Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I have had a couple different people reach out to me recently, needing guidance with anxiety.  With all of the drastic changes going on in the world it's no wonder that anxiety has become an epidemic.  Here are some ways to naturally eliminate anxiety.

The first thing that I did when I was experiencing anxiety, was to eliminate caffeine.  This wasn't easy considering that I was working at Starbucks at the time.  Caffeine is something that can cause anxiety and make it worse.  If you drink a lot of caffeine on a daily basis, slowly decrease it so the withdrawal symptoms are as minimal as possible.  Start by making each cup of coffee 1/4 decaf for a few days, then 1/2 decaf for a few days, etc.   Or, you can switch to black tea, then green tea, then white tea, then herbal tea.  If soda is your weakness, decrease the amount you drink until you have switched completely to caffeine free or none at all.  Increase your water intake during this weaning process to help with the withdrawal.  Chocolate can also cause the same effect, so be careful with that as well. 

Start to become more aware of your breath.  When we are stressed out, our breathing becomes very shallow, causing more stress and anxiety.  Sometimes I'll bring my attention to my breath and realize that I'm hardly breathing at all.  Yoga and meditation are both great ways to become more in tune with your breath.  Something simple and powerful that you can do, that doesn't take alot of time is to start a daily breathing/meditation practice.  I like to do this before bed because it is so relaxing.  First, sit comfortably in a seated position.  Just breathe like you normally would.  Push your tongue against the back of your upper front teeth.  Breathe in through your nose for 4 counts.  Hold the breath in for 7 counts.  Breathe out through pursed lips for 8 counts.  Repeat this exercise 3 times.  There is alot of power in this exercise, so don't do more than 3 repetitions until you've been doing it daily for a week or so.  Then you can increase to 4 or 5 reps. 
Another good exercise is to breathe in as deeply as you can and exhale as much as you can.

Eat a balanced diet full of clean protein, whole grains, and veggies.  For anxiety, green leafy vegetables are one of the most important things you can eat.  They have anti-stress, calming properties and are amazingly good for you.  The greener the better!  
Vitamin deficiencies can cause anxiety, so make sure you are taking a good multi-vitamin.  You may also want to get your levels checked because it can take more than what is in a multi to restore levels if you are deficient.  B vitamins are extremely important for the health of your nervous system.  I would recommend getting a good B Complex Stress vitamin and taking it daily.  B vitamins are water soluble and need to be replenished daily, so there isn't much risk of overdose.  B6 is the only one you have to be careful with.  Don't take more than 100 mg a day.

Don't forget to get your exercise!  It's something positive to focus on and the more focus on positivity the less room there will be for the negative.  What you focus on grows.  Plus, exercising creates those wonderful feel-good chemicals. :-)

Turn it off!
Turn off the television!  It's good to be aware of current events but not when it interferes with your well being.  Being aware of every murder and tragedy thats has happened within a 100 mile radius is not going to do you any good.  When you are constantly tuned into the media you put yourself on that same wavelength, causing fear, negativity, and ANXIETY.  Limit or eliminate your viewing time and spend the extra time listening to relaxing music or taking a walk in nature. 

Other Helpers
There is also a wide range of herbs and other therapies that help with anxiety.
Gaba is an amino acid that helps promote calmness, relaxation, and stress tolerance.  L-theanine also has the same effect.  It is the relaxing amino acid found in green tea.  Ashwagandha is an ayurvedic herb that has many rejuvenating properties including relief of anxiety and depression.  It's one of my personal favorites at the moment.  Valerian root is another useful herb that is great for anxiety as well as the promotion of sleep.  These are only a few of the many options out there.  I encourage you to do some research and experiment with what works best for you.  

I hope this was of some help if you are experiencing any sort of anxiety.  I know it's overwhelming to think about doing all these things at once.  Pick one thing, get that down and move on to something else until you are completely anxiety free!  Let me know if you need any extra guidance.

The first step to change is being aware of the need for change.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Are you reaching your true potential?

When we live a balanced life, amazing things happen.  We have more energy, extra weight comes off, and most importantly, we give ourselves the chance to reach our true potential.

