“Beauty is laughter strung across a gray-toned ambiance, and smiles beckoned from shadows passed. Beauty is bright eyes and kind words—passion, honesty, and strength. Beauty is who people are, not what they may look like. As when I get a glimpse of their heart, buried beneath the dirt and rubble, I feel compassion unexplained, seeing beauty through the Father’s eyes of grace.”
— Eyes of Grace
I have been sitting in front of my computer at a complete loss for words as to how to describe to all of you my experience at Hamsa Ayerveda & Yoga. My experience at this 'oasis' as I like to refer to it, blew my mind. It far exceeded any expectations I walked in with. I would place Hamsa Ayerveda & Yoga as a 'must go' on your list of Chicago & global spa experiences. And I use the word 'experience' because that is in fact what it was.
I have been privileged through the years to get spa treatments & health 'consultations' across the country (of which I am grateful for). I have received facials, massages & herbal therapies in Paris, Hawaii, Jamaica, Bermuda and let me tell you with utter frankness, nothing - nothing - nothing -compares to my spa treatments & consult that I received at Hamsa. Nothing.
When you walk into Hamsa, you are walking into an oasis as I mentioned earlier. It is such a peaceful, calming and beautiful space. My shoulders loosened. I felt more 'calm'. My muscles relaxed. I felt the stress I walked in with, evaporating. And this all took place when I simply walked into the apothecary.
I was met by the Founder, Monica Yearwood, who embodies this tranquil spirit. I have racked my brain and I don't know of a more peaceful person as Monica. No one. And when I say that, I mean that 'literally'. Monica's peaceful energy is effortless which almost bewildered me because well, I just don't know of any woman (or man) that 'calm' in my personal or professional life. I find that pretty fascinating because I know a LOT of people and that is quite the statement.
To read about Monica's bio, please read here. In addition to her impressive background, in her words "I am a graduate of Dhanvantari Ayurveda from the Florida Vedic College, and am a licensed massage therapist, certified yoga instructor, and Panchakarma technician. I recently became a Sadhaka in training in the Wise Earth Ayurveda lineage led by Sri Swamini Mayatitananda.
Monica provides in depth consultations to determine your 'dosha' via Ayerveda medicine and in addition to diet, creates an entire lifestyle program to aid in you achieving glowing health. She also creates oils and medicinal therapies tailored specifically for your needs. Every single exchange between you and Monica is tailored to 'you' specifically. Everything. And this is rare in the world of holistic medicine these days. So many therapies now-a-days are not 'tailored' at an individual at all rather, there are blanketed step therapies via detoxification, supplemental protocols, etc. I so appreciate the individualized approach that Monica has with her clients. And I recognized the rarity in her overall approach as well.
This is why the Hamsa spa treatments I received equated to my most phenomenal spa 'experience' I've ever had (again, in the country): We use authentic thailams (medicinal oils) that we import from India; real, ground herbs; essential oils; and other whole ingredients. Our ayurvedic therapists receive adequate training through a one year long apprenticeship. Our therapies are applied according to techniques delegated thousands of years ago, repetitively verified by their predictable benefits.
They blended the highest quality organic ingredients specifically for my individualized treatment package! Just for me!
OK, here is where I struggle to put my experience into words but I will try: I experienced complete utter peace as my body was massaged with personalized organic oils. From my feet to the tip of my head, my entire body was engulfed in what felt like the ultimate 'self love'. I have never been so relaxed in years. Gosh, I know that may sound quite over the top but, you must go to experience this yourself - truly. My personal favorite treatments are the Lavender Dreams & Warm Herbal Paste Massage. The spa packages are so nurturing and just utterly healing to your body. It's the ultimate form of self care and absolute pure bliss!
Hamsa Ayuerveda & Yoga is a space to enter into to invest in yourself and your overall health/life. Monica has brilliantly combined various healing modalities to equip you with every opportunity to fully heal & thrive: At Hamsa we use ayurvedic spa treatments in conjunction with specific diet and herbal supplements to create effective programs for weight loss, cleansing and anti-aging. All of our programs come with complimentary consultations and lifestyle programs.
You will be hearing so much more about Hamsa on Snapshots of Wellness. I want to share with all of you in another post all of the ingredients that go into Monica's oils & teas via the Hamsa Apothecary.
When I am passionate about an experience, product, service, company, person, etc., I feel energized to share with all of you so you can partake & get educated as well. I have never been able to say before that a spa experience was the 'best' I have 'ever' received (as in numero uno in all of my global nurturing experiences) and I am thrilled to say that Hamsa IS my most incredible spa experience I've ever personally had. Please allow yourself & your body to experience Hamsa. You will thank me. Well, you will thank Monica actually (smile)!
I recently attended the PaleoFX conference in Austin, TX.. As someone who has eaten primarily plant based for years, I was impressed by how evolved the Paleo community is as a whole in respect to actual compassion for animals and overall health & sustainability practices.
While I was at the conference, I was able to interview many of the leaders in wellness to discuss all aspects of health.
I'd like to introduce my Snapshots of Wellness readers to Dr. Marc Bubbs, ND.
Dr. Marc Bubbs, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor, Strength Coach, Author, Speaker, and Blogger practicing in Toronto, Canada. He believes that diet, exercise, and lifestyle factors have the most profound impact on your overall health and performance. Marc is the author of The Paleo Project – A 21st Guide to Looking Leaner, Getting Stronger, & Living Longer and currently serves as the Sports Nutrition Lead for Canadian Men’s Olympic Basketball Team.
