How To Navigate Holiday Parties Without Regretting What You Eat (Or Drink)

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party

Holiday stress isn’t all just about juggling the social commitments, traveling or picking out just the right gift.

Most people report that being surrounded by rich holiday foods, alcohol, temptation everywhere, impulse eating, and weight gain during the holiday season adds a significant amount of stress as well.

 

If there was ever a time that people worry about their weight, it’s during the holidays.

How to navigate this tricky but wonderful time of comfort food, decadent desserts, and celebratory toasts galore?

Today, I’ll tell you!

1.  Protecting your liver at holiday parties:

 

 

Drinking wine occasionally has enjoyed mixed health reviews — with some studies reporting cognitive benefits from wine…

(although for those you can simply take resveratrol supplements!)

…and many more concerning studies reporting that alcohol increases cancer risk and decreases life span.

 

And because holiday parties typically mean a lot of driving out and about to attend these parties, my first recommendation is just not to drink at all!

 

But if you realistically are going to toast the holidays with friends and family and a drink or two… and you have a safe ride lined up… there is a way that you can help that drink be less toxic to your dear old liver.

 

Plus, we can’t ignore that even if the recommendation is not to drink at all, there are 140 millions folks in America alone that regularly drink and about 16 million of them have an alcohol abuse disorder.

So instead of ignoring a huge population of folks that need health support, I share this information in an effort to help their body stay as healthy as possible while they seek the help and support they need to stop drinking.

 

Alcohol is metabolized into acetaldehyde by your liver.

If acetaldehyde sounds familiar, you might be be thinking of it’s cousin, the more well known autopsy chemical:

formaldehyde.

 

Yep, they are related, and just like formaldehyde is well known to pickle human tissue, acetaldehyde isn’t very gentle on your liver or body either.

Both are harsh chemicals known to cause cancer.

If you are drinking one drink an hour or more, you can expect to feel cumulative effects of acetaldehyde build up as your body can’t metabolize the acetaldehyde quickly enough: heart racing, pounding, nausea, dehydration, dizziness.

How can we protect ourselves from this dangerous metabolite?

 

Our body can use l-cysteine to protect against the acetaldehyde effects until our liver can further break the acetaldehyde down into carbon dioxide and water.

You can also add on Vitamin C to help keep the l-cysteine activated and working more efficiently as well.

A combination of l-cycsteine and vit C — taken before you start drinking and continuing with a dose of about 200 mg per ounce of alcohol consumed — to help block the toxic effects of the acetaldehyde can help your body recover more easily from those holiday gatherings.

 

These supplements are not a recommendation to make drinking safe… rather to make drinking less toxic. Remember, no supplement can make drinking safe.

And no supplement can make drinking and driving the slightest bit safe… or morally correct… or legal.  If you are going to drink… don’t drive.

 

And of course, no pharmaceutical company out there has poured money into researching how to reduce harm from alcohol… so there are no large human medical studies to back this up.

(There are animal studies that show that having l-cystiene on board was protective and prolonged the life of rodents who were fed toxic doses of acetaldehyde.  Only 10% of animals initially survived the acetaldehyde challenge without supplementation but 80% initially survived with L-cysteine on board!  That is an 800% increased survival! )

Because these supplements are safe, cheap, and readily available to humans everywhere, Big Pharma knows they are unlikely to make a huge profit from pour large amounts of funding into examining how these vitamins might help us preserve and protect our health.

But on the upside, exactly because they are safe and inexpensive and readily available, this means you have easy access to these supportive healing supplements too!

Be sure to stick with very high quality supplements made in fantastic, reputable pharmacy grade nutraceutical facilities.

To help, I’ve added these supplements in the Detox category of my online pharmacy dispensary so that you can be sure you have pharmacy grade, super pure quality supplements on hand to protect your body if you do decide to drink this holiday season.

 

 

Taking a dose before drinking,

a dose with each round of drinks,

and another dose after you finish all alcohol consumption completely

might help spare your body from some portion of the the ill effects of the toxic acetaldehyde.