Your physical body is a very important part of the balance.  Put nourishing food into your body, listen to your body, and your body will thank you.  Diet is an issue that is simple and complex at the same time.  It's safe to say that no matter who you are,  you should eat the simplest, cleanest whole foods you can get your hands on.   But, just like anything, everyone is different.  Certain foods are good for some people and not so good for other people. You have to take into consideration allergies, intolerances, location, season, age, etc.  It's taken me a good ten years to realize that I'm allergic to dairy.  I think I was in denial for most of that time.  But, now I've moved on and am much healthier because of it.   It's a process determining what is best for your individual body, but well worth the effort.

MOVE!!  Your body is meant for MOVEMENT!!  Exercise is such a huge form of stress relief, which is SO important for your well being!  And, just like food, you have to figure out what is best for your body.   Something as simple as taking a 30 minute walk around your neighborhood is a great way to exercise.  Don't forget to bring some motivational music with you!  I aim to exercise for an hour 5 times a week.  I usually walk around my neighborhood and on the track by my apartment.   I also usually do 2 or 3 yoga classes a week, which I've really grown to love.

So, diet and exercise are essential but, I've saved the best for last.
When food and physical activity are balanced with "primary food", we are able to reach our highest purpose and truly thrive.  Primary food includes our relationships, career, and spirituality.  These are often the most challenging aspects of our lives and the most fufilling.

Life is full of relationships. I'm no expert on the topic but I do know this is how it should be:  Let go of toxic relationships.  These are people that bring you down, encourage negativity and don't appreciate you.  You are an amazing person and have so much to offer the world!  Surround yourself with loving energy and people who support you on your life path!  Respect and honor yourself!

What are your natural talents and passions?  Are you putting them to use in a career that you enjoy?  If not, maybe it's time for a change.  I know this is easier said than done, but just being conscious of the need for change, is the first step to change.  We spend ALOT of our time at work.  It should be enjoyable and purposeful.

There are so many ways to practice spirituality, whether it be going to church, taking a walk in nature, practicing gratitude, or meditating.  I don't believe there is one way that is superior to the rest.  As long as you have something that you believe in and something that brings you peace.  Its great if you can develop a daily practice.  It can be something as small as stopping and bringing your attention to your breath.

There is a process in finding balance.  If you feel like you could use some support in finding your balance and reaching towards your true potential, let me know!  I offer free consultations.

And remember, being conscious of the need for change is the first step.



Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring Cleaning!

Spring has sprung! Now is the perfect time to do some spring cleaning in our lives and our bodies. One of the best ways to do this is to include more green leafy vegetables in your diet. If you can get into the habit of including them on a daily basis, your body and mind will thank you. They are the best source of alkaline minerals, have wonderful calming effects on the nervous system, and have amazing healing and cleansing properties. Today I made a green juice with rainbow chard, granny smith apples, celery, carrots, and ginger. I've been on a chard kick lately but some of my favorites include kale(especially lacinato or dinosaur), spinach, and collard greens. If you don't have a juicer I would highly recommend investing in one. It's a great way to get a concentrated dose of nutrients. 
Spinach and chard do, however, contain Oxalic acid, which can interfere with the absorption of the calcium in them. This acid is broken down when cooked, so if you do eat either of these raw, switch it up a bit and don't do it all the time.

Another way of fitting these veggies into your diet is to steam them or sautee them with some garlic and olive oil. I especially love to do this with collard greens. You can do this by first washing the collards, then, one at a time, laying them on a cutting board and cutting the middle vein out. Then, fold the left side onto the right side and roll it up. Slice the roll so you come out with about 1/2 inch strips. Toss it in a skillet with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper for as long as you like. For kale, I like to keep it raw and massage it for about 10 minutes with olive oil. Then I sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Parmesan is also good on it if you do cheese. Enjoy!  

As always, choose organic veggies if possible. Happing cleaning! :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Drink more water!!

This is the simplest and most important piece of advice I can give.  Water helps with weight loss, increases energy, clears out toxins, and is great for your skin.  If you're thirsty, you have already passed the point of dehydration, so drink up!  It's best to drink the majority of your water early in the day and before meals.  I usually drink one or two big glasses first thing in the morning before I do anything else.  It's a great way to start the day and your body will thank you!  Coffee, juice, and soda don't count as water.  If you can't stand the taste of plain water, try squeezing in some lemon or lime.  They are both very cleansing.  Green, white, and herbal teas are also a good choice.