we don’t even address diet until the last day of class on Day 5.

What are day 1, 2, 3, & 4 looking at?  The other things you can do to help reset your metabolism and boost your weight loss, that have nothing at all to do with food.

I know weight feels like a heavy and sticky topic but it truly doesn’t have to be.  Let me show you how to lighten it up in your mind, heart, body and soul in a way that feels good, not bad.

Join me by clicking right here.

xoxox, Laura

 

8 Unusual But Highly Effective Ways To Release Unwanted Weight

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Last week I shared with you a few tips on how to release weight that accumulates during times of stress.  Stress weight gain is different from standard weight gain because it is stress-hormone driven.  So focusing on rebalancing your adrenals — not dieting — is what works best.

But today, I want to give you a few more tips on releasing regular, non-stress related, weight gain.  Normal weight gain over time usually reflects a decrease in metabolism, so I’ve got a fantastic list of actionable tips — taken directly from the medical literature! — that help jumpstart your metabolism and get you back to your goal weight with less stress, less struggle, and zero dieting.

The first step is to absolutely eliminate any negative self talk you might be having with your food choices.

This fantastic, impressive study (published in Lancet in May 2019) was a global analysis of diet and health outcomes looking at 195 different countries over an almost 30 year span of time.  Never before has such a large scale investigation of the relationship between dietary intake and disease ever been conducted.

This one study can replace everything we’ve based our current understanding of the correlation between diet and disease, because all other studies to date have been much smaller and isolated to smaller regions of the world.  And here is the one, overriding conclusion from that study:

 

It’s not about what you are eating, it’s about what you aren’t eating.

 

In other words, what makes the most impact on your disease risk isn’t so much what unhealthy foods you are eating, it’s what healthy foods you aren’t eating enough of.

 

 

 

Over the past several decades, the medical literature and most diet plans have focused on restricting “bad” foods such as sodium, sugar, processed meats and fats.

But in this largest-study-to-date meta analysis, researchers found that it is actually inadequate intake of essential nutritional components (like nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables) that accounts for more disease and death than overconsumption of  any “bad” foods such as red meat, processed meats, fat, sugar, sodas or sweetened beverages.

In fact, inadequate nutrition causes more deaths worldwide than smoking does.

One of the authors of this study, Christopher Murray, MD, states that “poor diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor in the world.

That means that inadequate intake of nutrients cause the body more illness, disease and death than consumption of sugar or processed meats or trans fats ever do.  The researchers found that inadequate consumption of nutritional building blocks led to more heart disease, cancer, diabetes and death worldwide than did consumption of unhealthy foods.

 

 

 

Do you see the positives out of this realization?

You can stop beating yourself up for the cravings, snacks, and “cheat meals” you eat, and instead simply focus on making sure that you are getting an adequate intake of the absolutely mandatory good nutrients that our bodies need to function optimally for a lifetime.

Here are the study details:

  • Looking at 195 countries for 28 years (1990 – 2017,) researchers analyzed diet and health outcomes.  Correlating nutritional intake with chronic disease (conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer) and death rates, researchers found that lack of nutrition was far more deadly than consuming foods typically considered “disease causing” like fats and sugars.
  • For example, when researchers evaluated whole grains intake, they found that a diet low in whole grains led to 3 million deaths and 82 million diseases world wide annually.
  • When researchers evaluated low fruit intake, they found that a diet with inadequate fruit consumption led to 2 million deaths and 65 million diseases world wide annually.
  • If you do want to restrict one thing from your diet, the results suggest focusing on sodium.  High sodium consumption was associated with 3 million deaths and 70 million diseases world wide annually.

 

These three dietary culprits (low whole grains, low fruits, and high sodium) were the top three causes of morbidity and mortality world wide… causing far higher disease rates and death than consuming sugar, fats, processed meats and sugary drinks.

The results suggest that it might be more important to be sure we are consuming adequate amounts of “the good stuff” instead of restricting “the bad stuff.”

 

 

What’s the good stuff? Be sure you are getting plenty of servings of:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fiber
  • Calcium &
  • Seafood-derived omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Researchers suggest that focusing on increasing nutrient intake would prevent about 1 in every 5 deaths!

The bottom line: Of the 11 million deaths each year that are related to diet, more deaths are associated with inadequate intakes of healthy foods than with superfluous consumption of unhealthy ones.

So today, try to shift your thinking from negative dietary restrictions to positively consuming healthy foods.  I’ll help.  Run through this list and see if you can select one or two ideas to incorporate into your food choices this week.

 

8 Take Home Messages From This Study:

 


 

 

1.  Stop dieting and start eating instead.

 

Instead of restricting your food (a typical diet) plan your meals around being sure you are consuming enough healthy food… what a difference in mindframe!

Obviously a good diet is important, but this study tells me that even if you just can’t seem to get control over a sweet tooth, or a fatty snack is your go-to stress relief, or you splurge and eat a processed meat product, the things you do eat are not as damaging to your health as the things you don’t eat.

In other words, if you have a bowl of ice cream after dinner tonight, instead of going to bed feeling horrible and berating yourself for your food choices, let the ice cream dessert go and instead consider if you ate 2 – 3 servings of fruits and vegetables today.

 

 


 

 

2.  Take a very high quality multivitamin to fill in the gaps.

 

Another important thing to consider is that if getting a baseline amount of healthy foods is more important than banishing non-healthy foods, then a really high quality multivitamin makes a lot of sense.

So one idea, beside upping your fruit and veggie and nut and seed intake, is to add on a multivitamin and mineral supplement (especially one that has a whole food certified organic blend of fruit and vegetables right in the supplement) to help cover any bases that your intake that day might have missed.

My favorite multivitamins are the MyKind Organics daily vitamin line and Pure Encapsulations multivitamin line.  Both of these “best-of-the-best” lines of nutritional supportive supplements are waiting for you in my online dispensary under the “General Wellness,” tab.

Click over here to browse multivitamins now, so that you can round out your diet with the nutrients your body truly needs.

 


 

 

3.  Allow a few pounds of extra weight.

 

There are survival advantages to being overweight as opposed to underweight… like surviving life threatening infections.  Published June 2016 in Critical Care Medicine, the results of this study suggest that heavier weight allows the body to survive overwhelming bacterial infections, even at advanced age, something good to know as this pandemic continues.  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 outcome 1 year after discharge. The results revealed a 25% improved mortality rate in severely obese, obese and overweight patients compared to normal weight patients.

Another medical study (published July 2017 in Cardiac Interventions) that found that obese and overweight patients actually have better survival rates and less complications after heart surgery (percutaneous cardiac interventions, or PCI) than normal weight and lean patients do.  On top of that, the better outcomes persisted even 5 years later, with better outcomes for the overweight and obese patients than for normal or low weight patients.

Another medical study, published in JAMA Oncology on June 21, 2018, found that a higher BMI was associated with lowered breast cancer rates.  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.)  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.

And this is not limited to breast cancer.  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 fact that obese patients have better outcomes in metastatic renal cancer is a real thing — this study had large patient numbers, was reproducible in different cohorts, and is statistically significant.  The numbers are actually 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 in fact, as I blogged about here, only when a person’s BMI exceeds 35 is there an increase in mortality rates.  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, to get outside, and to enjoy the things you want to enjoy each day.

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 need to be focusing on losing weight are patients with a Body Mass Index of over 35 kg/m2 or higher.  And even if you are at 35 BMI or higher?  Focusing on energy levels, bone mass, restorative sleep, endurance and such will create a path of natural weight loss anyway.

 


 

 

4.  If you still do want to diet… fast instead.

 

You’ve probably heard of fasting for weight loss, but most people are not aware of the decades of medical research that show just how profoundly intermittent fasting can boost health in ways that go way beyond weight management.  From reducing diabetes risk to reducing dementia to reducing cancer rates, fasting has head-to-toe benefits… and doesn’t have to be difficult.

It can be intimidating to think about trying fasting, as images of going without food for days on end run through our minds and hunger pangs set in quickly.  But fasting can be as simple as increasing the amount of time you are not eating at night by just 2 hours.  Medical research shows that simply not eating after 8 PM can actually be measurably beneficial to your health.

Fasting has been shown to:

  • Decrease inflammation: Published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism in 2007, researchers found that fasting for 12 hours daily decreased all measured markers of inflammation by a statistically significant amount, including interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, and homocysteine levels.
  • Decrease heart disease: A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology in 2009, showed that fasting just one day a month (one day a month!) was enough to significantly decrease risk of heart attack risk by reducing coronary artery disease. In addition to that, a study published in Nutritional Research in 2012 showed that fasting for 12 hours a day decreased blood pressure, and when fasting was increased to every other day for just four weeks, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides were reduced by more than 25%.
  • Decrease asthma attacks: Published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine in 2007, reducing calorie intake every other day by just 20% allowed asthma suffers to lose 8% of their body weight in only two months, decrease their blood markers of stress and inflammation, and decrease asthma symptoms while improving quality of life.
  • Protect your brain: Improved memory, improved mood, decreased Alzheimer rates, and decreased Parkinson’s rates… all from fasting?  Yep.  Published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research in 1999, the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience in 2000, the Neurobiology of Disease in 2007 (as well as many other studies) researchers have found that intermittent fasting can improve neuronal connections, increase the proliferation of neurons, and even protect against amyloid plaques.
  • Decrease cancer recurrence rates: Prolonging the amount of time spent fasting — skipping evening snacks all together and fasting for 13+ hours each night — significantly reduced the risk of breast cancer, according to a study that spanned thousands of patients followed for over a decade. Published on March 31, 2016 in JAMA Oncology, researchers found that fasting at night for 13 hours or more was found to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence by one-third, as well as drop HbA1C levels and increase sleep length at night.  Another study (published in Teteratgenesis, Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis in 2002) found that alternate day fasting helped decrease tumor formation, while yet another study (published in Science Translational Medicine in 2012) found that a wide range of cancer cells exposed to fasting showed increased responsiveness and sensitivity to chemotherapy treatments as well as directly decreased tumor growth.  So fasting for 13+ hours each night is an effective, drug free, holistic, all natural way to decrease cancer recurrence and help boost cancer treatment.
  • Boost longevity: One study (published in the Journals of Gerontology in 1983) showed that fasting had a greater impact in improving longevity than even exercise did!  And a more recent study, published in 2000 in the Mechanisms of Aging and Development, showed short term repeated fasting throughout life resulted in a lifespan that was 75% longer.  In fact, a study published in Nature in 2009 stated that intermittent fasting is “the most effective and reproducible intervention to extend lifespan” that we know of… capable of significantly extending lifespan by reducing age-related disorders.
  • Encourage long-term weight loss: Published in Nutrition Reviews in 2015, researchers looked at all forms of fasting… including alternate day fasting, whole day fasting, and even simply time restricted fasting (like a 13 hour nightly fast) and all of these techniques resulted in significantly reduced body fat, significantly reduced body weight, and reduced blood lipid levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

If you want to try fasting, take care to stay very well hydrated, get plenty of rest, and when you do eat, make sure the foods you choose are nutrient dense, chock full of protein and healthy fats.  And of course, run your fasting plan by your doctor if you have any chronic health conditions or are planning to fast for more than a 24 hour period of time.