 

 

In addition to navigating holiday drinking, sometimes what is even more tricky to be around are all of the party foods!  What if you want to stick with foods that are healthy for your body… or at the very least, don’t undo all of the benefit from the exercise and deep sleep and good supplements you take?

You absolutely can, if you know what party foods to look for.

So today, I offer you some of my 5 favorite holiday party foods that I never ever restrict.  You are almost guaranteed to find at least one of these four treats on any holiday party spread:

 

 

2.  Protecting your diet at holiday parties:

 

1)  Chocolate!

 

Shown to support heart and brain health, women who consume chocolate on a regular basis have a lower body mass index then those who don’t!

 

2)  Caffeine

 

Warding off dementia,  Alzheimers and depression, even decreasing your risk for developing diabetes… a warm cup of coffee or tea is the perfect way to indulge at a party, guilt free, especially if you can skip the sugar and whipped cream.

 

(image courtesy of https://www.ketogenicsupplementreviews.com/)

3)  Berries

 

Super-powered antioxidants that decrease inflammation throughout your body, enjoy the fresh fruit party platter!  Best dessert yet?  Snag that chocolate covered strawberry and enjoy every single luscious bite!

 

4)  Nuts

 

Medically proven to lower heart disease risk and boosting energy without causing any weight gain, find the nut bowl and dig in!

 

 

5)  Deviled Eggs

 

I saved the best for last. My favorite party food of all time is deviled eggs.

I truly believe in eating eggs regularly… the protein and healthy fats are second-to-none.  Although traditional recipes for deviled eggs double their calorie content, it’s still so much less calorie dense (at about 160 calories per deviled egg) than almost anything else that you can find at a holiday dinner.  And the protein is sure to keep you much more full and decrease your desire to fill your stomach with empty carbs and inflammation-inducing sugar.

If you are truly concerned about keeping calorie counts low, you can always offer to be the one to bring deviled eggs to the party!  Using this recipe for a skinny deviled egg (which uses only some of the yolks and swaps out mayo for greek yogurt) each deviled egg is only 37 calories and has 3.8 grams of satisfying, delicious protein!

 

 

 

 You absolutely can (and will!) successfully navigate holiday eating this year, and armed with these tips, you’ll feel your best while doing so!

xoxoxo, Laura

 

Giving The Gift Of Health: The 3 Best Ways

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We all have loved ones in our lives that could use a health boost.

 

And more than anything, that’s what we want to give them as a gift.

A way to feel better.

The gift of more energy, happier days ahead, and better health.

But sometimes giving a healing tool is actually a tricky gift, because it is so personal.

Health, and especially health struggles, are so deeply emotional and so personal.  (Like I talk about here, even just the experience of pain is hardwired to the emotional centers in our brain and can trigger all kinds of upsetting emotional reactions, and that is totally normal!)

And gifting a health care item can even be tricky when giving it to someone who has no health issues at all!

For example, maybe you have someone you’ve always wanted to introduce to grounding, but you are worried that they may resist a gift of a healing modality that is not-quite-yet mainstream.

Or maybe it’s someone who you know for a fact would love grounding, but a healing tool just seems too clinical to give as a gift.

Maybe it’s someone who could use a metabolic boost because they have a new year’s resolution to lose weight, but you don’t want them to feel like you think they are already perfect, just how they are (because we all know you can be truly healthy in a wide range of weight categories, right?  If you don’t believe that yet, let me explain why here.)

Maybe you know someone who could use a good night’s sleep, but you don’t want them to feel like you think they are cranky or look tired if you give them a grounding sleep tool to help them sleep better.

Maybe you know someone who could use a mood boost, but you don’t want them to feel like you are suggesting they are depressed if you give them a light therapy box as a gift.

 

Don’t worry, there are ways to give healing tools to your loved ones that ensure they are the most thoughtful, meaningful, and even life-changing gift they could possibly get.

 

One they will look back on and be so incredibly grateful for.

