The New Way: Being, Breathing, Resting & Feeling

The New Way: Being, Breathing, Resting & Feeling

The pace of life in the U.S. is often high-speed – pedal to the metal, hamster in the wheel – fueled by caffeine, sugar and adrenaline.

It’s easy to get swept into living that way and define yourself by how productive you are, taking pride in how much you can cram into a day.

The events of 2020 offer an opportunity to slow down, breathe and just BE.

You are a human “BEING”, not a human “doing”.

Your inherent value is WHO you are – what gifts you came into the world with, how you show up for yourself and for others – and how you energetically align yourself to RECEIVE the magic of all that is.

A universal energetic shift is unfolding.

It’s an opportunity to choose a healthier way of BEING, to release trauma and oppression from your mind, body and the collective consciousness, to REST and BREATHE into a deeper connection with yourself, to reignite your childlike wonder of the incredible beauty of nature, to align with healthy human interaction and ascend into a more expansive and genuine version of YOU. 

It’s not an easy task – to disconnect from chaotic current events, to have faith that something greater is happening amidst the disruption, to believe in your own personal power and to trust that things are evolving in a positive way.

You have to get out of your head and into your body. Surrender to trusting your gut, the power of your feelings and allowing intuition to lead.

Resistance and judgement will pop up. It’s a process, not a magical flipping of a switch. Some days will feel amazing and other days will be heavy with doubt and impatience. At least that’s how it’s been for me.

I was seeking “the reason” behind the events of 2020 and the path forward to providing my clients with the best possible support. This year has presented the most unique challenges I’ve witnessed since starting my practice 16 years ago.

And I’ve been impatient to travel again and to have experiences that light me up.

As I surrendered my irritation about the way things are and shifted my focus to what IS available, new possibilities revealed themselves.

As I continuously lean into BEING, HEARING & FEELING, the next steps show up.

It FEELS right and my body and mind are calm, more than they’ve ever been before. And I still get a ton done – without rushing or putting pressure on myself – which FEELS so much better!

My days flow with greater ease and joy as I CHOOSE what to give my attention to as opposed to having to push myself through irritation and exhaustion to do what I thought needed to be done.

It’s time to integrate body, mind and connection to the unseen forces of the universe, to nest and prepare for what comes next.

It’s time to move into a new way of BEING and to access higher levels of health in every possible way.

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Your Immunity Is a Whole Body Experience

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Your Immunity Is a Whole Body Experience

Your Immunity Is a Whole Body Experience

As the season shifts and the temperature drops, the risk of coming down with a cold, flu or other illness typically increases.

It’s been many long months since COVID-19 was confirmed here in the states. To say it’s been an unpredictable and stressful time is an understatement.

While I view the latest COVID-19 predictions with healthy skepticism, you may find the warnings of another surge alarming, particularly when combined with cold and flu season.

But you have far more control over your own health and susceptibility to illness than you’ve been led to believe.

Your body is miraculous and beautiful beyond words.

Just think of all the incredible things it does FOR YOU, every second of every day – breathing, moving, thinking, feeling, processing food, building healthy cells, and always searching for harmful viruses, bacteria and other microbes to eliminate from your body.

The choices you make every day either support or hinder all these intricate, essential processes.

I’m seeing a lot of advice about boosting immune function. Most of it is well-intentioned and solid advice (although there are definitely companies that are taking advantage of people’s fears).

Is taking Vitamin C, Zinc and other immune supplements the proper course of action?

As a clinical nutritionist, I have the unique benefit of seeing which microbes are showing up in my private clients, and how the body is being affected. And I can honestly say that I have never seen anything like this.

I started my practice in 2004, so to say that 2020 has been a year like no other is noteworthy.

The typical presentation of any short-term illness starts with symptoms such as congestion, fatigue, etc. My findings would show a temporary drop in the strength of the immune glands, often accompanied by a stressed lymphatic system.

A few whole food nutritional supplements to support those areas typically resulted in a quick recovery of those functions, as well as complete relief from the symptoms.