Dr. Bubbs believes that applying the Functional Medicine approach to healing gives him more tools in assessing health beyond lab diagnostics. For those of you that are unaware of what 'Functional Medicine' actually is, Dr. Bubbs explains that functional medicine is addressing the 'root cause'. A notable analogy is that Functional Medicine is looking for the 'squeaky' wheel' Dr. Bubbs shares, rather than waiting until all of the wheels fall off.
'The solutions to health & healing aren't as 'exotic' as people would think', Dr. Bubbs explains. 'The life transformation people believe they need are more simplistic tweaks to their diets, lifestyle, supplemental protocols, sleep and exercise'.
When you take the functional medicine approach, you are building a person up so that their immunity is more robust. And getting people in a more 'robust' place in order to avoid viral illnesses, etc. is key. Dr. Marc Bubbs works with all ailments via chronic illnesses and the approach is individualized as it should be. He is changing people's lives across the country with his expertise by teaming w/ the patients where they take control of their own health.
The expertise of Functional Medicine Dr. Bubbs explains is really looking at the entire person's life & taking the whole person into consideration - all stressors- overall diet including saturated fat intake, caffeine intake, sleep, etc. - and overall movement. The more metrics a Functional Medicine Physician has, the better the possibility of healing for the patient. Lab results are considered too but the approach is not to 'chase the dysfunction' rather to discover it early if possible.
What I personally learned from Dr. Marc Bubbs is that teaming w/ a Naturopath/Functional Medicine Physician is a patients best bet at regaining their health as opposed to putting band-aids on symptoms which is often experienced in Western Medicine.
To reach Dr. Marc Bubbs, you can go to his website at www.drmarchbubbs.com. He has also written the book, The Paleo Project, which you can purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or via e-book (easy enough)! Just head over to his site for all of the deets! Andddd the book even has it's OWN site which you can find here.
Note: You can treat w/ Dr. Bubbs from anywhere in the country so, please consider as you hunt for a physician. I can attest that he is just incredibly authentic, filled w/ integrity and obviously adept at teaming w/ patients to launch their healing journey! He is the real deal!
Thousands of articles & clinical data across all spectrum s of academia confirm that sugar is more addictive than cocaine and it's killing us. No one disagrees. There is no 'debate'. Sugar being toxic is agreed upon amongst Western & Eastern Medicine Physicians - every single academic institution across the globe agrees sugar is toxic - Paleo & Vegans agree - Dieticians & Nutritionists - FDA - PCRM - the list just keeps going w/ no end in sight.
The message is clear: STOP-EATING-SUGAR. It is literally killing you. It- is- killing-you.
I decided for this blog not to site more than three sources b/c the sources are everywhere and you are all resourceful. And if you are absolutely not convinced, I encourage you to watch 'Fed Up' - amazing education!
I don't know how I ate sugar now. It's utter poison to our bodies. Now, the idea of 'sugar in moderation' makes me shake my head in disbelief.
Yes, it was so hard to stop and the detox came with lethargy, headaches, dizziness and nausea. It lasted about two weeks. And then.... it was over. Two weeks of discomfort to give up an additive substance that was causing so much short term and long term harm to my body. An addictive substance that was contributing to...and even causing disease.
What's there to think about? You can handle two weeks of discomfort to gain freedom from poison hitting your blood stream. No, this is not dramatic, this is reality.
The more educated I am on what I put in my body, the more alarmed I am by how we are all living. And I am appalled at how long I have been eating sugar. My poor body. And then we are surprised or baffled at the rising statistics of cancer and chronic illnesses! I KNOW it contributed to my health condition and I am 'unwinding' the damage done.
Sugar is part of a death trap created by the food industry and fueled by......well, fueled by us. Please stop eating sugar. I no longer think it's 'okay' to have a doughnut or cupcake here and/or there. It's as okay as me saying 'Wellllll, just a tiny bit of cocaine today - just a bit - and then back to eating my greens'. It's ludicrous.
Yes, sugar is MORE addictive than crack. Read more here.
Sugar is causing more deaths in our population then illegal street drugs. Yes, it's true. Read more here.
And ladies, have you researched what happens when consuming sugar when you are pregnant? I am BLOWN AWAY at how damaging the effects are to the baby. The repercussions of consuming sugar during the development stages of the child are gigantic.
If you saw your child picking up cocaine and licking it - putting it in their mouths - my guess is, you would absolutely panic! You would run over - wash their hands and mouth - take them to the Emergency Room! Again, sugar is MORE addictive then cocaine. And we are the ones driving children of our own, nieces, nephews, friends children, etc. to the doughnut shop. We are the ones paying for the poison and holding the children on our laps while they eat it. And then children are being placed on ADHD drugs, etc. It's all a money scheming cycle that has become so obvious.
We have to stop the madness.
If you need a kick start quitting sugar, I really recommend this blog 'I Quit Sugar'. Sarah Wilson has an 8 Week Program to help & guide you along the changes you will be making.
My recommendation? Go cold turkey and stop overnight. Just stop. Don't look back. Leave the crack behind.
Dr. Mark Hyman wrote the following article for MindBodyGreen.com. I found the article to be a great resource and thought you might as well:
When you hear the word “detox,” you might think drug detox, or alcohol detox, or wheatgrass enemas. That’s not what I’m referring to here. When I talk about detoxification, I mean the science of how your body gets rid of waste.
