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 Waking Refreshed or Groggy?

What changes have you noticed about your health in these past months of sheltering in? Many are finding themselves more relaxed about it as time passes. And how about your sleep – are you waking refreshed or groggy? Do you fight to make yourself get out of bed in the morning?

Cortisol and melatonin are key players in our sleep patterns. Cortisol rises to wake you and its levels are changing throughout the day. Your cortisol levels normally peak in late morning and then falling through the rest of the day. As cortisol falls in the evening, melatonin rises to prepare your body for sleep. Read more

Lifesaving Benefits … At A Price

I have spoken to very few people who have not taken an antibiotic at some time in their life. Prescribed for bacterial infections and sometimes parasites, antibiotics can be a lifesaver – but using antibiotics can be harmful.

The human gut is populated with trillions of microbes – estimated to be ten times the number of human cells that make up our bodies. These microbes support our immune system and affect our weight, our moods, our vulnerability to allergies and asthma, and our risk of autoimmune disease. They are symbiotic partners in creating wellness in our bodies. Read more

We like certainty. When things feel uncertain, it is normal to feel stressed. Part of protecting your health is being mindful - what are you thinking?

What Are You Thinking?

We like certainty. We are hard-wired to want to know what is happening and notice threats, and when things feel uncertain, it is normal to feel stressed. And while this reaction is there to protect us, it can cause havoc when there is a sense of uncertainty and conflicting information around us. What are you thinking?

Are you feeling some anxiety? Right now, many of us are worried about COVID-19. We may feel helpless about what will happen and uncomfortable with our apparent loss of control, and this uncertainty can remind us of times when we didn’t feel safe and the future was uncertain. 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

If you supplement your nutrient intake to fill gaps, you may wonder how and when it is best to take them for greatest benefit.

Timing For Supplements ….

Are you one of the growing numbers of Americans who are recognizing the need to supplement your nutrient intake? Have you explored how to take them for best effect?

I do meet people that believe supplements are unnecessary. These have often accepted the media reports that vitamins don’t work, or questioning whether the FDA has approved them. I won’t take the time in this newsletter to fully refute these positions. Suffice it to say, the media was reporting on studies that were done using synthetic vitamins. The body doesn’t recognize or use synthetic vitamins well. Bioavailable forms are absorbed and provide benefits. Read more

And aspirin a day is dangerous

An Aspirin A Day Is Dangerous

Are you one of the millions of Americans whose doctor has advised to take a baby aspirin daily in an effort to protect from heart attack or stroke? If you don’t take it yourself, I know you know someone who does. But, do you (or they) know this is no longer recommended in light of recent studies? In fact, an aspirin a day is dangerous. 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

Arm Yourself Against Illness

‘Tis the season – the flu season is being heralded all around us. Are you prepared? And how can you arm yourself against illness, be it flu or cold or other form?

Though there’s no guaranteed way to avoid getting sick, supporting your immune system is what I consider the best way (even ahead of vaccines). Read more

Simple BBQ Ideas

Simple BBQ Ideas

Cooking food outside is a regular practice in our family, especially in the summer. It’s fun to eat outside and enjoy a different setting whether it’s a picnic or backyard gathering. Each of us can recall memories made as we gathered around a table to enjoy a meal alfresco. And, cooking food doesn’t have to be hard… here are some simple bbq ideas to get you started.

Unfortunately, much of what we put out on the grill isn’t so good for us.  If you’re looking to host an outdoor barbecue with healthier options than the typical hot dogs, hamburgers, and ribs — take a look below for some tasty yet healthy suggestions.

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