One that offers a turning point in their life, in their health, and in how close and connected to you they feel.

Today I want to share with you three tried-and-true ways to support your loved ones in their healing journey in a positive, uplifting way that feels 100% loving and supportive.

To create a sweet softness when giving a gift of a health care item, it’s important to round out the healing tool with loving items that make it feel more like a care package, and less like a “here, you need help, use this” type of gift.

It’s truly as simple as this:

 

 

 

Idea #1:

Turn a healing tool from a solitary gift into a care package.

 

For example:

  • by adding a wellness tracker to any holistic healing tool, you create a fun way to make the healing part of the bigger picture of their ever-improving life as a whole
  • by adding a set of Daily Focus Healing Cards, you help inspire them every single day with new creative expressions of wellness, not just the one day they open the gift
  • if you want to introduce someone to grounding by, for example, give a grounding hot water bottle to keep them cozy all winter long… add some organic hot chocolate mix for a warm drink before bed, or bath salts for a warm soak in the bath, or some fresh new sheets to slip into with their grounding hot water bottle, and it will feel like a cozy makeover instead of just a healing tool
  • if you want to gift a water filtration system, for example, add a reusable water bottle and some trace mineral drops to your gift, and this way they can take their new and improved delicious and pure water anywhere they go!

 

As you can see, just adding an extra complimentary item or two changes the vibe from a directive (“do this to feel better”) into an incredibly thoughtful loving gift (“I love you and here is a care package to show how much I care!”)

 

 

 

 

Idea #2:

Turn a healing tool into a bonding experience by giving the gift of your time.

 

For example:

  • adding a movie and some popcorn to any grounding tool will instantly turn it into a fun movie night gift pack… and be sure to watch the movie with them!
  • if you want to gift a light therapy box, adding a bottle of holistic sunscreen and a cute beach towel along with the message that the light box is there to tide them over until summer time fun!  Include a promise to go on a road trip together as soon as the weather is warmer!
  • if you want to gift a fun pack of healing temporary tattoos, add a delicious bottle of wine, champagne or apple cider with a coupon for a fun date together putting the tattoos on and sharing New Years resolutions and goals together.
  • if you want to give conductive socks or gloves, add some ultra-hydrating grounding lotion to keep their feet and hands hydrated along with a promise to go get manicures or pedicures together too!

 

As you can see, committing to spending time with your recipient in addition to the physical gift you are giving is another way to turn a healing tool into a bonding experience you will share!  Giving the gift of time spent together is always win-win, for them and for you!

 

 

 

Idea #3:

Turn a healing tool into a customized gift that validates their unique personality.

 

For example:

 

  • for loved ones that would appreciate some comforting homey touches to their space, you can add a healing meditation chime, a candle and a small plant with a plant grounder (maybe a cute succulent, my fav!) and this will help cozy up and beautiful their whole space (especially perfect for folks who can’t be home over the holidays because they are in rehab or nursing facilities, recovering from surgery, newly moved or relocated, immobile and can not get out of bed, etc…)
  • if they are a creative sort, adding a hardcover inspirational journal and a special pen or bookmark to keep by their bedside, maybe even including a mug and their favorite tea, a prayer book or devotional, a dream journal, a set of art pens or another creative expressive medium, is a nice touch to turn a health care item into a way to show you understand and appreciate their entire personality and see more to them than an illness or disease to “fix”
  • for the workaholic, adding an inspirational, healing PostIt To-Do list note pad, a beautiful pen or paperweight to use at work, and a framed picture of the two of you together helps round out any healing tool gift… so they feel loved (and inspired to continue with their healing) even when they are away at work
  • for a loved one who travels often, a grounding and shielding travel eye mask (so they can nap on the go) makes a great gift alongside a box of uplifting notecards to stay in touch with, a personalized key chain, a tin of mints, and/or a healthy hand sanitizing travel cloth so they can stay healthy and germ-free while exploring the beautiful world that’s waiting for them!