Just after Christmas 2019, I started to see a lot of viral activity in every single one of my clients. Some were uncomfortable with loose stools, constipation, feeling run down, etc. Others just didn’t feel right but couldn’t describe anything more than that.

I did not find disruptions in their immune function and/or lymphatic systems. What I did find was compromised detoxification pathways, i.e. weakness in the kidneys and large intestine. And this was true for all my clients.

A drop in ability to detoxify creates an elevated level of toxins. More toxins in the body means your cells, tissues, organs, glands and other systems can’t be as healthy and optimized as they are meant to be.

Tissues not in full health are a perfect place for microbes like viruses to settle in, multiply and thrive. The long-term implications of weak tissues that harbor viruses are unknown. Will it cause a significant infection in time? Will the tissues continue to decline and develop disease?

These findings completely changed the way I’ve been treating my clients all year. To put it simply, this is a whole body “problem”.

That’s why focusing on your immune system alone falls short in our current circumstances. You need your body to be a place where microbes have difficulty making themselves at home.

The good news is, there’s a lot YOU can do to create such an environment.

Hydration

Focusing on hydration is the fastest way to support your body’s ability to detoxify, and increase your energy and brain function. Yes, you’ll have to use the bathroom more often – toxins need to be flushed out!

I recommend ½ of your body weight in ounces of clean, filtered water daily (more if you consume sugar, caffeine and alcohol, as those pull water from your cells and tissues).

How it helps your immune system and ability to stay healthy:

A toxic body creates the perfect environment for microbes like viruses to thrive. Supporting your body’s ability to flush toxins is essential. And properly hydrated tissues are healthier and more resistant to infection.

Additionally, hydration helps with focus and energy. Feeling better increases happiness, which releases chemicals that increase health in every cell of the body.

Nutrition

Properly grown and raised plants and animals provide the essential nutrients your body needs to run all of the complex functions it performs for you every day. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids, enzymes, phytochemicals and more must be consumed to give your body the raw materials it requires.

Acquire what is essential to your body by consuming a wide variety of real food without chemicals, preservatives, processing, additives, etc. Doing so will help keep your immune glands, lymphatic system and all the tissues and systems of your body in good condition and functioning at their best.

How it helps your immune system and ability to stay healthy:

A strong immune and lymphatic system will ensure your body can identify and defeat viruses and other microbes that are a threat to your health.

Strong tissues are not good hosts to viruses and other microbes. If they can’t find a supportive place to settle in, they’ll leave your body much more quickly.

Sleep

The value of sleep is so underappreciated in our society.

I’ve heard countless people say they don’t need a lot of sleep, that they don’t have enough time to sleep, or that sleep is a waste of time.

And those same people are often living on caffeine and sugar or carbohydrates all day long to get them through the day.

But sleep is about MUCH more than just feeling rested and being able to focus and be productive. So many things happen overnight! Your detoxification pathways are hard at work clearing toxins, your cells and tissues are breaking down old cells and replacing them with new ones, your brain is cleaning itself, and more! Probably much of it not even identified by science yet.

And if you’re anything like me, a lot of mental and emotional processing happens overnight.

How it helps your immune system and ability to stay healthy:

New cells free of toxins are not good hosts for microbes like viruses to hide, multiply or live in.

Cortisol, the primary long-term stress hormone, drops overnight. Cortisol suppresses your immune function. Lowering it overnight reduces or removes that interference and allows your immune system to work hard on your behalf.

The immune response is energy intensive, so sleep gives your body the rest it needs to funnel its considerable resources into a heightened and effective immune response.

Rest

Rest and sleep are NOT the same.

If you’re busy from the moment you wake up until the time you fall into bed, you’re missing out on the benefits of intentional down time.

Quiet time during the day creates space to think clearly, make important decisions, consider what deserves your attention, what you could use help with, how you could be more efficient, whether you’re actually enjoying how you spend your time, and so much more.

How it helps your immune system and ability to stay healthy:

If you’re always on the run, your sympathetic nervous system is in overdrive and your body surges the stress hormone cortisol, which suppresses your immune response.