If waste builds up, you get sick and fat. The key becomes figuring out how to enhance your body’s capacity to detoxify and get rid of waste while minimizing your exposure to toxins.
In her book The Need For Balance: Body, Mind, Spirit, Lorraine LaJoi says there are approximately 80,000 toxic chemicals registered for use in the United States. Very few have been tested for their long-term impact on human health. And let me tell you, the results aren’t pretty for those that have been tested.
According to the nonprofit organization Environmental Working Group (EWG), the average newborn baby has almost 300 known toxins in his or her umbilical cord blood, so imagine how many you have been exposed to in your life.
Altogether, how can we not be affected by this massive amount of poison?
Numerous culprits contribute to toxicity. Among them include:
I could go on, but you understand just what a massive toxic load most of us carry. The simple truth is that we are living in a sea of toxins that destroys our bodies and brains. Signs that you’re toxic include fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain, gas, bloating, and headaches.
In a healthy body, the process of detoxification runs smoothly. When you become toxic, the mechanism for detoxification in the liver gets sluggish, and certain toxins can remain active longer than we want or than our systems can handle. This makes us sick and impedes normal metabolism. It also causes fluid retention, bloat, and puffiness.
If you are overweight, you are toxic by definition, because most environmental chemicals like pesticides and plastics are stored in your fat tissue. As you lose weight, you need to flush out the toxins that get released from your fat tissue. Otherwise, they can poison your metabolism and impair weight loss.
In fact, nearly every chronic disease on the planet has links to toxicity, including dementia, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, food allergies, and digestive issues.
I’ve helped numerous patients reduce their toxic load. While some require more advanced tactics, these five strategies become a good starting point to reduce your level of toxins:
1. Incorporate detox foods.
Cruciferous vegetables, herbs and spices, green tea, and sulfur-containing foods like barnyard eggs are among the foods that help your liver detoxify.
2. Add detox nutrients.
N-acetylcysteine, milk thistle, and vitamin C are among the nutrients that play a role in detoxification. Everyone should take a good multivitamin with optimal amounts of zinc and selenium, as well as fish oil.
3. Fix your gut.
Gut imbalances are a key source of toxins for many. Fixing your gut might require visiting a functional doctor. Most people see dramatic improvements eliminating food sensitivities like gluten and dairy.
4. Get moving.
This helps your blood and lymphatic circulation do its job. Whether you're a novice or pro, you'll benefit from some kind of exercise plan that you enjoy.
5. Detox your mind, heart, and spirit.
This is just as important as detoxing your body, and it’s an area few of us ever think about as a source of toxins. Whether it involves yoga, meditation, or deep breathing, find something that works for you and do it regularly. My UltraCalm CD is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety.
Optimal daily detoxification also requires drinking 8 to 10 glasses of filtered water, minimizing drugs including caffeine and alcohol, sweating regularly, and avoiding sugar in all its forms like the plague.
Incorporating these steps will help to correct problems caused by toxicity, maximize your body’s own detoxification capacity, and help you safely eliminate toxins stores in your body.
Remember, getting rid of toxins and learning how to optimize your detoxification system is essential for losing weight and creating lifelong vibrant health.
If you’ve ever done a detox, what was the biggest benefit you received? Did you find maintaining the program challenging? Share your story below or on my Facebook page.
We are really simplifying the Snapshots of Wellness blog schedule - just for yoU!
I had promised more blogs and you are getting them! And I promised that while I am 'flying under the radar', the blog will be delivering content for all of you. Blogs that I have created in the cache....to be released now. And this will continue until I get back (end of June)! A special thanks to my intern who is running my Instagram for 'awhile' @snapshotsofwellness.
So, to bring you up to date (if you don't feel like scrolling down to read in a previous blog post), new articles/blogs will post on Monday mornings. And then sprinkled in through the week. There will not be weekend blogs.
We are adding a weekly 'Friday Bits & Bites' which will always be posted by end of the business day on Fridays. And 'Bits & Bites' will have it's own tab eventually (shortly - one step at a time). It's a whimsical weekly read about any bits & bites from my own life that I feel you might benefit from! Enjoy!
Bits & Bites:
Community. Being a part of community is how we have been made to live as human beings. We all want to be a part of something bigger then ourselves. We desire to be included. We long to have somewhere to be. People, we need one another! We definitely were not made to go through this life isolated and alone. And if you are feeling that way, there is community out there waiting to invite you in.
If you are craving community in Chicago yet you just don't know where to begin, I have some suggestions for you! And before you read them, I want to share something I have learned: Being intentional about the community you choose to be a part of is critical. So, go about finding and/or multiplying your tribe wisely.....and intentionally.
Those are my 4 suggestions if you are still trying to 'find your tribe'. As a dear friend told me, people need to put themselves out there again and again. It may be uncomfortable at first but it will be so worth it! And my friend is right on.
So, that's what's on my mind this Friday. I was someone who was really longing for community in Chicago and I have found an amazing group of lifelong friends as a result of a lot of 'putting myself out there'. I thrive being a part of community and - as a result - I am now living an actual communal lifestyle which is amazing! I am surrounded by community most days of the week and every weekend. And living this way is pretty ideal for me.
