Breast Cancer Awareness: Don’t Be Driven by Fear – By Trudy Scott

October is Breast Cancer awareness month so here are 7 resources to keep you informed, hopeful and inspired to take charge of your overall health and breast health – for prevention and healing – and no more fear!

#1 Reduce stress in your life. Here is a blog post I wrote in 2010 with information from my colleague Ellyn Hilliard: 10 Unique Ways to Support You During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Reduce the stresses in your life. Calm the nervous system. Meditate, go on a walk…

Start to look at chemicals in your life. Find natural alternatives to cleaning products.

#2 Exercise to prevent cancer and have fun at the same time

up to a third of breast cancer cases in Western countries could be avoided with a nutritious diet and exercise

If exercise is a chore, find something fun to do and it will be a totally different experience

#3 Be aware that a lot of pinkwashing goes on – it’s quite awful how people are being taken advantage of. And know there is so much you can do that is healing and preventative. You can read more here: Pinkwashing for the cure (ridiculous!) or green for prevention?

Pinkwasher: (pink’-wah-sher) noun. A company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.

Helyane Waldman’s book “The Whole-Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors: A Nutritional Approach to Preventing Recurrence”

Rebecca Katz’s “The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery”

#4 Ann Louise Gittleman, author of The Fat Flush Diet and Get the Sugar Out, just posted a great blog on how to become a breast health warrior

Raise your daily Vitamin D intake (D is like a hormone rather than a vitamin) to at least 1,000 – 4,000 IU to reach a level of at least 52 ng/mL. Women with serum levels at

Get the Sugar Out! Plain and simple, cancer feeds on sugar which is known to immobilize white blood cells for up to five hours.

#5 Dr Nalini Chilkov is my cancer referral source and she has a new cancer booklet called 32 Ways to OutSmart Cancer. It has beautiful back-to-basics advice about eating nourishing nutrient-dense, antioxidant- and polyphenol-rich real whole food. I especially like the section on herbs and spices and love the chapter on gratitude. Here is a yummy salmon recipe from her blog.

#6 Be hopeful and optimistic. My colleague Fran Sussman shares her journey and story of recovery from breast cancer in this article called I am a breast cancer survivor: There is hope. Fran will be offering six-week support classes for women diagnosed with breast cancer starting in December.

I’ve come through it, with great resilience and rebounding health. I feel better than ever post-breast cancer, at age 60. I am healthy; my doctors concur.

What can you do for prevention? Support your body with optimal nutrition, exercise, sleep and hydration. Use nutrition to minimize inflammation and insulin resistance.

 Acknowledge and work with your fear, but don’t be driven by it.

#7 And my final piece of advice is stated so beautifully by Fran: “Acknowledge and work with your fear, but don’t be driven by it.” Anxiety and depression is very common in people who have been diagnosed with cancer.  This is understandable, but I encourage you to look for and get support in this area too, so you are not driven by your fear.

You may need to address low GABA levels, keep your blood sugar stable with good quality protein at breakfast, support your adrenals, and drink calming carob instead of coffee.  There is so much you can do.

If you’re looking for more great resources for your healing journey, I invite you to join us on The Anxiety Summit, Nov 3-16, and learn more about nutritional and natural solutions for anxiety.  The topics our expert address will also lead to improved overall health, improved heart health and will help with cancer prevention too.

Trudy Scott (CN), Certified Nutritionist is the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): “You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!” – See more at: Every Woman Over 29

Boost Your Health by Cleansing Your Body/ Mind/Spirit this Autumn!

With the arrival of fall comes the rush of harvesting, sending the kids off to school, and preparing for the coming winter. There’s a new nip in the air that wasn’t there before…days are balmy with brilliant blue skies, and nights are crisp; good sleeping weather. Good weather for snuggling together with your sweetie, or a pet or two, for warmth!

In Chinese medicine, Metal is the element for this season, and the color is white, associated with the respiratory system, from nose to lungs. The large intestine is also linked to the Metal element…. think of the body harvesting oxygen from the lungs, and pulling every last bit of nutrition and energy from food as it passes through the digestive tract. Two key systems, both responsible for harvesting and assimilating nutrients from the materials we take in, whether air or food.