I’m going to give you more tips on how to introduce fasting on the blog next week — be sure you are signed up for my newsletter by entering your email address in the sign up box right here to get that article directly into your inbox!

 

 


 

 

5.  Sleep more.

 

I always ask patients who are having trouble loosing weight about their sleep.  That’s because a medical study (that I shared with you back in August of 2013) showed that poor sleep caused study participants to gain weight 9 times faster than participants who slept well.  Nine times faster weight gain!

Previous studies have shown a link between poor sleep and weight gain, but this was the first study where participants slept in-house in a sleep facility and the actual weight gain was measurably significant after only a handful of 4 hour nights in a row.  If healthy individuals who experienced a short period of sleep deprivation gained 9 times as much weight as healthy individuals who get a full night of sleep, what does this predict for folks who are chronically sleep deprived?

Many of us live and function daily in a state of catching only a few hours of sleep a night… not just for 4 days but for weeks, months, even years at a time.  This has a huge impact on your weight. Imagine gaining 9 times as much weight over the course of a year of poor sleep as you normally would had you slept well.

If you are feeling exhausted from not sleeping well, than your body is going to urge you to reach for food as a way to sustain your energy. This is your body’s way of ensuring your survival!

So if you are watching your weight or struggling to understand why your best efforts are not good enough to prevent you from gaining weight, examine your sleep.  Hop over here for some tips on deepening your sleep at night, naturally.

 


 

6.  Trust the resiliency of your body.

 

Your body functions on the basis of resiliency.   It resets again and again and again and again.  Adapting, recalibrating, adjusting, and realigning to health over and over again.

The human body is incredibly resilient, and the basis of our existence is that your body is adaptable.  Your health is forgiving and intuitive.  Your body can return to wellness despite challenges (like that chocolate bar I just ate while typing up this blog post.  You might think I’m joking but I am absolutely not.)

Your body can handle you eating unhealthy foods (as long as you have a good nutritional intake otherwise) so much better than it can handle not eating enough healthy foods in the first place.

So instead of beating yourself up over having a cheat meal or a decedent dessert or that midnight snack, focus on making sure you are eating all of the nutritional building blocks your body needs to maintain health in the first place.

Stick with making sure you are eating the nutritional building blocks, and your body can handle the extra not-so-healthy things you might consume alongside that.  Trust in your body’s resiliency.


 

 

 

7.  Ground your body while you eat.

 

Grounding has a profound impact on your digestion, boosting your vagal tone (which supports the function of your entire digestive tract, from your esophagus to your colon and everything in between!) while meanwhile directly impacting your ability to feel full and satiated, even enhancing absorption by decreasing inflammation, which also helps with recovery after a meal.

From every single angle, eating grounded helps:  putting you more deeply in touch with your hunger and satiation, helping you digest and absorb your nutrients better, boosting your metabolism and keeping weight gain at bay, even decreasing discomfort after eating.

Even if you eat completely organic, fresh, dairy-free, gluten-free, best-diet-in-the-world you can easily still have irritable bowel issues, or indigestion, or bloating, or pain.

That’s because you can’t fully resolve bowel inflammation without being grounded.

Hop over here to watch a video I created for you to explain why adding grounding to your daily routine is the quickest way to heal your digestion.  At the end of this free article I wrote for you, I share tons of ideas on how to eat grounded outside — pick one each day and watch your weight self correct effortlessly.

 

For more tips on how grounding profoundly supports your health from head to toe, and how to easily incorporate grounding into your daily life to see profound results, grab my book The Earth Prescription, available as a paperback and digital book right here. 

 


 

 

 

8.  Recognize your emotional eating style

 

What I’ve noticed as a physician examining health outcomes for the past 20 years, is that most people eat emotionally instead of nutritionally.

To help you focus on what matters most (which is consuming nutrient dense foods) I have developed a list of the top 7 emotional eating patterns I see over and over again.  If you can develop insight into why you eat the way you do, you can reframe your mind away from eating emotionally and instead eat intellectually, based on what supports your health best.

Stop worrying so much about what treats and indulgences you crave and instead figure out why you crave them.

Look over this list to see if you can identify which emotional eating pattern describes you best and get some tips on working with your eating patterns in a healthier way:

 

 

 

  • FOOD IS SECURITY   For some folks, food represents safety and security.   So when they are not eating, deep fears of safety and panic may arise.  There may be worries about food scarcity and needing to know when and what your next meal will be. If you notice you overeat, it may be an attempt to feel secure and reassured that all is well. You may crave comfort foods such as casseroles and home cooking and baked goods, or foods that remind you of childhood. If you tend to eat in this way, it is perfectly reasonable to feed your body foods that comfort it, but the goal is to have reasonable portion sizes.  One way to provide comfort and a deep contentment to security-type eaters is to include lots and lots and lots of fiber, so that you feel full, satiated, safe and grounded for longer.

 

 

  • FOOD IS PLEASURE   For some folks, food isn’t just about the nutrition, food is about the entire experience… the smell, the feel, the texture, the flavor, the delight in chewing it. Food is pleasurable and even sensual.  If this is your style of eating, you may find you are eating because you want the feel of food in your mouth, not because you are hungry. You may also find a love/hate relationship with food… often pleasure-seeking eaters have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or lactose intolerance or celiac disease and need to find a balance between the foods they love and the foods their body hates.  One great idea for pleasure eaters is to enjoy drinking (coffees, teas, water, fresh squeezed juices…) or chewing gum throughout the day to experience that sensual pleasure of having sensations in the mouth without necessarily reaching for food.

 

 

  • FOOD IS POWER For some folks, eating food is an issue of control or power. These control-based eaters are the ones most likely to try to strictly monitor what they eat and submit to horrible restrictive diets that they absolutely hate!  And as you read about in today’s medical study, healthy eating is not about what you restrict but rather what you eat. So for people who see food as power, diets are particularly offensive because restricting food intake feels like a loss of power or a loss of control… two things these types of eaters hate!  One great idea for control-based eaters is to drop the diets and instead focus on choosing easily digestible foods like soups and pureed foods that are easier on your digestive organs (liver, pancreas, stomach) and eating frequent, smaller meals, grazing all throughout the day instead of a few large meals. Focusing on high quality foods and eating them more often, instead of restricting quantity, tends to be kinder than dieting and allows your body to feel healthier.

 

 

  • FOOD IS LOVE   Some folks enjoy food that releases endorphins and provides a rush, similar to falling in love. Any of my blog readers who know how often I blog about eating chocolate will recognize… yep, I’m this type of eater.  Romantic foods like oysters, red wine, chocolate… it’s not so much that these eaters care about food, they care about the way the food makes them feel. Dieting feels atrocious for love-seeking eaters and restricting food is equivalent to being dumped by a lover.  One great idea for love-seeking eaters is to focus on enjoying the people you are eating with more than the food — if possible, avoid eating alone (which typically leads to over-eating) and instead really focus on making eye contact with the people you are enjoying a meal with, the conversation.  This will allow you to enjoy what foods you do eat — for example, appreciating a lovely glass of wine and a small piece of dark chocolate instead of three plates full of food you do not actually love or even enjoy. Or, focus just as much on creating a lovely place to eat as you do what foods you are eating.  Add a fresh flower to your kitchen table, bring your lunch outside to eat in sunshine the middle of a work day, or browse thrift stores for beautiful, vintage glasses and plates to mix and match, or hand sew some beautiful cloth napkins to use as a treat.

 

 

  • FOOD IS JOY   Some people just love to enjoy a wide variety of foods and this is one of their wonderful strengths with eating.  My son is a joy-based eater and he is amazing at trying foods most children wouldn’t even think of… exotic foods, spicy foods, unusual vegetables that kids traditionally hate.  He is open to trying it all and gets so excited as he watches me prepare an interesting meal from scratch.  Because joyful eaters are so open to food, dieting or any type of food restriction at all feels like a huge loss and may even bring deep sorrow.  My favorite recommendation for joy-based eaters is to focus on trying new and unusual foods to satisfy their cravings, instead of over-eating a large quantity of boring foods.  Keep a stash of different spices, hot sauces and healthy seasonings to make each bite taste exciting and invigorating instead of needing larger portions to bring joy.  Joy eaters also tend to actually enjoy preparing food, so if you are a joy eater build time into your day to focus on trying new recipes, browsing new cookbooks, and preparing healthy meals from scratch. Joy-based eaters can feel guilty that food brings them joy — but I say this is a strength!  Food brings joy!  So choose your food selection based on how much joy it brings you and do not waste your time (or calories) on food that does not bring joy.

 

 

  • FOOD IS ENERGY   People that eat for energy may need lots more fats and more protein than other eaters. These people have so much energy output that each bite needs to be calorie dense and their body knows this.  Although they get the message to feel bad about eating fats and eating dense protein (after all, eating a light salad seems so much more social acceptable) this leaves them feeling depleted and desperate for a pick-me-up later.  They may even feel a sense of shame about eating something that their vegetarian friend (who is not an energy-eater) would not touch. Instead of feeling guilty, energy eaters need to know that they are honoring their bodies by feeding their brain lots of healthy fats (organic whole fat dairy/butter/yogurt or coconut, avocado, fish oil…) and protein (organic, ethically produced meats, organic eggs,  organic nuts and nut butters.). My daughter is an energy eater, and I can honestly say that she is one of the healthiest people I know.  Glowing skin.  Gorgeous hair.  Beautiful radiant soul.  People who are energy eaters need to feel good about their intuitive food choices that make them crave protein. Not everyone can feel their best on a strictly vegetarian diet, so please be non-judgmental towards yourself or your friends who need to eat ethically sourced meat routinely.