What other sporadic bits & bites do I have for you this Friday? I really recommend ditching processed foods folks...and toxic sugar! I have been eating a lotttt of chard/kale, seeds, avocados and blueberries. I am kinda sorta in love with blueberries! And when I get mad sugar cravings, I eat a spoonful of almond butter w/ blueberries on top. It's the best! Oh & I have fallen in love with salty kalamata olives....who knew! I LOVE olives! I also appreciate this blog about olives ..here.
Let's see, the hobbies that I foresee dominating my summer are traveling, hiking w/ friends, cooking big organic meals, gardening (yep, tiny herb garden in the making) and pilates on a reformer. I've always loved pilates. If you have never tried this style of workout, I recommend it!
And that's about it! This weekend, I will be spending w/ new friends over long walks and healthy/hearty meals. And I will be resting/reading too! I am currently reading some amazing books which I will have to do a post on soon.
Take in nature this weekend if you can! And deep breathes.....one step at a time toward wellness(0:
There is so much on the web regarding adrenal fatigue 'recovery' and I have written about it extensively for various publications. There is also a new article on my site about the topic so, please scroll down to read for yourself.
The #1 MOST important step for you to take if you believe you have any level of adrenal fatigue is to schedule an appointment w/ a Functional Medicine physician. And he or she will have you complete an Adrenal Saliva Test. Do not self treat. You can end up doing more harm then good to your adrenals. Please trust me here.
With that being said, there are general healthy decisions you can make on a daily basis that will aid in your adrenal recovery. And that is eliminating sugar, caffeine, grains, etc. from your diet. It will change your life!!! It sure changed my own! And your body will be shedding pounds faster then you can imagine ....that's an added bonus that will occur. Also, supplements that are the building blocks for your adrenals are essential.
Dr. Josh Axe, who is mentioned all over my site, has an extensive & private online educational program for healing leaky gut (which 'gut health' is often one of the main culprits of adrenal fatigue). And I have enrolled in his program solely as an educational & nutritional guide. It is one of the best decisions I have made in my own healing process! We watch videos weekly, jump on the phone w/ him weekly for Q&A's and overall, it's aiding in my recovery as well as helping me to educate others.
Below are notes from the transcript of Dr. Axe's adrenal video. The notes are his and not my own so, this is directly from him! Enjoy!
In Dr. Axe's words:
The best supplements for treating and overcoming adrenal fatigue is:
#1- adaptogenic herbs, specifically ashwagandha. The herbs help the body to fight stress better and improve what are called DHEA levels in the body, it’s also very important for anti-aging.
My vitamin B complex has those exact adaptogenic herbs in them along with my green superfoods has some of those as well. Another thing is Vitamin B12 support, which again is in my Vitamin B adrenal complex, it supports cellular energy and thyroid function. If you do have leaky gut that will cause B12 absorption so leaky gut is what is causing your adrenal fatigue.
Selenium is another crucial nutrient that can help support your adrenals and thyroid. It’s important for something called methylation, which is essentially cellular energy production. Consuming more selenium rich foods like brazil nuts, sea weed, strawberries, sprouted nuts and seeds like chia, flax and pumpkin. If you have adrenal fatigue, taking my Vitamin B adrenal complex support is something I definitely recommend.
L-Glutamine- it is an amino acid that reduces stress on the gut that helps heal the gut lining.
Probiotics are essential for healing leaky gut and for increasing the microbes in your system which will also help you overcome adrenal fatigue. It is very crucial that you are getting probiotic rich foods as well as probiotic rich supplements in your diet. I recommend 2 caps twice a day typically for those with adrenal fatigue.
Nutrient dense veggies & high quality protein are essential for adrenal recovery. And cold foods should (surprisingly) be avoided during adrenal recovery. Why? Ice and cold foods are stressful on the digestive tract and cause nutrient malabsorption.
Dark colored fruits are very nourishing to the adrenal glands and kidneys. Figs, blueberries and blackberries are the best three fruits for healing the adrenal glands. Consume these fruits in moderation throughout the day.
Vegetables, including eggplant and dark green leafy vegetables, especially kale and chard, are especially healing to the adrenal glands. Walnuts and black sesame seeds are great as well.
Dr. Axe recommends the Okinawa Diet for adrenal recovery which consists of sea vegetables, miso soup, wild caught fish, etc. If you notice, it is all high in sodium which is on point for adrenal recovery (due to the lack of Aldosterone production).
Other nutrients that are crucial in healing your adrenal glands are foods filled with probiotics and enzymes. Things like kefir and yogurt. You don’t want to over do dairy with adrenal fatigue, so about 4 oz as part of a smoothie is fine. It should be goat’s milk yogurt and kefir. Fermented veggies like sauerkraut and sprouted foods so it increases the enzymes. I don’t recommend if you have adrenal fatigue consuming a lot of nuts and seeds unless they have been soaked and sprouted ideally.
Food high in Vitamin B are crucial to nourishing your adrenal glands. Grass fed beef, chicken and beef liver, green superfood powders with spirulina, like my green superfood. Green leafy vegetables like kale, chard and spinach all help nourish adrenal glands. NOTE: VEGANS: You can get your protein sources from plants - message me to discuss!
Sea salt - used instead of iodine salt. Sprinkling sea salt on your food is fantastic for your adrenal glands.
I mentioned blackberries, blueberries and figs but I want to say all berries in general including pomegranates are good as well. Sea salt, sprinkle it on liberally. I would recommend Himalayan salt as the best and the second best would be celtic salt.