With intentional rest built into your day, you can shift into parasympathetic nervous system mode, which is essential for optimal immune response, digestion and absorption of the nutrients needed to run all of your bodily functions.

Reducing Toxins

While your body is well-equipped to process toxins, it has not evolved the capacity to handle the massive amounts of toxins that are currently in the environment, in the products you use, and the things you consume.

It’s vital that you reduce your toxin exposure in the ways that you can, so your detoxification pathways can handle the things that are beyond your control.

Everything you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body, so overhauling your personal care products is a good place to start. A resource like the Environmental Working Group’s Skin-Deep Database is a great place to find out how safe (or toxic) your personal care products are.

It’s also an excellent place to find products from companies that offer non-toxic options.

I invite you to make a list of all the products you use – shampoo and hair care products, skin care products like body wash and lotion, deodorant, makeup, etc., and invest some time in looking them all up in the EWG database. If you can’t find your product listed, you can plug in the individual ingredients to get a feel for the potential toxicity or safety of that product.

They also have a household cleaning product database that I encourage you to use in the same way.

Consider bedding, towels, furniture, etc. Many products contain flame retardants, stain resistant coatings and other chemicals that off-gas and contaminate the air you breathe. Opening windows can help, but finding organic and non-toxic options whenever possible is wise. An air purifier is also worth your consideration (I use all of these tactics).

How it helps your immune system and ability to stay healthy:

Toxins are a potential source of food that viruses and other microbes feed on.

Body tissues burdened with toxins are compromised and are ideal places for viruses and other microbes to thrive.

Reducing the energy your body has to mobilize for detoxification frees up resources that can be put to much better use such as heightening your immune response, digesting and absorbing nutrients, etc. These functions create healthy tissues that are more resistant to invading microbes.

Movement

Our bodies are designed for a wide variety of movement.

There are many exercises you can do at home. YouTube has tons of videos and there are many online subscriptions available as well.

My favorite way to start the day is with a long walk outside.

How it helps your immune system and ability to stay healthy:

Movement improves the motion of your lymphatic system, which is a key component of strong immune and detoxification systems.

It also increases the release of neurotransmitters, the feel-good brain chemicals your body makes that help you stay calm and happy. Movement further releases hormones that signal for the break-down of old tissue and the creation of new, healthy tissue.

And getting outside for a walk also establishes a connection to nature, which is incredibly good for your mood, energy and overall health (you can easily find the science on this on the internet).

Managing Stress

Your body considers stress to be life-threatening, as if a large animal is viewing you as its next meal. It pulls the considerable resources of your body away from fighting microbes, digesting, healing, detoxifying, etc. and concentrates it all into run/hide/stay alive.

Disengaging from fear and drama-based news (especially with strong images), spending time engaged in activities you enjoy, being with people who love you for who you are, enjoying meaningful conversation, dreaming and planning for an exciting future, are all supportive of shifting your body out of stress mode and back into fighting microbes, digesting, healing and creating healthy tissues.

How it helps your immune system and ability to stay healthy:

Without stress stealing your body’s resources, you restore your body’s ability to focus on a strong immune response, fortify tissues that aren’t as strong as they could be, and develop a body that feels amazing and able to rebound and thrive no matter what comes your way.

Cortisol, the primary long-term stress hormone, suppresses your immune function. Reducing your stress reduces cortisol and allows your immune response to be active and engaged.

Finding the magical, sweet spot unique to you:

We all have basic needs. And we are all unique. The needs of your body will shift and change based on what’s going on inside of and around you.

Your nutritional and other lifestyle needs will vary based on what you are dealing with and trying to achieve and…

…not every healthy food will be a good fit for your body…

…the non-toxic personal care products that I love may not work for your skin or hair type…

…stress will shift and the lifestyle practices that you find soothing may be totally different from your best friend’s or partner’s preferences…

…you will need more or less sleep depending on your unique body, how well you are taking care of yourself, and whether you’re fighting a virus or other harmful microbe…

Listen to your own body and tweak your choices based on how you feel and what feels good for you. It’s how you find the sweet spot and move from getting by to feeling amazing!