 

 

  • FOOD IS OPTIONAL   Does this sounds familiar: forgetting to eat, not making the time to eat, feeling dizzy because you skipped lunch, reaching for a quick snack and then getting right back to work, forgetting to hydrate?  Some folks find it easy to ignore their bodies needs or lose track of time.  While sporadic eaters are usually not so bothered by going on a diet, the danger here is that they often don’t take the time to eat healthily so that when they do eat, they are ravenous and don’t make smart food choices, or they don’t even get the needed nutritional building blocks at all.  The best thing these eaters can do is to schedule in their eating so that they eat at regular intervals, stay hydrated, and make great food choices… instead of not eating all day long and then binging in a drive through on the way home. Another great tip is to carry water with you at all times, so that even if they you not taking the time to properly eat, you stay well hydrated.  This goes for everyone, but to sporadic eaters most of all.

 

 

I hope this insight helps give you an idea of how to work with your own unique energy flow, cravings and health goals.

And I hope you will use this one mainframe shift — stop dieting and start eating! — to stop the constant struggling with your diet and instead focus on feeding  your body the foods it needs.

Remember, try to shift your thinking from negative dietary restrictions to positively consuming healthy foods.

 


 

 

Want more tips on how to safely, easily, and effectively lose weight in a way that supports your innate health?

I’ve got you.  Join me here:

 

Weight Release & Reset Online Class

 

This quick and easy, completely transformative 5 day Weight Reset Online Class will give you the 5 pillars of sustainable, feel-good weight loss and totally make over the way you view your body and your weight.

I’ve based this course directly off of the medical literature and my 20 years of experience helping to support my patients with their weight loss goals.

Hop over here to sign up and reserve your spot today, class starts Augst 9th and is the last time I will run it in 2021. 

 

To your resilient, innate health!

xoxox, Laura

How To Release Weight Changes That Are Caused By Stress

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Gaining weight (or losing weight) unintentionally is a common response to chronic or acute stress.

In fact, a recent poll conducted by the American Psychological Association found that most of us have experienced a significant weight change in the past year, thanks to the overwhelm that the 2020 pandemic brought our way.

The poll revealed that 60% of Americans report undesired weight changes as a result of this year long pandemic.  42% of us gained a significant and unwanted amount of weight and almost 20% of us had an undesired and significant loss of weight.

But I’m here to help.  You can definitely reset your body to it’s ideal, healthiest set point again, and it doesn’t have to take as long as you think.  And it absolutely isn’t about dieting.  No amount of dieting, monitoring your food, and bullying yourself into losing weight will reduce your stress and re-align you with health.

To have a true, sustainable, natural weight reset, here are three steps you can take to feel better and lose weight naturally.  Without the diet.  Read on:

 

 


 

 

 

 1. Focus On Adrenal Repair, Not Weight Loss

 

Stress affects your body from head to toe, and can have a tremendous impact on your weight, as the poll above reflects.  Studies show that sress can cause changes in eating patterns  and they also suggest that cortisol reactivity is one of the reasons why. 

So instead of monitoring your eating, maybe what we should be monitoring is your cortisol and stress levels. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands and by supporting your adrenal health, you can normalize your cortisol levels.  Stop the focus on weight and instead focus on reducing your body’s stress hormone output.   In fact, releasing your weight struggle and embracing your adrenal repair instead may be the best way to stop unhealthy food consumption that is due to stress, which is what is triggering this change in the first place.

As I wrote about in this article here, feeling stress and shame over your weight is actually harmful… and unnecessary, when what we could be doing instead of stressing is nurturing.  Nurturing your body, nurturing your adrenals, and relieving stress to naturally reset your eating patterns.

If you have been focusing on trying to control your food intake, maybe it’s time to stop beating yourself up over something that is being triggered by high levels of stress and high cortisol.  I’d like to suggest that weight issues might be actually adrenal issues.

To help you figure out if some of your unwanted weight changes is actually due to adrenal fatigue, I wrote a free book that you can download and read.  It has tons of fun things inside like a quiz to help you figure out if you are in adrenal fatigue (and what stage you are in) as well as powerful ways to help you fix it.

If you have been through any kind of stressful situation (like uh… hello, 2020!!!) or big life transition (even fun, positive ones like marriage, a new job, a new baby!) chances are your adrenals could use some TLC.  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 and feel better than you have felt in many many years!

Did you know that you can actually be in adrenal fatigue from birth?  It’s true.  But did you also know it’s fully reversible, no matter how long you’ve been living on fumes?  That’s also true, and I will help you get there. Click the button below to order your free copy of my Adrenal Fatigue eBook… it will be instantly emailed directly to you, to keep forever, and please share it freely:

 

 


 

 

 

 

2. Ground Your Body To The Earth Every Day

 

When you get stressed out, all you have to do is walk out your front door, step out of your office, or stop driving and step out of your car, and reach for the earth.  To reconnect with nature is to find an instant sense of spaciousness, a calm centered experience as you take a single deep breath.

Reconnecting with the wonder of being a human being standing on a rock that spirals through space and seeing the earth for the vast support network it is can’t help but lift your spirits for the better.  The power of nature can hold even your worst of days and remain an immovable source of strength.

Don’t believe me?

The next time you are having a panic attack, or a pounding headache, or a knot of worry grow in your stomach, just go outside.  Get out there.  Don’t force anything, just go outside and let nature work its magic.  If possible, touch the earth directly with your hands or feet and get grounded.

Getting grounded immediately boosts your vagal tone, gets you out of “fight or flight” and calms you.  Reducing blood pressure, deepening breathing and oxygenation, decreasing cortisol output and more.

I’m very heart-warmed to see so many families where I live going on after dinner walks, riding their bikes, jogging in the early hours of the morning, shooting basketballs in driveway hoops, jump roping, etc… but go outside even if you don’t want to exercise.  If you have limited mobility due to medical conditions or just want to relax when you are outside, still do it. Even taking a hot cup of tea outside at night and looking up at the stars and moon, when the rest of the world is shut up tight at bedtime, is wonderful for clearing the mind and grabbing a few minutes of beautiful fresh air with your dearest friend, the earth.

Grounding has a profound and direct impact on your digestion, boosting your vagal tone (which supports the function of your entire digestive tract, from your esophagus to your colon and everything in between!) directly impacts your ability to feel full and satiated, even enhancing absorption by decreasing inflammation, which also helps with recovery after a meal.

From every single angle, eating grounded helps: putting you more deeply in touch with your hunger and satiation, helping you digest and absorb your nutrients better, boosting your metabolism and keeping weight gain at bay, even decreasing discomfort after eating.

Because of the scientific evidence that grounding supports our digestion, I ran a study of my own patients because I wondered if, by boosting our digestion and metabolism through touching the earth, we would see a change in weight over time. So I personally enrolled a dozen overweight patients into an informal private study on grounding and weight loss.  I followed them for 10 weeks, measuring weight, energy, mood, sleep, and pain, with weekly weigh-ins and assessments. 

Their instructions were to touch the earth outside directly for 15 minutes a day, and that was it.  I told them not to change their diet at all. I wanted them to eat everything they had eaten before in the same quantities and in the same fashion.  I told them not to start new activities or to change their activity level at all.  I wanted to see metabolic changes from short periods of daily grounding over time.  Following those patients with weekly weigh-ins and weekly assessments was very, very interesting.

Most of the patients lost a clinically significant amount of weight — 60% of them losing between 4 and 15 pounds in the 10 week study period — doing nothing more then adding in daily grounding for just 15 minutes a day.

Hop over here to watch a video I created for you to explain why adding grounding to your daily routine is the quickest way to heal your digestion.  At the end of this free article I wrote for you, I share tons of ideas on how to eat grounded outside — pick one each day and watch your weight self correct effortlessly.

 

 


 

 

 

3. Reach Out For More Support

 

If you want even more support to safely, easily, and effectively lose weight in a way that supports your innate health, I’ve got you.  We can work together to directly support your weight loss goals in my upcoming online health class.

Join into my upcoming 5 Day Weight Release & Reset Online Class right here.

 

“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the Weight Reset emails and videos! I looked forward to each and every day.  Your class gave me so much hope!”  – C.C.

“This was AWESOME!!  I loved all the information — the medical studies to back it up and the daily reminders.  Plus – I love that you can do this at your own pace.  Thank you!”  – C.W.

“I got a lot out of the class.  I was surprised at how many different things can affect your weight and when you talked about them in the class… it was like a bell went off.  I would definitely recommend the class to others.”  – S.G.

 

Together, we will go over the 5 pillars of sustainable, feel-good weight loss.  One pillar a day for 5 days.  Simple and sweet.

I’ve based this course directly off of the medical literature and my 20 years of experience helping to support my patients with their weight loss goals.  You’d be surprised that your body naturally knows what weight is the perfect one for you, and it can sustain it at this perfect weight effortlessly once you naturally align your metabolism.  I’ll show you how in a very non-threatening, supportive, uplifting way.

It’s not about being rigid or militant or hard on yourself, in fact, it’s the exact opposite.  The harder you are on yourself, the harder it is to align with your healthiest version of you.  It’s not even about your diet and exercise plan — there are actually several other things that are even more important than what you eat and how you move… and without knowing what those things are, you just can’t lose weight.

Understand the things that sabotage weight loss and the weight releases, naturally.

Class starts August 9th and this is the last time I am running this class in 2021.  Hop over here to sign up and reserve your spot today:

 

 

To your resilient, natural health!

xoxox, Laura

10 Ways To Make Healing Instantly More Playful And Uplifting

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I’m going to be spending some much needed time with my family and soaking in every single second for the next few weeks, as by the end of this summer I will officially be an empty nester (sob!!!)  So I today I wanted to leave an uplifting holistic healing article filled with tons of resources for you to enjoy over the next few weeks until my weekly blog posts return.

Here is my goal: I’d like to encourage you to see healing as fun.  Yes… fun!