Foods high in magnesium are also good to nourish adrenal glands, like sprouted seeds, pumpkin, flax or chia. Also avocadoes, spinach, chard, figs and sea veggies. There is a lot of overlap here because the same foods that are high in electrolytes and minerals are the same ones that are high in these nutrients.
Foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids are cold fish, wild caught salmon, grass fed meats and also sprouted chia and flax. Again, VEGANS: You can get your protein sources from plants.
Thanks Dr. Axe!
I hope this helped some of you as you organize your schedule to accommodate your healing process! What I have found best in my own journey is to streamline care (one Functional Medicine physician, one chiropractor....YAY), organize a strict supplemental timeline that you do not deviate from, and plan ahead each week via your schedule (hourly if needed). Stay disciplined & consistent (allowing yourself to be human of course). And I am telling you, you will recover! Your body is amazing and is designed to naturally heal itself! You need to provide your body with the tools (supplements, thoughts, foods, exercise, rest) and your body will respond!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
I have hinted one too many times on the blog that I am in love with Austin, TX. And I just wanted to share a bit more about why I am so intrigued.
After several years of staying put in Chicago, IL., I had the opportunity to experience Austin, TX. for a long weekend. I knew nothing about Austin, TX. prior to my arrival and I had only previously heard about Austin's music scene & diverse artist scene.
And my short time spent there was enough to influence me to come back for more.
While I don't think Austin is a place I will ever call 'home' (although I will go wherever God leads me & my one day fam), the city certainly has aspects that appeal to me:
The summer heat is something that I am really drawn to. This girl right here lovessss humidity. I genuinely thrive in HEAT - wearing minimal makeup, floral sundresses, hair piled high in a messy bun and no concern for 'fashion'. I find this freeing!!! And I find that the absence of 'being on trend' leaves me to focus on what really matters which is relationships and the activities we are engaging in with those we care about.
I am so drawn to the number of wooded nature reserves, featuring sink holes and caves. They are everywhere (so I am told & I am about to find out pronto). How life giving to being able to grab your family and friends to explore a cave before making a big healthy organic meal?!?! After a long day, there is an endless number of hiking & bike trails to discover as well. Being surrounded by so much 'green' is calming & peaceful for me. I love nature so much.
I am learning that Austin is very family friendly with a unique 'community feel' meaning that people are really into communal living which is quite rare (and wonderful)! I am going to get to experience this.....nightly group dinners, potlucks, evenings grilling with numerous families, new friends, etc.
And you may not understand this unless you have lived in a larger city (like me) for years but Austin is a bit more cozy & simple vs. living in...say.... New York, LA or Chicago. I immediately relax when I am here. My heart is still in & with Chicago though so don't led me fool ya (smile). I love the city of Chicago very much but I appreciate being able to experiencing other parts of the United States.
Austin has numerous farmers markets, Whole Foods (yay) and organic grocers. And they are all within a short number of miles so you can walk everywhere. They are on the cutting edge of the health/wellness movement & this year alone, Austin, TX. has hosted the largest Paleo & Vegan conference in the states! Go Austin! This is incredible!
Finally, I have a heart for Austin New Church. It's a grassroots Christian community led & created by Jen Hatmaker & her husband. The community is intimate and engaging. If you have never heard of Jen Hatmaker, check out her book, Interrupted. It's heart provoking.
Austin, TX. holds a special place in my heart. I think my experience with coming to Austin, TX. is teaching me not to underestimate God's surprises in our lives. I never - in a million years -would have thought that I would even visit Austin...ever. So, when we give God control of our path, He will heal us through experiences, people and places that we may not have necessarily seen coming.
“God is at work in the mess. That’s the message of the Bible. That’s why the Bible is not pretty. That’s why it’s grimy, because God is working in the mess. He’s working in the tears.” — Matt Chandler
I deeply appreciate this messy life we are all living. I appreciate learning and transforming into who God is calling me to be. And I deeply appreciate connecting with souls....not faces.
I appreciate the mistakes because they teach us to raise our standards of self. Mistakes also act as a mirror of where we need to make changes. I appreciate putting my heart out there even when a relationship doesn't work because I'd rather love & be vulnerable then not love at all. And I appreciate the beauty in raw truths. Life is actually so insanely beautiful - every single season.
And while growth & change are both so painful, nothing is more painful then stagnation. Nothing. Nothing is worse then trying to cling to a person that has walked away. If someone doesn't want to be in your life, your only job is to let them go with grace and wish them well. And if it is you walking away, be kind. Nothing is worse then clinging to an idea that God did not put in your heart. Only God's plan is best for you. Truly. And nothing (nothing) is worse then staying 'stuck' in your past, when the present is offering you so much of what you have long desired. Have you met people who are stuck on someone in their past? They rob the people in their present of the greatest connection. And if it is you stuck in your past, I hope you realize it's time to let go. And goodness, if you cannot let go, then get brave with God and go back for what or who you want to bring into your present with you.
This is what I know to be true....
Nothing on this earth satisfies our hearts desires like God does. Nothing. And in the midst of Him refining you, no matter how uncomfortable, stick w/ Him - hand and hand. Stay in the muck and realize the beauty in His plan for your life. We need to trust that His plan for you is the absolute best plan ever and way better then your own. I believe that God's plans for our lives far exceed what we could even dream up ourselves. And know that while transformation is never easy, the one's I am most impressed with are the one's who keep swimming 'through' until they get to the other side. And during the process, they stay joyful and tender. And they stay humble.