In addition to getting the foundational pieces we’ve been exploring into place, creating a health support team can do wonders for every aspect of your health.

Enlist talented practitioners to help you understand where you are at and what dietary shifts, supplementation protocols, healing modalities and lifestyle adjustments are best suited for your unique body and goals.

This advice is PURE GOLD! There’s no way I would have the vitality I enjoy today without muscle testing, whole food supplementation protocols, bodywork techniques such as massage and fascial release, movement practices, deep consideration of who I am and how I want my life to be, and exploration and shifting of my beliefs.

Many of these things will be a part of my life forever.

We aren’t meant to do everything on our own. Even earlier human groups or tribes had at least one member that was a skilled healer whom everyone relied on.

And you don’t have to do everything at once. Implementing small changes can make a big impact.

You’re stronger than you realize and your body is incredibly capable.

“My pleasure is a prayer that brings me back to life.” ~Meggan Watterson

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Your Body Is Your Responsibility: Educated Choices Matter

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Your Body Is Your Responsibility: Educated Choices Matter

Over the course of our lives, we are encouraged to follow rules, listen to authority, comply without question and behave according to the standards of our families, schools and society.

There are times when this plays out beautifully, such as when we get behind the wheel. We follow the roads, stay on the correct side, keep our vehicles within lanes and stop at signs and signals.

It’s much more orderly and safer than it would be if there were no rules.

There are also times when following the rules may not serve you.

We’re about to venture into controversial territory. My intention is to raise your awareness of things you may not be thinking enough about.

That means we sometimes have to dive into issues most people would rather not think about.

I’m always interested in helping you achieve excellent health, and I can’t encourage you enough to take the time to question and explore the complexity of vaccines.

They are presented as an easy, reliable, SAFE solution for preventing a vast array of illnesses.

But countless resources insist that there are NO studies that actually demonstrate safety (let alone effectiveness, which is a topic for another day).

A full list of the ingredients in every vaccine is readily available on the internet. If you’d like a list that I recently found, just hit reply and let me know. I’ll email it back to you.

I’m including a chart here for different flu vaccines to use as an example: 

Influenza vaccine (Afluria) Chicken embryo Beta-propiolactonecalcium chloride, dibasic sodium phosphate, egg protein, monobasic potassium phosphate, monobasic sodium phosphateneomycin sulfatepolymyxin Bpotassium chloride, sodium taurodeoxychoalate, thimerosal (multi-dose vials only)
Influenza vaccine (Agriflu) Chicken embryo Egg proteins, formaldehydepolysorbate 80cetyltrimethylammonium bromideneomycin sulfatekanamycin
Influenza vaccine (Fluad) Chicken embryo Squalene, polysorbate 80, sorbitan trioleate, sodium citrate dehydrate, citric acid monohydrate, neomycinkanamycinbarium, egg proteins, CTAB(cetyltrimethylammonium bromide), formaldehyde
Influenza vaccine (Fluarix) Chicken embryo Formaldehyde, octoxynol-10 (Triton X-100), α-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, polysorbate 80 (Tween 80), hydrocortisonegentamicin sulfateovalbuminsodium deoxycholatesucrosephosphate buffer
Influenza vaccine (Flublok) insect cell line (expresSF+) Monobasic sodium phosphate, dibasic sodium phosphatepolysorbate 20baculovirus and host cell proteins, baculovirus and cellular DNA, Triton X-100lipidsvitaminsamino acids, mineral salts
Influenza vaccine (Flucelvax) Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cell protein Madin Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cell protein, MDCK cell DNA, polysorbate 80, cetyltrimethlyammonium bromide, β-propiolactonephosphate buffer
Influenza vaccine (Flulaval) Chicken embryo Formaldehyde, á-tocopheryl hydrogen succinate, polysorbate 80sodium deoxycholatethimerosalovalbumin
Influenza vaccine (Fluvirin) Chicken embryo Beta-propiolactone, egg protein, neomycin, nonylphenol ethoxylate, polymyxinthimerosal (multi-dose containers), thimerosal[2] (single-dose syringes)
Influenza vaccine (Fluzone) Chicken embryo Egg protein, formaldehydegelatin (standard formulation only), octylphenol ethoxylate (Triton X-100), sodium phosphatethimerosal (multi-dose containers only)
Influenza vaccine (FluMist) Chicken kidney cells, chicken embryo Arginine, dibasic potassium phosphate, egg protein, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acidgentamicin sulfatehydrolyzed porcine gelatin, monobasic potassium phosphatemonosodium glutamatesucrose