After all, as you heal you should feel better and better and better, a sense of relief and even a sense of joy.  Feeling good is at the heart of play, and it’s why play is so therapeutic (for a detailed dive on the healing benefits of play, read this article I wrote for you!)

Trying out new and fun things… and why shouldn’t that apply to health and healing?  It should!  My motto is that life is hard enough… so let’s at least enjoy healing.  After all, healing is all about feeling better and better and better.  It is a powerful forward momentum in your life that should be uplifting.  

So, if lately your health care routines leave you feeling stuck, uninspired, or bored, maybe it’s time to introduce a fun new alternative into your healing journey!  It’s always a great idea to find a new way to exercise, fun ways to express your inner creativity, to introduce new healthy recipes inspired by seasonal fruits and vegetables, and to add humor and play into your life.  

But sometimes even new foods, creative expression, play, touch and exercise aren’t enough.  Maybe it’s time to consider a new adjunctive healing therapies… because believe it or not, there is always a new fun way to approach wellness. 

So today, let me introduce you to take you along with Stacey and I as we test out some unusual alternative healing modalities that you might want to consider.   It’s the top 10 videos from my “Trying It Out For You” series on YouTube!  

 


 

 

 1.  Nutritional IVs

 

Click the video above to come with me on a trip to a MedSpa for a nutritional IV.   I’ll tell you if it was powerful enough to make a difference in my sugar cravings or boost my energy level or make any other impact to me well being.  Although I am one of those who truly hate needles, I went for a nutritional IV to find out if they are worth the hype.  I take you along to get an IV and tell you my thoughts before, during, and after.

Was it worth the high price tag?  Watch and find out!

Bottom line?  All in all… for spending over a hundred dollars to try to temporarily boost certain nutrients for a few days, I could have purchased several months worth of the highest quality, pharmaceutical grade supplements that would have supported me for an entire season.  With a bonus of no needle punctures required, plus a much longer window of support, all for less cost.

Below is a list of common ingredients you can select in these nutritional IVs (including the vitamins that Stacey and I tried) and as I scan through them all, every single one of them is available as a pharmaceutical grade supplement in my online dispensary here. 

  • B-12:  helps boost energy
  • Glutathione (Stacey had this one): antioxidant, decreases inflammation
  • Vitamin B complex (I had this): B vitamins are supportive to many metabolic processes in the cells of your nerves, digestive tract, skin and more
  • L-Carnitine: boosts energy and mitochondrial function, fat burning
  • Taurine: essential for brain, eye and red blood cell function, may aid muscle function too
  • Vit D: essential for bone health, immunity, hormone balance and more
  • Vit C (Stacey had this one): pantioxidant that boosts immune function, promotes tissue repair
  • Glutamine (I had this one): Boosts digestive health, repairs leaky gut, decreases sugar cravings
  • Lysine:  An essential amino acid helpful for tissue growth as well as having anti-viral properties
  • Magnesium (I had this one too): essential for proper nerve & muscle function, promotes relaxation
  • Trace Minerals: helps electrolyte balance, boost energy levels and immune function, enhances conductivity

Many MedSpas will combine the above supplements to create their own nutritional cocktails, for example the popular Myers Cocktail is simple a combo of B Vitamins, Vitamin C and Trace Minerals (usually calcium and magnesium.)

 


 

 

 

2.  Float Therapy

 

There are tons of studies that show that floating in a sensory deprivation float tank — a body temperature tank of ultra-concentrated magnesium salts that allow the body to float effortlessly — is helpful in decreasing chronic tension headaches, significantly decreasing anxiety, and treating insomnia.

A study published in Biological Psychiatry: Neuroscience and Neuroimaging in June 2018 found that muscle tension was significantly decreased and blood pressure was measurably reduced after float therapy.   Another study published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal in March of 2016 found that anxiety symptoms were significantly reduced to the point that almost 40% of patients with generalized anxiety disorder reached full remission post-treatment.

What do I think?  What did Stacey think?  Click on the video above and we will share all the details with you!

Want to try this but don’t live near a floatation therapy center or want to experience an inexpensive at-home version of float therapy, here is the next best thing: draw a warm bath just before bedtime, making it close to body temperature (98 degrees) and add several cups of epsom salts to make a hypertonic magnesium solution.  Darken the room or place a warm washcloth over the eyes and soak for at least 15 minutes… up to 60 minutes… adding warm water when needed to maintain body temperature.  See if you feel more calm, with less muscle tension, and get a better night’s sleep!

 


 

 

3,  Halotherapy

 

Halotherapy is simply the inhalation of aerosolized dry salts… a very popular new therapy added to many spas. These salt therapy lounges can be very beautiful, with gorgeous Himalayan salt wall features and flowing loose salt over the floors to give the appearance of a salt cave, while sodium chloride crystals are aerosolized into the room’s air for inhalation.

These spas claim that halotherapy can improve respiratory allergies, fix chronic dermatologic skin issues like atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, and even decrease the frequency of upper respiratory infections.  There are some studies that back this up, one notable study published in the journal Meditsina Truda I Promyshlennaia Ekologiia in 2016 which showed that mild cases of chronic obstructive lung disease was clinically improved in about 40% of cases.

Another study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology showed that halo therapy decreased the size of tonsillar hypertrophy in almost half of the patients studied, and was particularly well tolerated by children compared to medical-surgical treatment for sub-obstructive hypertrophy.

Lastly, a study published in Pediatric Pulmonology in 2017 showed that asthmatic children had less bronchial hyper-responsiveness, although lung function tests did not show measurable improvement following treatment.

So I decided to take Stacey and give it a try.  Did we think it was worth the hype?  Click the video above to come into the salt room with us and find out!

 

 


 

 

 

 

4.  Cryotherapy

 

Just like a football player taking an ice bath after a big game, exercise enthusiasts swear by intensely cooling down the body with cryotherapy after strenuous exertion as a way to reduce inflammation and expedite recovery.

Cryotherapy centers are gaining in popularity, but do they work?   One study, recently published in Wiadomosci Lekarskie in 2018, found that cryotherapy treatments decreased back pain and increased the range of motion of the lower back in patients with degenerative spine disease.  Another study published in PLOS One in June 2011 showed cryotherapy after exercise reduced blood markers of inflammation.

Click on the video above and come in with Stacey and I while we give cryotherapy a try.  I tried it on my left knee, which has hurt me since I injured it playing soccer as a teenager decades and decades ago, and I loved it!  Definitely felt less knee pain for about 48 hours, then the benefits seemed to wear off.  Stacey was brave enough for the whole body cryotherapy and found it not only invigorating but she reported less aches and pains for at least two days afterwards too!  This one I give a two thumbs up to!

Want to try this at home, instead of spending money at a cryotherapy facility?  Go for it!  A study published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology Performance in March 2017 showed that a 10 minute ice bath (50 degrees Fahrenheit) was actually more effective than whole body cryotherapy (3 minutes at -110 degrees Celsius) in reducing muscle soreness and accelerating muscle recovery after exertion.

Can’t tolerate an ice bath?  Me either.  To approximate my therapy — targeted only over one joint instead of the whole body — use an ice pack (for no longer than 10 minutes) placed directly on areas of pain and soreness to decrease inflammation in targeted joints and muscles.  Better yet, use a grounded ice pack to synergistically combine temperature therapy and grounding therapy for the best results!

 

 


 

 

 

5.  Acupuncture

 

Acupuncture isn’t a new therapy, but actually a longstanding ancient healing modality that has many medically studied health benefits.  In fact, acupuncture is one of the most medically studies alternative healing modalities, so let me give you a quick run down on the conditions it has been found to be most beneficial for:

  • Headache & Arthritis:  This meta-analysis, published in The Journal Of Pain in May of 2018, studied over 20,000 patients in over 39 different trials that were double blinded, to see what chronic pain conditions acupuncture was best for (if any.)  They found that acupuncture significantly reduced pain for long periods of time and was an effective treatment of chronic musculoskeletal, headache, and osteoarthritis pain.
  • Neck Pain: A meta-analysis, published in the Cochrane Library Review in November of 2016, looked at neck pain from all causes, including whiplash, arthritis and mechanical neck pain, and found that acupuncture significantly decreased pain (over sham acupuncture) and found that disability from neck pain was reduced.
  • Opioid Use: This unique study, recently published in Medical Acupuncture in February of 2020, found that veterans who utilized opioids were in less pain immediately following ear acupuncture — although it’s important to note that the reduction in pain was short term, immediately following the treatment, and did not result in long term reductions in pain.  The ear acupuncture also did not result in a decrease use of opioids from baseline, but it did result in the acupuncture recipients not increasing their average dose as much as the non-acupuncture recipients did.  So over all, acupuncture patients required less opioids than non-acupuncture patients did.
  • Post Surgical Pain: This study, published in Medical Acupuncture in August of 2019, found a similar result as the opiod study above — that is, while participants who received acupuncture after shoulder surgery reported significantly less pain, there ultimately was no difference in the dose of pain medications required post-surgically. This study, published in HNO in January of 2017, looked at pain levels in patients after tonsillectomy surgery and found a significant pain decrease after a single treatment of acupuncture, lasting on average for 3 hours post treatment. As an aside, I would say I felt a noticeable improvement in my neck and shoulder pain (as I mention in the video) after acupuncture that agrees with this timeline — I enjoyed about 3 hours of relief before I noticed tension pain beginning to accumulate again.
  • Migraine: In a study published in Headache in March of 2015, acupuncture was shown to decrease migraine occurrence as well as any conventional drug therapy, with less side effects and no prescription necessary.
  • Fibromyalgia: Acupuncture was shown to significantly decrease pain and increase functionality in fibromyalgia patients (published Jan 2019 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.)
  • Chronic Pelvic Pain: Medical studies (like this one, published in the Journal of Urology in October of 2018) found that acupuncture significantly reduces pain in chronic pelvic pain for both men (from prostititis) and women (published in Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine in September of 2018.)
  • Chemotherapy Side Effects: This study (published in the Asian Pacific Journal Of Cancer Prevention in 2014) found that acupuncture significantly reduced side effects from cancer treatment, decreasing pain, anxiety, nausea, vomitting and insomnia during chemotherapy.  And this study (published in the JAMA Oncology in Dec 2019) found that both acupuncture and acupressure were associated with significantly reduced pain and decreased pain medication use in cancer patients.
  • Coma: This incredibly interesting study, just published in Alternative Therapies In Health And Medicine in February of 2020, looked at acupuncture therapy, vs sham acupuncture, vs no acupuncture at all in unconscious coma patients after traumatic brain injury. To me this is the best study showing that the positive results of acupuncture can not possibly be placebo.Researchers found that the Glascow Coma Score, The Glascow Outcome Score, and the wake promoting rates were all improved in the acupuncture group and that coma states were lessened, but larger and more rigorous studies are needed before routinely recommending acupuncture as part of coma treatment world wide.
  • Dementia: This study, published in the Western Journal of Nursing Studies in December of 2019, found that acupuncture and acupressure significantly reduced agitation, anxiety, depression and insomnia in dementia patients, as well as significantly improved activities of daily living.
  • Anxiety:  This review of the medical literature (published in Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice in May 2018) on anxiety found 13 studies that were rigorous enough in the use of acupuncture in anxiety disorders to suggest that there are significant and measurable reductions in anxiety with acupuncture therapy, as well as less side effects than medications that treat anxiety.