Everyone in your life will benefit from your growth - you, your friends, family and the person you choose to now call partner. And God will be so very pleased.
And trust me with what I am about to share with you please:
You will be blown away when you briefly look over your shoulder....at how far you have come. And you won't want to go back. You won't want to go back because your heart has changed. You won't even be able to go back because it will no longer make sense to you. Why? Because you are new. You have grown. You are healthier. You are even more lovely. You have come to a place where God has molded your heart to be more like His...and it shows. And those that want to be in your life (and those you want to be a part of your life), simply will be there. You won't have to fight, cling, beg or persuade them to be there.....God will simply open doors for them to walk in. And you will finally realize that all of the effort you put into your own growth was worth every last bit of discomfort. It always is.
The following article has been written by Dr. Amy Myers (who I highly recommend you check out her website - she is brilliant) for MindBodyGreen.com.
Have you been suffering from a gluten intolerance, leaky gut, candida overgrowth, parasites, or something similar? Are you trying to repair the havoc wreaked on your gut?
While the first step in this healing process is unquestionably to change your dietary habits in order to stop any further damage to your gut. Taking the following eight supplements can be very beneficial in aiding in and speeding up the recovery process of healing of a leaky gut.
Our gut is full of “good”and friendly bacteria that help us properly break down and digest our food. They help keep our gut in check and prevent ‘bad’ bacteria from overgrowth. Unfortunately, these friendly bacteria can be depleted and disrupted by taking antibiotics, steroids, acid-blocking medications, eating a poor diet, and many other factors. Taking a highly concentrated dose (25-100 billion units a day) of probiotics on a daily basis can help you regain a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is fundamental to the well-being of the digestive and immune systems. Glutamine is great for repairing damage to the gut, helping the gut lining to regrow and repair, undoing the damage caused by leaky gut, and reducing sugar cravings. I recommend 3-5 grams a day.
3. Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are plant or microbial-based supplements that support the breakdown, absorption, and utilization of macronutrients. Taken with meals, they work with the body’s own reduced supply of enzymes to achieve maximum digestion and support intestinal repair mechanisms.
4. Betaine Hydrochloric Acid (HCL)
Betaine hydrochloride (HCL) promotes optimal gastric acidity for support of protein digestion and absorption of minerals and other nutrients such as vitamin B12. There is simple at home test you can do to see if you have low stomach acid and are in need of HCL replacement. Begin to eat a meal and ⅓ of the way into your meal take 650 mg of HCL and then finish your meal. If you experience heartburn, you have sufficient levels of HCL. If you do not experience any burning sensation in your upper abdomen, then you likely would benefit from HCL at each meal.
5. Slippery Elm
It might have kind of a strange name, but slippery elm has been used as an effective gut healer for centuries in the United States. This supplement both contains mucilage and stimulates nerve endings in the body’s intestinal tract to increase natural mucus secretion, which is an instrumental part of the stomach’s protective lining and helps combat ulcers and excessive acidity in the digestive system. It also contains important antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel symptoms.
6. Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL)
DGL is an herb that has been used for over 3,000 years in the treatment of digestive issues including ulcers and indigestion. It's made from whole licorice, but the manufacturing process includes the removal of glycyrrhizin, which can cause an elevation in blood pressure. DGL supports the body’s natural processes for maintaining the mucosal lining of the stomach and duodenum.
7. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root is a multipurpose supplement that can be used for respiratory or digestive relief. Like slippery elm, it contains a high mucilage content. It eases the inflammation in the stomach lining, heals ulcers, and treats both diarrhea and constipation by creating a protective lining on the digestive tract.
8. Caprylic Acid
Caprylic acid, also known as octanoic acid, is a naturally occurring fatty acid that comes from coconut oil. Calcium and magnesium caprylates act as buffers, and may also help slow the dispersion and release of caprylic acid to support its activity throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Caprylic acid is known for it’s antiviral and antifungal activity. For those who feel that you may be suffering from Candida or yeast overgrowth this is a safe, effective and natural way to treat Candida.
I frequently get asked how long it will take to heal a leaky gut. That of course varies from person to person and depends on how the gut became leaky in the first place. Typically, I find that when one follows my 4R Program for healing a leaky gut and adds in the above supplements, it should be about a three-month process.
About Amy Myers:
Amy Myers, MD is a renowned leader in Functional Medicine and New York Times Bestselling author of The Autoimmune Solution. She received her Doctorate in Medicine from LSU Health Sciences Center and spent 5 years working in emergency medicine before training with the Institute of Functional Medicine. She has helped thousands around the world recover from chronic illness through her dietary-based program, The Myers Way®, and she has created multiple interactive eBooks and eCourses to guide readers through her revolutionary approach to health. Her blog and website serve as a beacon of hope to the many sufferers of chronic disease and autoimmune conditions.
Her book, The Autoimmune Solution, a 30 day program to prevent and reverse the full spectrum of inflammatory symptoms and disease, is now available.
Follow Dr. Myers on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for her newsletter to receive a free eBook of gluten-free, dairy-free recipes.
Of all of the numerous articles on the web regarding adrenal fatigue, the following is most thorough. And I can personally attest that you can learn more below - just by reading this article - FOR FREE - then you potentially might learn from a number of physicians after 10 office visits! And this is just my humble pie opinion (smile).