 

As you can see, adding a few personalized items makes the recipient feel validated and seen on a deeper level, on a customized level, than simply giving a healing tool to them.

 

This holiday season, there is no better gift than one that lets the people you love feel better and better… a gift of health.

But making sure you round out the gift so that it feels like a care package full of love, instead of a solitary healing item that might trigger fear or repressed emotions associated with the disease or illness they are recovering from is really important.

 

A healing tool is an intimate, loving, thoughtful expression of support when you can add it in as part of a full care package, or if you can make the healing tool part of a bonding experience you do together, or if you can create a luxurious feel around the gift itself.

Your gift can absolutely be a turning point in your loved one’s health, when given with a sense of love, connection, validation and intimacy.

To your best holiday season yet…

xoxoxo, Laura

 

The Ultimate Indoor Grounding Guide

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When I first started introducing the concept of grounding to my patients, I only advised them to go outside and touch the earth directly.

Free, accessible, direct healing.

 

To this day, I still advise you to do this, daily, whenever you possibly can!

However, because the medical literature is so very clear that grounding indoors with indoor grounding tools is extremely healing as well, I did not want my patient’s healing to be limited to times when they had the energy, good weather, mobility and spare time to head outside.  In general, the folks who need grounding the most are the ones who are least feeling up to being active outside.  Grounding should not be restricted from those who need it most!

So, in order to make grounding accessible both indoor and outdoors, I began to look for indoor grounding tools to recommend to patients who have mobility issues, those who were mostly indoors because they were rehabilitating or recovering, and those who felt particularly ill or isolated.

 

 

I also found there were so many patients that lived in particularly unforgiving, harsh, or dangerous environments that made going outdoors barefoot inadvisable.

 

From tick borne illnesses to crowded paved over city landscapes to wind-whipping, instantly freezing temperatures outside, there are many reasons why grounding outdoors is inaccessible at times.

So I started scouring the medical community for grounding tools that my patients could use indoors.  Tools made by hand, lovingly crafted out of eco-friendly materials, and tools that would last and last and last, made from strong, resilient stainless steel fibers that would not degrade after a single use or a single wash.

I couldn’t find any.  So I started making my own.  I offer these to you right here.

I wanted to write a blog post for you to explain some of your indoor grounding options.  Because as the weather turns colder and colder, every year just before winter I always get more and more emails from patients and readers asking how to stay connected to the earth as the outdoors becomes less accessible.

So today I wanted to share with you the top dozen tools I keep recommending over and over again to those who email me, so that you might benefit from knowing exactly which grounding items works the very best in each specific situation.

 

Dr. Laura Koniver’s Guide To Indoor Grounding:

 

 

1.  Best for: COMFORT

The Grounded Hot Water Bottle

 

Now you can combine the power of water and the power of heat with the grounding force of Mother Nature to introduce three different, synergistic ways to exponentially heal!  Heat increases circulation, ice decreases swelling, and grounding neutralizes inflammation, making this such an incredible versatile healing tool, helping: cramps, muscle tension, headaches, localized injury, back pain, arthritis and more.

Toss your EMF radiating electric blanket and reach for a tool that will keep your bed warm for hours as well as ground and heal you while you sleep all night long.  Hop over here to order you grounding hot water bottle.

Also good for:  a Beauty Treatment.

 

The grounded cover of the hot water bottle can be used as a facial beauty treatment — simply slip the hot water bottle out and use the super soft cozy right on your pillow at night, grounding through your neck and face.

 

2.  Best for: INSOMNIA

 The Grounding Mattress Panel

 

 

Hand made in the USA of the highest quality surgical stainless steel mesh (that lasts an entire lifetime!) organic hemp and organic cotton.  Eco friendly and supports local artisans.

Because this product uses 100% surgical grade stainless steel fibers for conductivity, it lasts dramatically longer than inferior products made from silver fibers that break or erode easily in the wash.  With other grounding products, one wash in non-distilled water is enough to make it stop working.  Not so with this mattress panel.