 

What did I think, when Stacey and I went in for a session?  Click on the video above to let me sneak you into an acupuncture session in a community based acupuncture clinic and we will share with you our honest feedback.

Want to try this at home? Consider acupressure.  Several studies have shown that acupressure (holding pressure over pressure points) is equally effective to professional acupuncture with needles.  Pre-surgical patients ranked similar relief with acupressure as with acupuncture in alleviating pre-surgery anxiety, and psoriasis patients actually improved more with short term acupressure therapy over traditional acupuncture therapy.

It’s super easy to hold or massage acupressure points… many important acupressure points are found in the hand and the feet, on the external ear, the scalp, neck, back, wrist and more.  In fact, many of the benefits of traditional massage are thought to be from stimulation of acupressure points, along with increased circulation by mobilizing muscle and fascial tissue.  So even if you don’t know specific acupressure points, even a simple foot or hand massage can relax your whole body, from head to toe.  And for a no-brainer way to apply acupressure, there are lots of inexpensive tools like Aculief (for headache therapy,) acupressure wrist bands for nausea relief, acupressure foot massagers, acupressure clips to use on ears, hands and feet, even whole body acupressure mats.

 


 

 

 

6. Nia

 

This time,  Stacy and I went to a local Nia class and to try out a new form of exercise.  Outside, in the fresh air and sunshine, grounded with bare feet, boy did we have fun.  Turns out, Nia is a very gentle, low key, easy way to get your body moving, while still feeling the tremendous perks that traditional exercise gives.  I barely felt like I exerted myself, yet my body felt completely mobilized, stretched out, energized and refreshed afterwards!  Click on the video above to go hear about our experience before and after class!

I highly recommend doing Nia outside, and if you don’t have classes near you, just put on a YouTube video (here’s a fun one!) and get grounded to the earth while you move your precious body!  The medical literature backs our experience up.  Even gentle exercise is life changing — reducing your risk of morbidity and mortality significantly… and that’s even if you have been sedentary for most of your life.

Truly it is never EVER too late to start moving your body and reaping the benefits.

New research published March 8, 2019 in JAMA Network Open shows that introducing physical activity later in life, even in your 60s (and as you’ll see in other studies below, in your 70’s and beyond as well) has a similar benefit of increasing lifespan as you would enjoy if you had been exercising since young adulthood.  Researchers looked at over 300,000 patients and found that exercising for an average of 2 hours a week was enough to protect longevity, significantly dropping their risk of dying from heart attack, stroke, cancer, and all causes of death combined.

And here is the interesting part: folks who were inactive but started to exercise in mid-life had every bit the protection to their lifespan as folks who were active from adolescence on.

This echoes what researchers found in a study published April 2017 in the Journal Of Geriatric Cardiology, where researchers looked at almost 3,000 adults, with an average age of 71, and evaluated their mortality rates in relationship to how much they exercise.  What they found is that adults who exercised routinely dropped their risk of dying from heart attack or stroke by almost 60%.

And again, the interesting part is how you are never too old to boost your health with exercise. Because even though the average study participant was in their 70s, if during the study they increased the amount they exercised even more, their risk of dying from a cardiovascular dropped by an additional 25%!

So truly, I mean it, it’s never too late to start exercising routinely, because even if you up your activity level starting when you are in your 70s you are significantly, measurably protecting your health and prolonging your life.  And it doesn’t have to be strenuous activity.  A study published May 2019 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that replacing just 30 minutes of sitting time a day with light physical activity decreased mortality rates significantly.

So now you’ve got no excuses not to put off that activity you’ve always kind of been curious about.  It’s never too late to lengthen your lifespan through exercise.  You can start today by doing Nia and having some fun!!!

 


 

 

 

7.  Labyrinth

 

Here is another, super easy, absolutely non-strenuous way to get a little movement into your day.  And it combines walking, grounding and intentional breathing all in one super fun healing practice.  Walking barefoot on the earth during walking meditation is the hands-down easiest way to drop out of your monkey mind, calm your thoughts, and center your awareness down in your heart (or even better — down at your feet!)

And being grounded naturally boost vagal tone, so along with your breath work, you are exponentially calming your central nervous system, releasing stress and anxiety, calming your heartrate, lowering blood pressure, boosting your circulation and oxygenation, releasing muscle tension, brightening your mood, and giving your body a head-to-toe fresh start.  In fact, grounding supports your vagal tone so well that it actually helped premature infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to improve outcome.  Read this article on my blog right here to find out more about that important study.

If you are suffering from trauma, from insomnia, from anxiety, from depression, from anger, or from any other stressor (and who isn’t?) you can support your recovery and release by simply doing ten minutes of grounded walking.  Click on the video above, where I take you along into my favorite walking meditation — using a labyrinth!  I also share with you some super easy ways you can create your own labyrinth, so even if you don’t have access to a labyrinth (and even if you don’t have any of your own yard space to create one)  you can still do a walking meditation.  Literally drawing a spiral with a piece of chalk on a sidewalk square, or simply walking up and down a line on your driveway, or using tape to create a line or spiral in your garage, all of these ideas can create a grounded walking meditation path that will literally transform your day.

Any cement, sidewalk, concrete surface outside is grounded, so anywhere you can kick your shoes off and walk a line or a spiral on a sidewalk or concrete will get you grounded without ever getting your feet dirty!  For example. Walk up and down a sidewalk slowly.  Walk back and forth across your driveway slowly.  Draw a chalk spiral on your cement basement garage or basement floor to walk on.  Or get fancy and use tape to create a labyrinth in your garage or basement on the concrete floor that you can use forevermore!  This video shows how you can create a labyrinth out of masking tape, in just minutes.  

Of course, any dirt path outside would make a fabulous grounded meditation path, just slowly walk it up and back.  If you love the feeling of grass on your bare feet like I do, you can always walk on any safe green space in a grounded walking meditation.  Most garden paths and patio walkways are grounded, because slate, tile, brick, even gravel is all grounded when they are lying on the earth.  So almost any outdoor walkway is an instant grounded meditation spot when you walk it barefoot.  In this video I show you 15 different outdoor surfaces that will ground you, beyond just grass.  And if you are lucky enough to have your own yard, you can even spray paint a little spiral on your grass to use it for several days in a row.  If you love it you may be inspired to create your very own labyrinth path by laying stones or brick to create a personal labyrinth in your yard or garden.  I know this is on my bucket list to do one day!

If you can take ten minutes to do this walking meditation daily — grounded — I believe with my whole heart it can change your perspective on your entire life, fill you with a sense of hope and fresh positivity, and help you feel physically better too.

 


 

 

 

8.   Compression Therapy

 

There is a new trend that offers compression therapy in a spa setting, where you can sit for a 30 or 60 minute period of time, wearing a garment that inflates (similar to a large blood pressure cuff) on and off, forcing blood and lymphatic fluids up the limbs.  It’s called intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) and it’s something I’m familiar with because we put these exact same inflatable boots on patients after surgery, to prevent blood clots.

It’s also the same idea behind therapeutic lymphatic massage, often prescribed to patients after removal of lymph nodes and/or with other causes of lymphedema in the arms or legs.

At the center where I gave it a go, you can choose to compress either your arms or your legs.  Stacey and I went for leg compression — click the video above to join us and see how it went!  No foot or leg massage I’ve ever gotten was as powerfully awesome as this full compression of both my feet and legs.  So if you are like me and love a strong massage, this might be a great option for you.

But does it provide long term benefit?  I’m not so sure.  From my medical experience, we are taught that this type of therapy has to be done daily to see benefit.  So I scoured the medical literature to double check and as expected, there is no research showing that a one time session has any benefit whatsoever.  While long daily term use has definite, and proven, therapeutic benefit to many conditions — from prevention of DVTs/blood clots to treatment for chronic venous insufficiency to lymphedema, and even as a novel treatment for knee arthritis — all of these treatments require daily IPC use for weeks at a time.

Are there any indications for doing this therapy just once?  I can think of two:  1.  As a workout recovery tool — after a strenuous run or a marathon or other competition, if you just need a strong massage to get the lactic acid mobilized and help support muscle recovery, I could see coming in for a single treatment.  2. Massage — if you love deep tissue massage and want to specifically focus on your feet and legs, or hands and arms… this will be an amazing tool for you, deeper than what the human hands can do in a traditional massage, and it’s way cheaper (my 30 minute compression treatment cost $25)

Can’t find a compression therapist near you?  KT tape has been shown to work in a similar way to IPC, and can be worn for long periods of time, is inexpensive, and discrete.  No more sitting imobilized for long periods of time anchored to a machine, KT tape allows you to get up and go, wearing the support without anyone even knowing you are.  This study — just published on Sept 9, 2019 in Clinical Rehabilitation, looked at using KT tape in breast cancer patients who had lymph nodes removed, and researchers found that KT tape was superior to IPC therapy in that it decreased swelling while at the same time enhancing range of motion in a way that IPC was not able to do.

 


 

 

 

9.  Grounding Through Water

 

Another great way to have fun while healing is to ground outside in areas that are naturally moist: by the ocean or river or lake… even the morning dew on a blade of grass!

