We've been focused on health, or the lack of health, for many months. Another concern is the level of overwhelm, which can be influenced by food.

Can Food Influence Your Level of Overwhelm?

We’ve been focused on health, or the lack of health, for many months. There’s another issue we all deal with that can be countered with proactive habits — overwhelm. Have you ever considered that food can influence your level of overwhelm?

We’ve all experienced a range of feelings – fear, anxiety, overwhelm, anger – in recent months. For the overwhelm that comes with daily life, there are many resources. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidneys are the body’s central source of yin and yang.

When our kidneys aren’t functioning optimally, other health problems, including overwhelm or anxiety, can arise. The world we live in today takes a significant toll on our kidneys, whether we know it or not. These issues can be small enough to go undiagnosed by doctors but can have a substantial impact on he rest of our bodies.

Your Adrenals & Kidneys

Factors such as stress, poor sleep quality, alcohol, and environmental toxins can be extremely taxing on the kidneys. Chinese Medicine views the adrenal glands and the kidneys as the same organ. The adrenals are two glands located on top of your kidneys. They are responsible for the production and regulation of essential hormones, including those involved in the stress response. When the adrenal glands become overworked, through too much stress, lack of sleep, or other factors, they are unable to function normally. This can lead to numerous symptoms, including insomnia, digestive problems, weak immune function, and especially anxiety.

Thus, by supporting the kidneys through specific foods nourish the function of the adrenal glands, you can ease some of these symptoms. Eating foods like tangerines, plums, grapes, grains such as amaranth, rye, oats, and barley, celery, asparagus, cabbage, and black beans nourish your kidneys.

Are Your Kidneys Balanced In Yin & Yang?

Further following Chinese Medicine, it is beneficial to know whether your kidneys are deficient in the yin or yang. The yin is responsible for cooling and hydrating the body. If they are yin deficient, you might experience symptoms such as insomnia, night sweats, dry skin, eyes, and mouth, and brittle hair. Chlorella is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the kidneys’ yin and is best taken on an empty stomach.

Spirulina, another type of algae, also works well. It would be best if you also were eating carrots, grapefruit, celery, cucumber, blueberries, kidney beans, and watermelon. These are considered ‘cooling’ foods that will help increase your yin.

Yang, on the other hand, is related to stimulating and warming your body. If your kidneys are deficient in yang, you might experience diarrhea, lower back pain, fatigue, and feeling cold, often seeming worse in the morning. If you are experiencing these, eat “warming” foods such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves, walnuts, quinoa, and black beans. Avoid iced drinks and raw foods and limit your fruit intake as these are all considered ‘cooling’ foods that will contribute to your yin-yang imbalance.

Aside from foods to help stimulate balanced kidney function, meditation can help in combating daily overwhelm.  Is this is new for you, apps such as Headspace or Calm can help you fit meditation into your schedule in just a few minutes per day. Prioritizing time to clear your mind can transform your entire day.

Trying “cooling” or “warming” foods? I’d love to hear about your experience and what you notice.

Are you one of the 60 million Americans who experience acid reflux? I'm guessing that your primary concern is to extinguish the pain.

Extinguish the Pain!

Are you one of the 60 million Americans who experience acid reflux? It used to be primarily an issue for those over 50, but it now is seen in every race, gender and adult age group. No matter the demographics, I’m guessing that your primary concern is to extinguish the pain.

Why does it hurt so much? That would be the digestive juices from your stomach getting into your esophagus, which lacks the mucosal lining that protects your stomach. Without that lining, juices that pop up through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) damage the tissue in your esophagus. Read more

Maintaining a healthy diet during a crisis is vital for supporting your immune system. Eating nutrient-dense foods is the foundation.

Eating Nutrient-Dense Food?

How has your life changed in the last weeks since we have been pressed to shelter at home? Have board games or puzzles provided a renewed source of entertainment? Are you cooking more meals yourself and eating nutrient-dense food?

During COVID-19 and beyond, eating a healthful diet is more important than ever. When you anticipate a battle, you want to be sure your army is up for the fight. That would be your immune system. Michael Pollan has said that cooking and preparing our food is more than half the battle when it comes to eating well. Read more

Rather than get caught up in fear from all the reports of pandemic, you can be proactive and arm yourself for Coronavirus

Arm Yourself For Coronavirus

You cannot view any news media without coming across the latest development with the Coronavirus strain. It’s even being touted in political campaigns. What thoughts do these reports prompt? Disbelief? Concern? Fear?

How do you respond to the reports? Are you feeling that it couldn’t possibly be true, or letting your imagination run rampant and barring the door? Read more

Bust The Holiday Stress Cycle

Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanza, the holidays can be a great time of joy for many. But for others, they are filled with anxiety and stress. You can set yourself on a more positive path – and bust the holiday stress cycle – when you understand the how to best support your body for joy.

When stress hits at this time of year, it’s easy to turn to that tray of cookies for moral support. After all, cookies won’t criticize you about your choices the way your family will. What we don’t realize is that we are self-medicating with sweets – the quick spike of sugar in our system can bring an increase in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of well-being and happiness. Sadly, the benefit is fleeting, and we find ourselves reaching for another fix. Read more

Should You Eliminate Gluten?

Do you know someone who has eliminated gluten from their diet? Have you considered exploring this approach for yourself, or do you consider it going overboard? Why should you eliminate gluten?

I’ve written about the potential issues of consuming wheat-based foods in the past. To recap, the greatest concerns are the increased concentration of gluten in our modern wheat, and the use of glyphosate on wheat fields prior to harvest. That means that each bite of wheat comes with a dose of glyphosate. Read more

When you want to improve the way you are eating, home-cooked meals are the best approach. How do you fit cooking into your busy schedule? Meal prep hacks!

Meal Prep Hacks For Your Busy Schedule

When you want to improve the way you are eating, home-cooked meals are the best context for success. Yet you may think that your busy schedule leaves you with no hope for making your own meals, even if such an approach would save you money. The answer? Meal prep hacks.

I completely understand. I hope to show you some hacks that could work for your unique schedule and lifestyle. Read more

Magnesium Is A Nutrient Powerhouse

Magnesium Is A Nutritional Powerhouse

Do you remember much of the periodic table of elements from Chemistry class? Though I never learned the elements in high school, I’m gaining more respect for them these days. Especially #12 – magnesium. Magnesium is a nutritional powerhouse.

If you’ve played on a sports team, I’m sure you’ve experienced the normal dynamics of a couple leading players and many supporting ones. Magnesium is a supporting player that many of us are lacking.
Read more

Meatless Monday or Change One Meal A Day?

I’m sure you have heard of the “meatless Monday” movement. The idea is to have one day a week when you focus on eating plant-based meals and take a break from animal proteins. Another approach is to change one meal a day to plant-based foods. For many, this has been an interesting exercise that encourages them to think outside our cultural norm.

You know that I encourage including protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates in your meals for a balanced nutritional benefit. You may be wondering how to do this when planning a meatless meal. It’s not hard at all. Read more

Are You Disrupting Your Metabolism?

Are You Disrupting Your Metabolism?

If your metabolism is running at a healthy level, it burns off your calories and keeps you feeling energized. Exercise and plenty of sleep help your metabolism function optimally, but are you disrupting your metabolism with certain foods you eat?

These foods could be reducing the metabolic fire you count on to keep things running optimally. Read more