If you are going to be laying in bed for hours each night sleeping, let’s make those hours as deeply restorative and healing as they can possibly be by sleeping grounded!

 

Also good for:  Stressful Lifestyles.

 

This powerful healing flow speeds recovery to your body all night long, making it perfect for folks who have incredibly demanding jobs (to make the most of the healing nighttime hours,) athletes who push their body during the day (so they can recover faster at night) and people going through tough transitions and trauma who could use the extra resiliency.

Grounding has been proven in medical studies to enhance muscle recovery, decrease delayed onset muscle soreness, protect and strengthen bones, decrease stress hormone output, increase the time the brain spends in healing alpha wave patterns during sleep and more.  For a review on the medical literature and how sleeping grounded supports your health, watch this video here.

 

3.  Best for: PAIN

  Grounding Patches

 

If you have a specific area of pain you would like to apply grounding to, you can’t beat these grounding treatment patches.  The same medical ground grounding ECG patches used in hospitals nationwide, all you do is stick the patch where you want to apply grounding and clip on the grounding cord.

Could not be more simple or more straightforward, very hygienic as you can simply discard the grounding pad when you are done (making this a great disposable grounding tool for use with multiple people or in community grounding setting such as during massage or chiropractic treatment)  as well as a great economical introductory grounding tool to test out grounding for a few months before investing in other grounding tools.   Hop over here to grab your grounding patch kit.

 

Also good for:  Chronic Pain.

Modern medicine is woefully inadequately treating chronic pain issues.  For more information on why grounding helps with chronic pain, plus several other things you can to to specifically help address long standing chronic pain, read this blog post and watch this video.

 

4.  Best for: CIRCULATION


Grounding Socks

&

Grounding Gloves

 

Crafted in the USA, these tools help with pain and circulation issues that arise in specifically in your extremities.

Very often, our nerves and blood vessels becomes compromised in our upper and lower extremities due to medical conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, arthritis, carpal tunnel, overuse injuries, plantar fasciitis and more.  Grounding has been shown to increase circulation to tissues, decrease blood viscosity (allowing blood to flow more smoothly to areas of decreased circulation,) decrease pain and improve wound healing.

Also great for preventive care for those wanting to target specific leg, ankle or foot issues… or to target arm, wrist or hand issues.  Hop over here to grab your socks or gloves.

 

Also good for:  a Grounding Tool You Can Also Use Outside.

 

If you want a layer of warmth that won’t block the healing connection to the earth when you touch it, wear these conductive groundings socks or conductive grounding gloves outside and touch the earth directly — the fabric becomes instantly grounded and so are you, even while your skin is protected from the cold air and wind!

 

5.  Best for: DISCRETION

Grounding Cuff

 

So easy to wear all day long — just walk out the door with this beautiful stainless steel cuff on your wrist, and whenever you want to ground, simply clip the grounding cord to it and enjoy discrete grounding anywhere.

No need to take it off between treatments, no one will ever know that your bangle is actually a healing tool!   Grab your grounding cuff here.

Also good for:  Gifting.

 

Have a friend who lives far away and you need a light weight gift to send overseas?  Have a loved one you would like to tuck a small grounding tool into a their stocking this holiday season?  A grounding cuff is the easiest, most fool proof way to go, as there is no sizing required… a cuff is one-size-fits-all!

 

6.   Best for:  DESK JOBS

 

A Grounded Mat

For those that sit at work, you can place this right on your seat and sit directly on it, or use discretely under your desk with your feet, or standing occupations can stand directly on this pad for grounded healing.

You can have it on your desktop at work so that your hand is touching it while you are working on your computer, or you can simply slip off your shoe under your desk and place a bare foot right on the mat.  A removable and 100% machine washable conductive cover with a conductive interior foam core means this grounding mat not only provides comfortable padding, but you can wash it so easily that it’s a great choice for using at work or for travel.  Grab your grounding mat here.

 

Also good for:  Pets.