I recently became familiar with the site, SoundBodyLife.com. I love the fact that this informative health & wellness site is curated by a husband & wife team, Olivia & Adam Trainor. They are a couple that began improving their own health & wellness side by side. And as a result of their own lives transforming, they are wanting to share what they learned with all of you. Please head over to the site to read about a variety of topics that will aid in your arsenal to vibrant health!
The following article on their site written by Jen Keehn & titled 'What Is Adrenal Fatigue & What Can You Do About It'? was particular of interest to me. She managed to cover every aspect of adrenal health from what test we should all be taking if adrenal fatigue is suspected, what supplements and an overall view of what you can do to be the CEO of your health. I know many of you have asked me countless questions about adrenal healing and I have found it to be a challenge to sum up all that I have learned in one article. Jen Keehn has managed to do that for us!
Grab a notebook, pen & a beverage and get ready to be educated! Note: It's lengthy but worth the small investment of your time.
Letss all get to reading this amazing article below:
If you’re constantly tired and can’t figure out why, chances are you’ve got a case of adrenal fatigue. This stress-related condition occurs when your adrenal glands, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland are functioning below normal levels. Although you may have never even heard of your adrenals, they actually play a vital function in your health by helping to control your body’s response to stress. Understanding your adrenal glands and their function will help you better understand adrenal fatigue and help you better control this exhausting condition.
What Are the Adrenal Glands?
Sitting just above the kidneys, the adrenal glands are approximately 1 inch wide and about 2 ½ inches long. While your kidneys are both symmetrical in shape, this is not the case for your adrenals. The right adrenal is shaped like a triangle and the left adrenal is a sort of half-moon shape. Yellowish in color, there is one gland for each kidney. They are located near the kidneys because they have such strong influence on this part of your body.
There are three distinct parts to the adrenal glands with each part playing a different function in what they do.
The cortex is also responsible for the maintenance of our cortisol levels. With all its relative composites, cortisol is so important that we can’t live without it. Cortisol controls our sleep cycles, regulates blood pressure, suppresses inflammation, and helps us to generate energy from non-carbohydrate sources. The final function of the cortex helps us to regulate fluid and mineral excretion.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
As you may have guessed, fatigue is one of the main symptoms found with adrenal fatigue syndrome. If you’re constantly tired, even though you seem to be getting adequate sleep, you could very well be suffering from adrenal fatigue. Some of the symptoms characterized in adrenal fatigue are as follows. If these characteristics sound all too familiar to you, chances are you’re suffering from a case of adrenal fatigue.
Difficulty Waking Up in the Morning Let’s say you got your recommended eight hours of sleep the night before, yet you wake up in the morning and feel like you can’t pull yourself out of bed. In some cases of adrenal fatigue, you’ll get enough sleep, but still wake up in a sleepy haze. In other cases (in the early stages of adrenal fatigue), stress will cause your cortisol and adrenaline levels to become extremely high which will cause a state of un-relentless restlessness.
Feeling Tired Everyday As your condition of adrenal fatigue progresses, your adrenal glands become less and less able to produce the hormones your body needs. Cortisol levels drop, as does your adrenaline, norepinephrine, and dopamine levels. These hormones are critical to maintaining energy levels and, as they get lower, you become more tired every day. People that suffer from adrenal fatigue usually have trouble keeping momentum and energy throughout the day, nor do they get that afternoon “lift” that helps keep them going.
Repressed Immune Function The maintenance of proper cortisol levels is essential in healthy immune function. Not only does it have an anti-inflammatory effect that helps to regulate immune function, but also keeps this inflammation from becoming out of control. If you’ve got tons of stress and your cortisol levels are higher than they should be, you’re going to experience an immune system that doesn’t work as it should, leaving you more susceptible to illness and disease. On the other hand, if cortisol levels become too low, this can lead to chronic inflammation and respiratory disease.
In the early stages of adrenal fatigue syndrome, people will usually experience higher levels of cortisol production. Remember, adrenal fatigue is usually brought on by stress and this makes cortisol levels shoot through the roof, which will leave you seriously vulnerable to sickness and infection. As your condition carries on, cortisol levels will begin to drop and leave you more susceptible to chronic inflammation, allergies, and autoimmune disease.
Lack of Ability to Handle Stress We all suffer from stress from time to time, but those that have adrenal fatigue have an especially difficult time handling outside pressures. We need our adrenals to function in tip-top shape in order to effectively handle stress that comes our way. When they are fatigued, they have a hard time producing the cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine hormones we need to effectively combat the tension in our lives. When stressed, people that suffer from adrenal fatigue often feel irritable, anxious, and lacking any drive.
Higher Energy Levels in the Evening On one hand, people that suffer from adrenal fatigue are usually always exhausted. On the other hand, they will experience spikes of energy late in the day. As hormone levels bounce all over the place, cortisol and adrenaline become confused and instead of secreting what they need mid-morning, levels go up in the late evening causing a sudden late-night burst of energy. This usually happens in the early stages of adrenal fatigue when your adrenal glands can still produce the right amounts of cortisol and adrenaline for your body.
Other Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue There are actually quite a few symptoms of adrenal fatigue, with many of them commonly linked to the five above mentioned indications. Adrenal fatigue comes in different stages and the following symptoms are characteristic of the whole.