So how can we protect and maintain our health as we enter this season? Well, we can start by looking at the world around us: trees dropping their leaves and fruit, underbrush dying back. The world is cleaning house, clearing the decks for its winter rest.

So let’s begin in the same way: by cleansing! To be able to harvest nutrients effectively, our systems need to be running clear and clean, without blockages. Have you ever tried to take a long, deep breath of fresh air through a stuffed-up nose – or to enjoy a delightful, nourishing meal when you’re constipated? So it’s critical to help your body to take in all the nutrients it can, by keeping the passageways clear and healthy.

How can you do this? Actually, it’s quite simple.

Tips for Clearing Your Sinuses:

  • Drink plenty of water! If you are already starting to feel nasal congestion, a cup of hot water with lemon juice in it can work wonders.
  • Avoid foods that encourage mucous build-up: sugar, wheat and dairy. Even if you don’t have gluten sensitivities, these can cause sinus congestion and post-nasal drip.
  • Use a Neti pot to clear your sinuses on a regular basis (once daily during periods of serious congestion; twice or three times a week otherwise). Be sure to use distilled water – not tap water or spring water! – and pure salt without additives or anti-caking agents. If you feel your immune system needs a boost, add 2-3 drops of Colloidal Silver, or 30-60 drops of Goldenseal Extract, or a dropper-ful of Varcho Veda Neti Wash Plus.

Tips for Clearing Your Lungs:

  • If you have already developed chest congestion, again, drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated helps to keep the mucous loose and easily expelled.
  • Place a vaporizer or a diffuser in your room with eucalyptus or peppermint oil.
  • Eating plenty of fresh fruits – especially citrus! – and vegetables – especially fermented! – will help to boost your immune system.
  • Try steaming cups of hot herbal teas, such as angelica root, cardamom, cayenne pepper and rosemary
  • Eat spicy foods containing chili, jalapenos and/or black pepper (though if you’re going for Mexican food, skip the cheese!)
  • Hot-water bottles on your chest can help to loosen up the mucous.
  • Aromatic herbal rubs (or Vicks Vapo-Rub in a pinch) can help to clear your airways.
  • An old folk remedy with modern credentials is a shot-glass with equal parts apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and honey, well stirred and taken whenever you need it (if you can stand the taste!)

Clearing your Lower Intestinal Tract

  • Water! Water! Water! A full 20-oz glass or two before you go to bed, and another in the morning, first thing when you wake up, then several throughout the day. Add another glass of water for every cup of caffeinated coffee or tea you drink.
  • If you’re not already taking probiotics, start now. Ultimate Flora has a product called Critical Colon that can help to restore your intestinal flora quickly.
  • High-fiber foods, especially pineapple and pumpkin, can help to restore regularity.
  • Have your magnesium levels checked, and begin taking a magnesium supplement. Most people are deficient in this important mineral, which helps to control lower-intestinal health.
  • If you are seriously blocked, a coffee enema can clear years’ worth of encrusted waste and detoxify your liver at the same time. See instructions here: http://www.treating-cancer-alternatively.com/Coffee-enema-recipe.html
  • If you are interested in restoring full-body health along with clearing your lower GI tract, consider an autumnal cleanse.

Clearing Emotional and Spiritual Energies

Grief is the emotion associated with Autumn in Chinese medicine. How depressing, you might think, reflexively turning away to positive thoughts: negativity, begone!

But here we beg to differ! Sure, it’s not healthy to wallow in grief without end, and unshakeable clinical depression is very real. But we’d like to suggest that our culture’s phobia around sadness and grief is not only unhealthy but actually dangerous, and leads to worse dis-eases in the end. We deflect our grief over years, not releasing it fully, and wind up numbed-out and unconscious of our emotional constipation! Then, suddenly, we have a mental/emotional/spiritual crisis – or worse, a physical crisis such as cancer – and can’t figure out why it happened.

By contrast, intentionally giving yourself the time to express grief, in whatever way you need to, for as long as you need to, flushes emotional/energetic toxins out of the body. There are many ways of doing this: from grief and bereavement-support groups, to creative processes such as soul collage or mandala-making, to dance or breath therapy. If you continually feel weighed down by grief, and are continually on the edge of tears, consider exploring acupuncture to treat an imbalance in the Metal element.