The middle column shows what medium they use to culture the vaccine, and the column on the right shows the additional ingredients.

Let’s cover a few of these:

Formaldehyde: Most people are familiar with the preservative properties of formaldehyde. A quick internet search reveals that consuming it can cause respiratory and eye disorders, skin irritation and intestinal damage. 

Thimerosal: This is a mercury-based preservative. There are federal guidelines for minimizing mercury consumption from contaminated sources like some seafood as it can impair neurological function and more. It’s still allowed in vaccines which get injected directly into the body.

Polysorbate 80: This is an emulsifier that helps break the blood brain barrier, which means that any potentially risky component can now penetrate one of the most vulnerable and essential areas of your body.

Many people argue that the amount of each ingredient in a single vaccine is minimal and of no risk to the body. But few people receive only one vaccine.

Children often receive multiple vaccines at once, and a long list of them in the early years of their lives. While adults might receive one or two a year, the previous vaccines they received need to be added to the equation when considering the risk.

And we are exposed to a wide variety of other toxins on a daily basis. So we can’t assume anything based on one vaccine; we have to consider the interaction and totality of everything we come into contact with.

The source of many other ingredients is another consideration. There are often animal and human (fetal) derived tissues and DNA in vaccines.

Here’s one SUPER important detail you need to be aware of when considering any vaccine: The manufacturer and the person who administers your vaccine have ZERO liability if anything happens to you. There are federal laws in place that release them from ALL liability.

If you have an adverse reaction or are permanently injured by a vaccine, you’re on your own.

The one thread of hope is that there is a vaccine injury fund. But you must prove that your injury or health challenge is from the vaccine.

If I’m remembering correctly, more than 24 billion dollars have been paid out of that fund. Considering that proof is the burden of the injured person, it’s staggering to contemplate how many people have been compensated for vaccine injuries. And there are many more that go unreported.

One of the things that prompted me to commit to this post is that the state of MA recently issued a mandatory order that all kids must receive the flu vaccine this year to go to school.

There are studies that show that receiving the flu vaccine increases the risk from coronavirus by 36%. And it may increase the risks of other respiratory viruses, a phenomenon known as vaccine interference.

While many states are losing their exemption rights, MA still has medical and religious exemptions in place.

So, you CAN opt out.

When I started to learn the details about vaccines many years ago, I chose to stop vaccinating my kids. I filled out a religious exemption form and sent it to their schools. I was never questioned or asked about it again and was extremely relieved to be able to exercise the option of educated choice.

I can’t encourage you enough to explore this topic in greater depth. There are many vaccines for COVID-19 in the works, and I’m hearing about a lot of adverse reactions in the ones they’ve started testing.

There’s a huge amount of censorship happening online and in the media. This makes it harder than ever to find reliable information to consider the potential benefits and risks of vaccines.

It’s one of the many reasons why I’m excited to share an upcoming resource that popped into my inbox last week.  

Vaccines Revealed – a docuseries that will be airing soon. You can register here.

It takes place online and has free and paid viewing options.

Many experts will share their knowledge, so you’ll have access to a lot more information and points of view.   

You only have one body. It is miraculous and magnificent! You are the only one who can decide what is right for you. Taking the time to understand your options and actively choose is vital.

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When You’re in the Mood for More Than Water…

When You’re in the Mood for More Than Water…

Dehydration can be a serious health concern, as human bodies require water to be healthy. Clean water is your best option for hydration, and no other beverage can truly replace it.