Stress is obviously a huge contributing factor of adrenal fatigue. The condition itself has been around forever, but has increased significantly in the past century. If you look at how much change our lifestyles have gone through in this time, you’ll see a pretty good indication of what is causing epidemic proportions of adrenal fatigue. It’s pretty safe to say that in the last hundred years, we’ve begun to experience far greater levels of stress and eat diets that aren’t always the healthiest. Toxic overload is something very common nowadays and correlates perfectly with the rise in cases of adrenal fatigue.
6 Common Causes of Adrenal Fatigue
The modern convenient diets we have come to depend on aren’t exactly the healthiest and all this processed food is making us fat. Carrying around this excess weight puts stress on our internal organs and not only tires you out, but exhausts your adrenals as well.
Natural Solutions for Adrenal Fatigue
If you’re feeling exhausted and irritated and think you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue, fortunately there are some things you can do about it. Paying special attention to your diet plays a huge factor in re-balancing cortisol levels in the body and repairing adrenal function. Managing stress levels is something that is fundamental as well and creating a healthy balance between mind and body is the first step in combating this tiring condition.
Adrenal fatigue doesn’t have to be something that continues to ruin your life. With a little attention to the things your body really needs, you’ll be able to get rid of adrenal fatigue and live a happy, healthy lifestyle.
4 Things You Can Do For Adrenal Fatigue
Your body needs natural ways to keep up energy levels so you don’t end up crashing mid-day. Coffee is the usual go-to for the mid-afternoon slump, but it actually makes adrenal fatigue much worse. Caffeine actually adds a lot of stress to your adrenal glands and produces cortisol and adrenaline the same way as when you are in a “flight or fight” response. This seriously depletes your adrenals over time and causes serious stress on your system. Cutting out the caffeine is key when looking to get rid of adrenal fatigue.
Instead of starting your day with your typical cup of joe, think about water and lemon followed by a healthy balanced breakfast. Getting a healthy dose of balanced protein and healthy carbs will give your body the energy it needs without a heavy crash in the afternoon. Whole grain oats and berries are another great way to give you natural, lasting energy.
Cutting out all processed foods, saturated fats, and sugars is where you need to start and by doing so you will cut off what is feeding your adrenal gland fatigue. Replaced with a balanced diet full of adequate protein and antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables will help you begin to restore your body back to its natural balance and initiate healthy adrenal function.
Accumulated stress is something that greatly contributes to adrenal fatigue. Without taking the time to relax and get back to our natural rhythms, our bodies must work overtime to compensate. When we’re constantly stressed out, our adrenals are working hard because our bodies recognize this as the flight or fight mode. When you’re stressed, your adrenals counteract this stress by raising blood pressure, increasing heart rate, suppress your immune function, and increase your blood’s clotting ability.
These stress symptoms are all supposed to be short lived, but when you continue to stay stressed out they continue to not only stay in your body, but make things worse as time goes on. Stress will keep your adrenal glands on high alert, but reducing stress and taking the time to relax will give them adequate time to recover and function normally.
If you’ve got adrenal fatigue, one of the first things you should do is begin to lower your stress levels. Focus on your breathing, take a walk, or do whatever it is that will help you relax. Meditation is an excellent way to reduce stress and sitting quietly with your breathing for even five minutes a day will tremendously improve your health. Find ways to relax every single day and you will soon see your fatigue symptoms become a thing of the past.
Knowing what to take to restore your body to its optimal health after suffering from adrenal fatigue is vital and the following supplements are an excellent place to begin on the road to wellness.
Buy Vitamin C
Buy Vitamin B5
Buy Vitamin B6
Buy Vitamin B12
While these are the most important supplements you can buy for adrenal fatigue, there are a number of others that will help immensely including:
Get The Right Exercise
While getting exercise is important for anyone, people that suffer from adrenal fatigue need to be especially aware of getting sufficient exercise 3-5 days a week. There’s a catch here though. Getting the wrong types of exercise can actually make adrenal fatigue worse. In the case of adrenal fatigue, cardio and heavy weightlifting are things you’ll want to avoid, while gentle stretches and muscle toning exercises should be embraced.
If you experience adrenal fatigue, you’ll want to focus on taking the right steps to help your body repair itself naturally. When you start, simply focus on breathing and gentle stretching. A beginning yoga class would be excellent until you move onto slowly toning and strengthening your muscles. When your body begins to repair itself, moving onto a more fluid exercise routine will help tremendously. Once your body is comfortable, try some power yoga or gently aerobics. You want to get your blood circulating, but don’t want to overwork your body. Walking is another way to get the exercise you need without exhausting yourself even further.
Managing Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is very real and affects some 80 percent of people at one time or another. Understanding adrenal function and the symptoms that come with adrenal fatigue are the first steps in giving your body back the energy it needs. Adrenal fatigue does not have to upset your life forever. Taking the time to recognize the signs and properly taking care of your body will help your adrenal glands return to their normal functioning state and leave you full of the energy you deserve to make it through life without feeling exhausted, drained, and worn out.
Testing For Adrenal Fatigue: If you think you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue, there is a simple saliva test you can order. This Adrenal Stress Profile consists of a series of saliva tests that measure the level of cortisol four times daily to establish its circadian rhythm. Additionally, this test measures a two-sample average of the sulfated form of DHEA (DHEA-S), and related metabolites including progesterone, estradiol, estriol, testosterone, and melatonin. For more information on testing, check out www.nourishbalancethrive.com.
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