There is a reason that doctor’s routinely gave out prescriptions for spending time by the sea when they had no idea what else to do to help an ailment in days of yore.  That’s because the earth has healing energy to give you, and if you add moisture to that you increase your own conductivity and healing accelerates.  Moisture + you + earth = expedited healing.

Click the video above, where Stacey and I take you along to experiment with grounding in water.  It was one of the last really warm days we had at the very tale end of summer 2020 (which, where we live, is in September!). I hope you enjoy it.  You can really see and feel the difference of how relaxed and centered we become after spending an hour grounding through water.

 


 

 

 

10.  Sauna

 

Here’s what I do whenever it’s too cold to ground outside and/or too cold to exercise outside, to get a similar health boost without the frozen nose and numb toes.  I head to my local YMCA and sit in the sauna to reap very similar benefits to exercising, but without the risk of slipping on dangerous ice or feeling my lungs burn from the frigidly cold air.  Then immediately after my sauna session, I am warm enough to embrace grounding outside for a few blessed moments while I cool down.  It’s win-win!

Click the video above to come and sit with Stacey and I for a healing session of sauna + grounding.

I love anything that boosts circulation — like grounding, sauna, steam room, hot baths, sleeping with a hot water bottle, massage, even (on occasion) exercise LOL…. it just feels intuitively right to get your blood flowing.  Sauna increases the circulation of blood all throughout your body — getting the blood pumping through your cardiovascular system, your muscles, your skin, your joints, your brain — so it turns out that routine sauna has many of the same health benefits that exercise does.

So when the weather is too harsh outside, if you can find a local sauna to go to, you can feel confident that you are still boosting your health and longevity even without hitting the treadmill.   And there are several recent major medical studies that back this up!

Medical studies have shown that folks who use a sauna two or more times a week have a significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and death, and a reduced risk of all-cause mortality (meaning they died less from all causes put together) than folks who used a sauna once a week or less.  Published in Evidence Based Complimentary & Alternative Medicine Journal, April 2018 , researchers review 40 studies that included almost 4,000 patients and found that routine sauna use:

  • reduced risk of heart disease, heart attack and sudden cardiac death
  • lowered blood pressure
  • lower risk of stroke
  • reduced risk of dementia and other neurocognitive changes
  • reduced risk of pulmonary disease such as asthma and lung infections like influenza
  • decrease risk of rheumatologist and immune disorders
  • decrease in pain conductions such as arthritis and headaches
  • decreased risk of death
  • improved quality of life

And looking at cognitive function yielded even more exciting results. Turns out, sauna not only lengthens lifespan but protects against dementia to preserve quality of life, too!  Published in Age and Ageing (Dec 8, 2016) researchers followed more than 2,300 patients for an average of 20.7 years, and found that sauna users enjoyed a 66% reduction in dementia risk of all types (including Alzheimer’s) from this very easy-to-enjoy lifestyle intervention. It turns out, the circulation boost from sauna preserves memory function and protects us from developing memory diseases.  So, not only does sauna help you live longer (avoiding heart disease and all-cause mortality) but it also helps you avoid dementia and memory loss disease to enjoy that longer life more!

Why is sauna so good?  Sauna raises whole body temperature which activates metabolic changes like a neutralizing inflammation, reducing oxidative stress, increase nitric oxide bioavailability, increased insulin sensitivity, and improved vasodilation.  In other words, raising the core body temperature and increasing circulation makes the benefits of sauna very similar to the benefits of exercise.  So increased time in the sauna helps increase vascular perfusion of the brain, increasing endothelial function and reducing inflammation.  And not just in your brain, but throughout your entire body, too, which is one of the reasons it’s so cardioprotective as well.

So if you can’t exercise (or, ahem, like me, don’t particularly love to do it in the cold winter months) then one good alternative is sauna.  Sauna is also a great idea for disabled or mobility-limited folks, who might find getting outside to exercise more challenging.  Almost anyone can sauna and enjoy very similar longevity benefits as if they exercised!  As an added bonus, you can use your cool down period to get outside in the fresh air and get grounded.

Sauna to boost circulatory health and grounding to boost conductive health… that’s a win-win winter health care routine.  Interested in giving sauna a try?  Here are some tips:

  1. The recommended routine is to sauna at least once a week and up to three times a week, for a time period of at least 5 minutes and a maximum of 20 minutes.
  2. Hydrate before, during and after sauna.
  3. Be sure to cool down afterwards by grounding for several minutes in the fresh air outside.
  4. Touch the ground, or cement, the sidewalk, concrete, a tree, a bush, or a rock to get grounded.  Take five minutes to breathe deeply, let your core body temperature normalize, and then dive back into your day knowing you powerfully boosted your health.
  5. Don’t sauna if you have a fever, an active inflammatory condition like a rash or hives, or are intoxicated, and ask your physician if sauna is right for you if you have a serious cardiac issue or other health issues.

 


 

 

 

 

Never let healing get dry, boring or mindless.  Interjecting something new to once in a while can stimulate your body to recover in all new ways.  As I mentioned above, even brain injuries that are over ten years old can show significant improvement by treatments that are considered alternative.  There is a first time for everything, so breathe new life into your health and healing by trying something you’ve never tried before!

And no matter what holistic therapies intrigue you, keep moving forward with your health and healing.  If you feel that your healing journey has reached a plateau, know that there is always a fun new way to approach wellness with fresh forward moving energy.

xoxox, Laura

Gardening: Health Benefits That Go Way Beyond Time Spent Grounding

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Many folks who embrace grounding are passionate gardeners, and understandably, being grounded while working a garden bed outside boosts your health instantly.  But  beyond the healing boost of being grounded, it’s actually healing just to be around plants of any kind, even while ungrounded (for example, just seeing a plant through a window or adding a potted plant to a workspace) gives us documented health benefits. 

Read through this list of the top 9 perks of gardening and see if it doesn’t inspire even those of us who are non-gardeners to dive into this wonderful activity.  From a windowsill garden to a flower bed to a large plot of farmland, gardening is more than a way to grow flowers and food… it’s a lifestyle that can help ensure longevity and health. 

Read on to discover some surprising ways that gardening is doing more for your health than you ever thought possible:

 


 

I painted this artwork to show the healing benefits of nature to our central nervous system!

 

1. Gives You A Healthier Brain

 

Every minute you spend out in your garden is brain protective… so much so, that having gardening as a hobby actually lowers your risk of dementia!  A study published in 2006 in the Medical Journal of Australia found that daily gardening decreased dementia risk by in incredible 36%.   A follow up study, published in 2019 in The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that gardening actually increased levels of brain nerve growth factors.

Another incredibly interesting study, recently published in January 2020 in The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that a gardening intervention program significantly boosted levels of the brain neurotransmitters tryptophan and serotonin, which are necessary for healthy sleep patterns and mood stabilization.

 


 

 

 

 

2.  Gives You Boosted Mental Health

 

Multiple studies have found that having access to a garden or other green space decreases depression rates, anxiety rates, and dramatically reduces stress.  One study, called the MIND study (conducted in 2007) found that simply walking through a garden or greenway significantly improved mental health, while walking through areas without greenery (such as a shopping mall) significantly decreased mental health.  

If simply walking through a green space impacts mental health so much, you can probably guess that hand’s on gardening would boost mental health even more.  And you would be right.  After an extensive systemic review of 22 studies looking at the health impact of gardening, the results of this meta-anylsis (published in Preventive Medicine Reports in 2016) found that gardening significantly reduced anxiety levels, anger levels and depression rates, decreased tension, stress levels and boosted mood… all while simultaneously improving life satisfaction and boosting over all quality of life.  It’s absolutely incredible that simply tending to a garden can offer such a transformative life make-over, but it’s true!

 


 

 

 

3.  Lowers Your Blood Pressure

 

Even indoor gardens can positively impact on your well being, so don’t discount the power of a windowsill garden or a simple house plant to support your health.  An exciting study published in 2015 in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, showed that simply adding plants to an indoor computer room not only boosted the worker’s productivity, it also significantly decreased their blood pressure.  

Another study, published in 2007 in the American Society for Horticultural Science found that workers with potted plants in close proximity to them while working took less sick leave off from work and enjoyed increase productivity. 

 


 

 

 

4.  Helps You Recover Your Health Faster 

 

Being physically near plants is so impactful to our mental and physical health that it turns out, even just seeing a plant can significantly impact our recovery from stressful health events.  We have such an innate need to be submersed in a world with foliage and plants around us that a study (published in 1984 in Science) found that patients who simply had a view of plants through a window while recovering from surgery had better moods, used less pain medications, had less surgical post-op complications, and even decreased their length of stay in the hospital.  

Less pain during recovery and getting to go home sooner after surgery just by looking at plants?  That’s an awesome health strategy that I wish more hospital and clinics would take into account when designing their architecture. 

 


 

 

 

 

 

4.  Decreases Your Body’s Inflammation 

 

One of my biggest passions as a holistic physician is encouraging people to touch the earth to decrease inflammation in their body, a healing practice known as grounding.  A study on grounding, published in the Journal Of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine in 2010, found that subjects who were grounded while exercising had 40% lower levels of creatinine kinase (a marker of muscle inflammation) and less soreness after exertion than non-grounded subjects. They also had lower pain levels, significantly lower blood cortisol levels, and even lower white blood cell counts.

When you are grounded to the earth, as you are during gardening while touching the ground in any way, including touching any plants, soil, dirt, rocks and water that is on the earth, you are supporting your health in so many ways.  For more information on the whole body benefits of grounding, see any of these articles I’ve got waiting for you on my Grounding Medical Studies page here or read my book The Earth Prescription right here.

 

 


 

 

 

5.  Reduces Your Toxic Burden

 

One of the very best things about gardening is that you can have a direct impact in reducing your body’s total toxic burden.  By growing your own garden, you can reduce your environmental exposures to pesticides and insecticides by choosing non-toxic, organic gardening practices and choosing not to apply toxic chemicals to your garden space, as well as reducing the amount of pesticides that you directly consume when you eat edibles from your garden that haven’t been treated with chemicals.  

With over 5.6 billion pounds of pesticides used globally each year, it’s estimated that the average person eating store bought foods, including store bought produce, eats over a pound of chemicals every year.  The good news is that it only takes a few days of eating your own garden fresh produce to dramatically reduce the concentration of measurable pesticides in your body.  One study, published in Environmental Research in 2019, found that eating organic produce for just one week significantly reduced urine pesticide concentrations in study participants by 70%.  One week!