 

Because this grounding mat has a fully machine washable cover, you can use it in situations where you are going to want to wash it multiple times, like with your pets.  You can even sleep right on it, using it as a mini sleeping pad with a washable mini sheet on it!

 

7.  Best for:  TRAVELERS

 

Grounding Travel Tote

 

Everything you need is all included in one little kit (the stainless steel pouch doubles as a drawstring carry case to carry the outlet checker and grounding cord in!)  When you want to ground, just take out the cord and outlet checker from the pouch, and use the pouch as a mini grounding pad!

Then when you are headed back home, or to work, or a friend’s house, or on a trip… just throw the outlet checker and cord back into the bag, close it up and you are all set to ground no matter where you might roam!

 

Also good for:  Introducing Someone To Grounding.

 

This grounding item hits the sweet spot between high quality and accessible cost.  Made from the same stainless steel mesh that the larger grounding mattress panel is made from, this is like a mini grounding panel intro kit!  A perfect introductory gift for introducing someone to the healing practice of grounding.

 

8.  Best for:  FIRST AID KITS

 


Grounding Hot & Cold Packs

Stays hot or cold for the perfect treatment length of 10 – 15 minutes… ideal to prevent over-treating the areas of injury.   Simply rest grounded ice packs over eyes to reduce puffiness, relieve migraine pain by placing cold pack over forehead or use warm for stiff neck muscles to reduce pain during a tension headache, place over sinus area to relieve sinus pressure, apply to abdomen to sooth cramping and nausea, ideal as a first aid treatment for injuries… the applications are endless.

Also good for:  Care Packages.

 

Because of the small size and how versatile of a healing tool that a hot and cold pack that is grounded is, it’s the perfect healing tool to include in care packages.  It’s the only grounded hot & cold pack in the world, and it’s waiting for you right here.

 

9.  Best for:  OLDER HOMES


Grounding Stake

Bypass your home’s outdated electrical system and ground directly to Mother Earth, indoors!  These grounding stakes are compatible not only with every single grounding tool I offer, but also with just about any grounding tool you might already own even from other manufacturers.  Simply push the ground rod a few inches into the earth, clip the grounding cord directly on to your grounding item with the alligator clip at the end of the cord, and that item will be grounded!

Great for older homes that don’t have proper grounded wiring and for anyone who wants the peace of mind of direct contact with the earth.  Grab your grounding stake here.

 

Also good for:  Camping.

 

You would think when you are camping you’d naturally be grounded, but the moment you step into a tent with a plastic tarp for the floor or into your RV, you are completely ungrounded!  But no worries, because all you need to do is bring along your favorite grounding item and clip it to this portable grounding stake that connects you to the earth right outside of your tent or RV.  Spend time with Mother Nature grounded on your next camping trip!

 

 

10.  Best for: ELECTROSENSITIVE FOLKS

 

PureGround Grounding Cord:

the only filtering & shielding ground cord

 

For those of us concerned about the ever increasing strength of the electromagnetic fields on the horizon, and for those of us who are particularly electrosensitive, upgrading from a standard grounding cord to a filtered and shielded cord makes sense.

To watch a video demonstration of this PureGround cord in action, click here.

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

You can clip this cord onto any grounding tool that is conductive and it will work!  Compatible with all of the grounding tools I’ve ever sold, as well as any grounding tool sold by other companies, simply clip to the edge of the conductive part of any grounding tool and it will be powerfully grounded!  So anyone can use it.  Whether you get your grounding tools from my website or a different one.  Anyone can feel even better than they do right now.  And isn’t that what healing and healing is all about?

Proudly made right here in the USA and not bulk manufactured overseas like most other grounding cords, ensure that your grounding experience is the most pure ground connection possible by upgrading your standard grounding cord with the new PureGround filter grounding cord.  

 

 

11.  Best for: DRY WINTER SKIN

 

Grounding Lotion

 

You can actually enhance your conductivity simply by topically applying a conductive gel.  Especially important right now at the start of winter when we all have dehydrated, dried out skin!  It will make an immediate difference — with this gel on, the slightest contact with your grounding tool or the earth makes you instantly & powerfully grounded.