But if you’re like me, there will be times when you just don’t FEEL like drinking water only. 

That’s when I turn to caffeine-free herbal tea. 

I also keep a glass of water nearby and toggle between the two. That way I’m still working towards my daily quota of water and focusing on staying well-hydrated.

The herbal tea adds interest to my daily habits.

I often add a bit of local, raw honey for light sweetness, expanded complexity of flavor and the additional benefits that raw honey provides.

Some of my current favorites include Tipson Ashwagandha Mango, Traditional Medicinals Hibiscus, Stash Organics Very Berry and Rishi Blueberry Hibiscus. They are all organic, which is an important choice for reducing your exposure to the toxins used in conventional farming.

I’m really enjoying them iced during these hot and humid summer days. And when the weather cools, I will enjoy the warm comfort that comes from drinking them hot.

I also keep organic chamomile tea on hand, which I find very helpful when stress hits (I brought it to the hospital with me every day when my husband had his stroke in 2018).

So when you’re feeling bored of plain water, I highly encourage you to brew a cup of organic herbal tea. There are many different varieties to choose from, and it’s fun to experiment and find options to love!  

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You Can Choose to Look for Hidden Gems Within the Uncertainty

You Can Choose to Look for Hidden Gems Within the Uncertainty

The world looks and feels like a messy place this year.

And so many people are moving through this time with fear.

But what if what we’re seeing and experiencing is a clearing – a dismantling of old ways that weren’t working, making way for new and better things to rise?

Imagine discovering your dream property, a place that you had envisioned and searched for years to find. It’s overrun with dilapidated buildings and brush, and you’re just not sure you’re up to the task of clearing it all and implementing your vision.

But the place FEELS right. And you know deep inside you that it’s meant to be yours, that you are the one meant to reveal its beauty and live in the harmony and blessing of it all.

You trust your gut and begin.

Hidden gems reveal themselves. A stunning rosebush that was hidden behind a pile of rubble goes into full bloom once you pull the rotted boards away. A gorgeous stone path that was covered by weeds reveals itself as you work. You see your vision unfolding before your eyes and it FEELS amazing.

If you choose to, you can discover the hidden gems amidst the chaos and uncertainty of what is in front of us right now. 

“Things fall down and break apart, especially things that are built on rocky foundations or near emotional and mental fault lines. Destruction is a fact of life – none of us escape it. Things end, crumble, and disintegrate right in front of our eyes all throughout our lives. For whatever reason, you have forgotten that everything is temporary. Something in your life needs to be rebuilt or replaced. Its current construction no longer serves its purpose, and it is being destroyed. This is a good thing and necessary for something new to find its way into your life.”  -Mermaid Tarot

My biggest blessing has been choosing to follow the call to slow down and go within.

I’m letting go of old patterns that weren’t serving me. I’m accepting a call to shift to a softer, more feminine way of working. I’m pushing myself less and going with my gut and what feels right, even when my logical brain is chattering another story.

I’m spending more time reading and learning. I’m tackling projects bit by bit, as I feel called to. And not forcing myself to finish them, allowing myself to go back and pick them up again when it feels right.

I’m relying on intuition and faith more and more. I’m learning to hear when my body is saying no, and I am finding it easier to feel when it’s saying yes.

There’s more ease and flow and it FEELS good.

There is definitely resistance at times. Part of me hates that I don’t have a clear plan for what comes next, that I can’t plan the exciting trips that I want to take, that I’m not fully sure how I want to evolve my business.

I allow it all. And I let it move through me.

I’m honoring the process of the transition we are in. I’m listening to what I feel called to do to be ready to embrace the beautiful possibilities of what comes next.  

Change can create great discomfort. And it can be an incredible opportunity for growth. No matter what it looks like, you have the ability to choose what it means for you.

I invite you to choose yourself, to choose growth, expansion, flow and grace… and a perfect unfolding of the blank canvas that becomes available when old ways crumble.

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