 


 

 

 

 

6. Increases Your Nutritional Intake 

 

Not only will eating your home grown produce reduce your toxic burden from things you don’t want — like exposures to unwanted chemicals — it  can also dramatically boost the things you do want to go into your body… like active antioxidants and powerful vitamins.  Even organic produce sold in a grocery store can lose half of it’s vitamins and phytonutrients by the time you get it home and eat it, especially water soluble vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 & B12, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin.  

Just by eating your food fresh picked, garden-to-table, you reduce the loss of nutrients that inevitably happens when shipped, stored and displayed at super markets.  Fruits and vegetables are extremely sensitive to and heat and light exposures, rapidly degrading over time.  A study published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture in 2007 found that most produce loses about 30% of their nutritional content three days after picking.  Some dramatically more, for example, spinach can lose up to 90% of it’s vitamin C activity within 24 hours of harvest.  While freezing produce might help slow nutrient degradation, the ultimate solution to having vibrantly nutritious, fresh foods to eat is to grow them yourself and consume them that day, if not the very minute you pick it!

 


 

 

7.  Gives You Better Sleep

 

There is a beautiful relationship between our sleep cycle and mother earth.  Most people believe that our circadian (day/night) rhythm is dependent on sunlight to set that pattern for us, but scientists feel that the earth’s energy field has as much, if not more, to do with our sleep/wake pattern than even the sun, and they have known this since a pioneering study conducted back in 1970.  Published in Life Sciences in Space Research, researchers discovered just how influential the earth is to our sleep patterns. 

Looking at several hundred test subjects that lived for a two month period of time in a bunker that was blocked from sunlight but still had the earth’s electromagnetic field surrounding them, scientist discovered that they kept sleep/wake patterns that were close to a 24 hour rhythm.  Meanwhile, test subject that lived in a bunker that was completely shielded from the earth’s energies became completely desynchronized and experienced significantly longer, and much more irregular, sleep/wake rhythms. Researchers then experimented with introducing different electrical and magnetic fields into the shielded bunker, and only one frequency was able to restore normal sleep/wake patterns…  the frequency of Mother Earth’s natural energy, the Schumann frequency.  

From this the researchers postulated that it is actually the frequency of the earth that regulates our natural biorhythms. Based off of this understanding, it’s easy to understand how directly connecting to the earth through gardening daily can help enhance restorative sleep at night and boost daytime wakefulness.

 


 

 

 

8.  Boosts Your Vit D Levels

 

By now we’ve all heard of the importance of getting adequate Vitamin D… vitamin D protects so many different aspects of our health, from decreasing diabetes risk to boosting weight loss benefits to decreasing depression risk to preventing depression to predicting better cancer recovery to boosting fertility!  

But does gardening actually increase Vitamin D levels?  Yes, says a study published in PLOS One in 2014.  Researchers studied thousands of blood samples from patients who engaged in a variety of activities, and found that gardening and cycling were the only two activities that significantly decreased the risk of vitamin D deficiency… superior all other outdoor activities, including fishing and walking.  Gardening boosted Vitamin D levels across all age groups, so it’s a fantastic pastime that you never need to outgrow, a hobby to get into for life!

 


 

 

 

9.  Increases Your Longevity

 

A study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine in 2016 found that people who stayed indoors and avoided sun exposure actually had a shorter life span than those who spent time outside.  Participants who avoided the sun had higher rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and pulmonary disease than those who had daily sun exposure. And the results were dose-specific… meaning that the benefits of increased life expectancy went up directly in correlation to the amount of sun exposure.  Longer time in the sun = longer life span.  That simple!  Gardening is a fantastic way to routinely be inspired to go outside and get that sunshine and fresh air, two of natures best holistic health treatments.

Another reason that being a gardener might lengthen lifespan, besides getting more sunlight, is the increase in activity level.  A fabulous study (published in 2019 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine) found that replacing just 30 minutes of sitting each day with light physical activity was enough to significantly decrease mortality rates.  And again, here’s the clincher: the health benefit of replacing sedentary time with light physical activity was actually even stronger if you were older than 75 years old.  So light activity decreased mortality rates in adults older than 75 years old even more than it decreased mortality rates in younger age groups.  In other words, the older you are, the more that activity of any kind increases your lifespan.  

 

 

 

It’s never too late to lengthen your lifespan and boost your health through daily activity — and that includes gardening.  When you combine the fact that gardening has been proven to have huge mental health benefits, longevity benefits, grounding benefits, nutritional benefits and more, you would be hard pressed to find another activity that supports your health from so many different angles and in so many ways. 

So what are you planting in your garden this year? 

No matter how big or small your space is, whether you have a windowsill garden, a potted houseplant or two, a few medicinal herbs grown on your porch, access to a community vegetable garden or pick-your-own orchard or berry farm, or are even blessed enough to have your own land, tending to plants and growing flowers or food is one of the most rewarding, most pleasurable activities that I can recommend.  

To your health!  xoxox, Laura

 

My Favorite 7 Health Benefits That Women Enjoy When They Get Grounded

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There are so many wonderful reasons for women to connect with Mother Earth — and they are medically studied, with proof that the earth offers clinically significant benefits.   That’s why grounding is one of my favorite recommendations to treat a variety of female health issues as well as protect future wellness.

Today I wanted to run through my favorite 7 reasons I love grounding for women… just a quick overview for you along with lots of resources to dive deeper into any topic that calls to you.  Please share this list with the women in your life that you love.

Encourage them to touch the earth directly — it’s waiting out there to boost our health in a myriad of ways:

 


 

 

 

 

 1.  Protects Hormone Balance

 

When women are under chronic stress, the precursors that normally go into sex hormone production (DHEA, estrogen, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, etc…) are stollen to make cortisol.  After one stressful day, this would not make a difference to our hormone balance, but day after stressful day, month after stressful month, and year after stressful year, it’s enough to put us not only into adrenal failure but worsen PMS symptoms, decrease fertility, and even hasten menopause.

Grounding helps reverse this.  In this study, published in 2004 in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, subjects who slept grounded had a complete normalization of their cortisol patterns, suggesting deep recovery from stress.  By lowering cortisol, decreasing stress, and naturally balancing hormones, many women find that their PMS symptoms are lessened, fertility is boosted, and perimenopause becomes a much easier, more natural transition.

What else can you do besides grounding daily to help balance hormones and feel better?

I’ve written two books for you on this topic, read one or read them both, and share widely:

Free Female Health eBook

Free Adrenal Repair eBook

You can also take Maca Root and other adaptogens to help naturally balance hormones — my favorites are in my online dispensary waiting for you in the Female Health category.

 


 

 

 

 

2.  Gives a Metabolic Boost

 

Touching the earth directly boost your vagal tone immediately — this releases you from the autonomic nervous system’s overdrive of “fight or flight” and allows you to get into the parasympathetic healing zone of “rest and digest.”  When your vagal tone gets a boost, your entire digestive track works better — from salivary glands to gall bladder to colon and everything in between, even better gut peristalsis!

In the blog post below, I talk all about the healing power of grounding to boost digestion, decrease gut inflammation, allow your body to utilize the food you consume better, react to it less, and even over time protect your thyroid function.  In fact, medical studies show that grounding does indeed boost thyroid function, as well as stabilized blood sugar levels.    Hop over here to read it:

Grounding: A Game Changer For Your Digestion

 

Not only does grounding help you digest your food better, boost your thyroid function, and give you metabolic support, it also helps you lose weight naturally.  I talk about this more for you in this article:

How Grounding Promotes Weight Loss With Zero Effort

 

 


 

 

 

3.  Reduces Muscle Pain and Tension

 

Grounding immediately reduces muscle tension — near instantaneously.

As I talk about in this blog post below, your entire skeleton and all your muscles — as well as the connective tissues that hold all your organs and soft tissues in place — is a conductive conduit for healing is the basis for how and why grounding works:

What Grounding Does To Your Muscles

 

When you touch the earth outside, your entire body is instantaneously grounded precisely because your entire musculoskeletal system is conductive — think of it as a conductive fiberoptic system that runs grounding instantly throughout your entire body, as easy as flipping a switch.

This means that grounding can have an immediate impact on decreasing muscle tension and reducing pain, which so many women have.  From the chronic pain of fibromyalgia, to preventing that annoying tension headache, to decreasing pain from cramping, grounding is my front line treatment for pain.

This video will also help go further, explaining why grounding can help reduce chronic pain in ways that other pain therapies do not:

Releasing Chronic Pain

 

 


 

 

 

4.  Decreases Inflammation

 

Inflammation is an insidious condition that we often can not even feel until there is frank disease.  High levels of inflammation in the body can contribute to depression, to dementia, even cancer.  But grounding can help.

In a study published in 2009 in The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, researchers found that grounded subjects had statistically significant decreases in blood markers of inflammation, as well as lowered white blood cell counts, neutrophils and lymphocytes, compared to non-grounded subjects.

In addition, decreases in inflammation as a result of grounding are well documented using medical thermography imaging in this study.  You can hop over here to read a great overview of how grounding decreases whole body inflammation in this articlepublished June 2014 in the Journal of Inflammation Research

Decreasing inflammation can do everything from decreasing your chances of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome to decreasing cancer risk.  It also boosts mood and decreases dementia risk.  That’s win-win-win-win for women everywhere.

 

 


 

 

 

 

5.  Strengthens Our Bones

 

 

As I talk about in this article below, grounding is bone protective.  One medical study found that after only one session of grounding, renal excretion of both calcium and phosphorous went down significantly, which means the primary indicators of osteopenia and osteoporosis in these patients decreased after just a single night of grounding. 

 

Grounding: Relax Your Muscles, Strengthen Your Bones

 

This is incredible… after just one night, instead of their body having to go in and pull minerals out of their bones in order to repair the inflammation of the day and to correct the pH, the minerals remained in the bones preserving their strength.  And so, over time and over a lifetime, instead of leaching away your bones and creating brittle bones, grounding is naturally helping to maintain the integrity of your entire skeletal system.  For a nation whose women have epidemic proportions of osteopenia and osteoporosis, grounding is absolutely crucial for females.

What else can you do to protect bone strength?