If you’ve ever tested your grounding tools and they are grounded, but when you test yourself you are not grounded, it’s because your body is not hydrated enough and lacks enough minerals to encourage conductivity.  This gel fixes both — moisturizes your skin and provides advanced cellular silver & trace minerals to boost your body’s grounding potential exponentially!

Keep this pump by your bedside and lightly moisturize with it before slipping onto your grounding mattress panel at night, or before sliding on your grounding socks or grounding cuff on your arm in the AM, and you will exponentially reap the benefits to the enhanced conductivity.

 

 

12.  Best for GROUNDING WHILE WORKING OUT

 

 

Grounded Yoga Mat

 

Stretching the body is not only therapeutic to the muscles and joints and bones, but helps literally support the health of our body from recovering from trauma and treating PTSD to helping support deeper sleep at night.

It is no wonder that yoga is one of my top recommendations for therapeutic physical therapy to my patients!

Ideally we would be grounded while doing yoga.  It would be amazing to be outside, barefoot on a sandy beach while holding downward facing dog or kneeling into a relaxing child’s pose.

And while hopefully we are lucky enough to catch times in our life where we can do yoga outside grounded, for the most part yoga is on a foam mat (which totally cuts you off from the healing flow of being grounded even if you are outside!!!) and typically we are indoors as well.  That’s why I created this grounding yoga mat.  Because even if all you have to care for your body each day is to stretch out your body for ten minutes before bed or upon waking, if you can do those ten minutes grounded, your body is on the fast track to healing and supported energetically, physically, spiritually.

 

*****

 

I hope these ideas for indoor grounding help you support your always available conductive healing pathways…

…and in the upcoming weeks I will also give you a rundown of all of the ways you can use shielding to help protect your conductive health as well!  That’s coming soon.

Meanwhile, I’m so glad we live in a time where we are beginning to wake up and *Truly Remember* all of the invaluable ways that connecting to the earth supports our healing.

There just is no substitute.

Luckily we have lots and lots of indoor options so that we can remain connected while we work indoors or recover and heal indoors or sleep indoors at night.  So pick a way to ground inside and don’t forget to add on some outdoor time touching the earth directly when you can as well… and watch your health skyrocket!

xoxoxo, Laura

 

Pets Boost Your Health For A Lifetime

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

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

 

1.  Childhood:

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

2.  Adulthood:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pets are the perfect motivator.  

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The same is true for diabetes prevention.

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

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

The bottom line? 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

And more active over a lifetime = a longer lifespan.

 

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

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

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

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

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

Another study showed that inactivity is more deadly than obesity. 

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

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

Real health is about enjoying the body you are in. 

 

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

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

 

3.  Seniors

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

Nah.

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

Not unless that’s what you love to do! 

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

Nope.

 

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

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

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

xoxoxo, Laura

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

What constitutes a stressful job?

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Is your job stressful?

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

2.  Modify existing job parameters.

 

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

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

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

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

 

3.  Recover fully when not at work.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

I hope this idea list helped!

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

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

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

xoxox, Laura

 

 

 

 

Disrupted Day/Night Rhythm Increases Mental Illness Rates

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

Do you have a circadian rhythm disturbance?

 

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

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

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

 

The Study:

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

 

What the researchers found:

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

increased risk of major depression

increased risk of bipolar disorder

greater mood instability

higher levels of neuroticism

higher feelings of loneliness

lower feelings of happiness

lower health satisfaction

slower cognitive function

 

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

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

This study suggests that the answer to that is yes.

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

xoxox, Laura

 

P.S. Want some more sleep support?

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

 

 

 

 

Is It Better To Diet Or To Fast Intermittently?

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

The Study:

 

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

 

The Results:

 

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

 

What’s the bottom line?

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

To your innately resilient health!

xoxoxo, Laura