Read this article for more on why I highly recommend filtering your tap water to remove fluoride, because even the minuscule amounts of fluoride added to the public water supply accumulates in bone.  It is estimated about 50% of the fluoride we consume is eliminated, and 50% is stored in our body, mostly in our bones.  So miniscule amounts of fluoride adding to our bodies sip after sip after sip equals a not-so-minimal exposure.  Over a lifetime, these levels can reach high proportions… decreasing bone density and causing brittleness.

You can also watch this video I made for you several years ago, after attending a medical conference that focused on osteoporosis prevention.  You can also eat this one food to help increase bone density naturally, through food instead of through medications.

 


 

 

 

6.  Boosts Skin Health

 

The moment you touch the earth, your circulation starts to improve.  Published 2014 in the Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, researchers showed that grounding through the soles of the feet boosted blood circulation all the way up in facial skin tissues, suggesting the positive effects of increased circulation are available even in distant sites of the body that are far away from the grounding point of contact.

In other words, you don’t have to touch the earth with your face in order to brighten your complexion and boost skin circulation, just standing barefoot or touching the earth with a fingertip will do.  Following that study, another study, a double blind placebo study published August 2015 in Health, showed clear evidence of dramatically boosted circulation throughout the body after only one hour of grounding.

What else can you do besides grounding to boost skin health?  Listen to my podcast right here where I tell you about a very interesting recent medical study that suggests beauty sleep is a real thing!

 


 

 

 

 

7.  Boosts Creativity

 

While medical studies show you why grounding is so healing for the human body, I want you to know that it’s not just your physical body that is being supported.  It’s your mind frame, your soul energy, your Spirit.

Just as we have now shown that being disconnected causes everything from depression to inflammation to accelerated aging (collectively now called Nature Deficit Disorder) the re-establishment of grounding your body to support your health will have ramifications that go well beyond any single parameter or indicator of physical health.

You feel better.

You feel supported.

You feel creative.

You feel inspired.

You feel stronger.

You feel more motivated.

You feel more loving.

You feel more loved.

You become open to your soul energy flowing deeply, and meeting your body at it’s core, deep in your heart center.

You become the perfect balance of a physical body that is supported and healthy while being an open vessel holding the most vibrant state of your soul’s energy flowing through your body and resonating out from your core.

When you are in that specific union — of your unique physical body that nobody else has, combined with your unique soul energy that nobody else has, coming together and being totally supported by the healing energy flow of the earth… that is your optimal state of Well Being.

You can offer twice as much of yourself to the world when you feel your well being optimized the way a plant would grow twice as tall because it is grounded and supported by the earth’s energy.

And that’s really the whole point of being alive.

So that you can offer to the world what you are here to offer.

And you can live the unique meaningful life that you are meant to live.

You can go out and radiate twice as much creativity, twice as much goodness, twice as much connection with others, twice as much love to offer, and make twice the impact on this world… and more.

So ultimately, grounding is not just about your hormonal balance or your skin circulation or your bone strength.

Grounding is about finding a center that is so deep and so pure and so strong that you can truly be the best you possible.

Optimizing all of these other things… cardiac function, sleep, hormones, adrenals, bones, thyroid, insulin, etc… so that just like plants in  grounding studies that grow twice as tall when they are grounded, you can feel twice as vibrant, and twice as open to why you are here and what do you want to express while you are here in this lifetime.

That is what I have witnessed and experienced over and over and over again both personally and as a medical physician with my patients.

Most people start their grounding journey because they need an answer that offers more support than any one single medication or operation or vitamin or exercise can offer.  Most people have found that conventional medicine has not been sufficient to correct the physical ailments the disconnect from the earth has caused.

And most people find that when they reconnect, it’s not just the physical ailments that improve.

It’s the body but it is also the energy level and it’s the mind-frame and it’s the sense of meaningful purpose and it’s the heart that heals as well.  So my goal is to be sure you do not limit your expectations in any way when you begin your grounding journey.  Allow your entire body, mind, heart and spirit to be transformed.

Allow the supportive energy of Mother Earth to fill you up, open you up, support you in becoming the optimized best version of you that is possible.

The future for grounding is limitless as connecting directly to the earth outside is the birthright of all living things. There are very very few circumstances where one would not be able to connect outside and receive that healing flow if only we would remember that it is natural for us to do so.  Even urban dwellers can get connected by standing barefoot in a park or on a concrete sidewalk.   Even prisoners in most prisons have access to the outdoors, even if it is concrete, for at least a short period of time each day.

I have patients who live several stories off of the ground who hold onto a tree branch that reaches into their balcony and this is how they ground each afternoon.  I have patients who have a cement basement and stand barefoot on this cement while they fold laundry, and this is how they ground each night.

And for those who are bed ridden, there are even indoor ways to connect directly to the earth even lying comfortably on our beds as we lay tucked in tight using either a grounding rod or a grounded outlet in your home. Grounding while indoors lets you stay in that healthy, connected healing zone for much longer than only grabbing a few minutes outside when you can.  I have medical grade, eco-ethically hand crafted, organic and non-toxic indoor grounding tools — like grounding wristbands, mats, and mattress panels — waiting for you to explore right over here.

 


 

 

 

Taking action, trying it for yourself, taking a few minutes to put a bare foot onto the earth outside, taking the time to ground indoors as much as possible with indoor grounding tools, can do more to inform you about the healing potential of grounding your body than any amount of words I can write.

Luckily, grounding is the easiest, most readily available healing modality possible.

The only thing you need to do is give it a try, and allow the earth’s energy to uplift, transform and optimize your well being naturally.

The earth is out there, waiting for you.

xoxoxo, Laura

 

P.S. For more information on developing a grounding routine that protects your long term health, I’ve got you.   I spent an entire year writing a book for you… it’s called The Earth Prescription and it’s available in print, Kindle, and Audible right here.

 

Hearing Birds Sing Might Be Just As Important To You As Your Next Paycheck, Here’s Why

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More evidence that Mother Nature can boost your happiness like nothing else can… a new study suggests that bird diversity is as important to life satisfaction as an income is.

This study, published in Ecological Economics on Nov 2020, found that not only is happiness correlated with local bird diversity, but a 10% boost in bird diversity actually increases happiness to a similar magnitude as a 10% boost in income does!

We’ve known for a while that animals improve our mood, health, and even boost longevity (I’ve blogged about how pets can do all of this and more for you right here) and that plants do much the same… decreasing depression rates, anxiety rates, and dramatically reducing stress.

But even knowing all of that, I still think if you ask most people if they would rather see a couple extra birds today or earn a slightly higher paycheck, most would assume that money would provide more satisfaction.

 

 

 

This study suggests we might actually be just as happy — perhaps even happier — if we increase our exposure to birds.

Analyzing data from over 26,000 adults across 26 different countries, researchers evaluated biological diversity, socio-economic data and life satisfaction surveys to examine what makes the biggest impact on our long term happiness.

It turns out, more than plants, more than large fauna, more than insect or tree diversity, bird diversity has the biggest impact on happiness… comparable in magnitude to that of income.

So today’s tip is — stop and look for birds.

Or, even easier, just stop and listen.  We can often hear birds even when we can’t see them.

Living in an urban area?

There are still birds.  Listen for them in early morning — sunrise is the best time to hear birds — or listen in the late afternoon hours.

 

 

 

Want to increase the amount of birds you see and hear?

Hang a bird feeder in a window, put some potted plants, a birdbath or a birdhouse on a porch, balcony or  doorstep — even without a yard, you absolutely can attract more birds to you, even in urban settings.  For inspiration, check out this blog post on Bryony Angells’s blog — it’s so adorable — her hummingbird feeders and more hung up on a 10th story balcony that get’s plenty of attention from local birds!

Want to give your body a double shoot of happiness and a health boost?

Combine grounding and birding (simply touch a leaf or a tree or a flower or a rock or a balde of grass and you will be grounded while you listen to the lovely birdsong) and you will be directly supporting your body’s function while simultaneously boosting your happiness.

 

 

 

Crave to hear more of nature’s natural sounds?

Consider a weekend away.  If you want to plan a trip around where you’ll see the most birds, or even one particular bird you’d like to see, you may enjoy birding apps like Birdseye, that give you up to date information on where to find birds, and will tell you what birds are actually around you, no matter where you are!  Grab some binoculars, consider getting up a little earlier than you normally would (sunrise is often the best time to listen to birds!) and have fun.

There is great evidence to suggest that even one weekend in nature can boost your long term health.  A study published in Biomedical and Environmental Sciences in 2012 showed that even a brief intervention of one single weekend spent in nature had significant health benefits — reducing stress, reducing inflammation, and even boosting the body’s immune response, compared to staying in an urban environment for the weekend.

After only a two day immersion in nature, study participants had measurably boosted immunity markers in the blood, lowered blood inflammatory markers, lower cortisol levels, boosted natural killer cells, and improvement of several other markers of immunity and inflammation.

 

 

 

But here is the best part: not only was this health boost significant immediately, but it persisted for an entire month after just that one single weekend in nature!

So one weekend in nature sustained an improvement in health for weeks, well after the subjects returned to their urban living.  The researchers even suggest that routine visits in nature may provide long term anti-cancer benefits, because the subjects who spent a weekend in nature had boosted T Cell and Natural Killer cell function (which produce anti-cancer proteins) that persisted for weeks.

They encourage time spent in nature as a healthy part of a cancer prevention plan, and I agree… if you can’t get outside in nature daily, these studies suggest that planning one weekend a month can still make a huge difference in not only your current health, but protecting your future health as well.  If you can strive to take on weekend a month as a break from your daily grind in order to support your long term health, you can reap the benefits of weeks of boosted health, even if you can’t live in nature.

And as today’s study suggests, you might just find that giving yourself a little bit of time to enjoy the singing of birds on these weekend breaks gives you more life satisfaction than your paycheck does.

 

 

 

 

Want more tips on how to reap the benefits of nature, even when living an urban lifestyle?

I shared the idea to go bird watching with you in my book: The Earth Prescription, and I have hundreds of other ideas that will boost your health in this book, just waiting for you.  Ideas that will ground you every season of the year no matter where you live.

I’m so excited to share it with you, and I’d love to sign a copy for you and send it directly from my hands to yours.

Or, you can order it anywhere books are sold, including:

xoxoxo, Laura