More than anything, all of this is about cleansing – cleansing the mind, body and soul to allow new openings and new growth to take place. See it as a process of moving energy through your body, and allow yourself to experience the process fully – it leads to a richer, fuller life on the other side!

 

Give Yourself Room to Move!

If you’ve ever moved from one house to another – and who hasn’t? – it’s probably one of your least-favorite things to do. It’s certainly one of mine! Just the thought of turning my entire life upside-down and inside-out for a month or more, hauling it all to a new place, and putting it all back together, leaves me longing for a cup of Tension Tamer Tea and a restorative hot bath and massage.

But that’s exactly what I’ve spent this summer doing – not once, but twice! We’d settled on a house that would serve us perfectly, but our own home sold before it was ready for us…so at the end of June we moved into an interim apartment, then picked up everything and moved into our new home on the first of August. The second move was a bit easier since everything was packed up and in storage from the first move, but ai yi, yi, the unpacking!

The whole process made me realize all over again: moving would be a breeze if not for one thing: STUFF. So that’s what I want to look at in this blog – the sheer amount of stuff we seem to accumulate, and how we can reduce it to live more lightly.

My husband and I thought we were living pretty simply – we’d only been in our house for less than five years, and we’re not big collectors. In fact, about three years ago, I learned how clutter can impact your wellness, and so every six months or so I take inventory of what is no longer serving me in life, and throw it out, give it away, or recycle it. No matter how many times I do it, I’m always surprised at how much stuff I can let go.

But this summer, when we were packing things up for our first move, we realized just how much STUFF we each had! So my husband and I each did a honest inventory before putting things in storage and did a serious purge, letting go of the things that we didn’t need and hadn’t used, the things that didn’t serve us.

“Easier said than done — Just how do you determine what serves?”

That’s a question I hear over and over…and it’s simpler than you might think! In 2011 I read Sue Rasmussen’s e-book, Your Inspired Office: a 30-Day Guided Journey, and she recommended the following when clearing out paper:

  • Much of what you think you need to do, you do NOT need to do. Get very good at tossing that stuff. Don’t keep the “would be nice to do‟ or the “when I have time‟ stuff. You likely already have plenty with the really important things! 
  • Any paper older than one month old, consider tosssing it (you could even go to anything older than one week old.) If it needed to be handled and it’s a month old already, the time has past. If it’s a request from someone else and it’s important enough to them, they’ll ask again (in many cases, they will have moved on to something else and won’t even remember). 
  • Let go of the guilt and let go of the should’s as you are tossing. 

 She uses the gardening principles of weeding and thinning to identify the things that need to do:

  • Weeding means getting rid of things that are not what you want. 
  • Thinning means getting rid of some of the good stuff, simply because there is too much of it, to create room for the very best to flourish. 

Her e-book applies these principles to decluttering papers in an office, but Lovell and I used it across the board to clear out not only paper, but also clothes. books, CDs, etc…all those thing we were keeping for someday. If I hadn’t worn clothes or shoes in a year, I put them in the “give away” pile. If it had holes, tears, stains or missing buttons, I threw it out.

(If you have a hard time with the idea of loading up a landfill with slightly damaged but still serviceable things, see your local Salvation Army outlet or shelter – they will repair items before putting them up for sale. If items of clothing are truly unwearable, local animal boarding and shelter facilities will happily take them as pet bedding.)

But what if I’m not moving? Why go through the upheaval?

Just as you need a periodic cleanse to detox your physical body, a regular decluttering can detox not only your physical environment but also your mind, body, spirit, and energy body.

  • The impact of clutter on the body – At the simplest level, clutter can cause or worsen allergies, sinus infections, and headaches by attracting dust, dust mites, and mold. At its worst – with serious hoarding – it can invite disease through insects and rodents and even endanger lives through fire and building collapse. At any level, clutter causes stress, causing your body to release cortisol (a hormone that suppresses the immune system), which can lead to weight gain and other health issues. (Click here for more information on the ways in which clutter affects your health).
  • The impact of clutter on the mind – Being surrounded by clutter, mess, and disorganization can lead to an ongoing state of overwhelm, anxiety and depression in which you struggle to concentrate, focus on a topic, or follow a train of thought to its conclusion. As the site Unclutter, Organize, Transform points out, “Your outer environment is a reflection of what’s going on inside you, so when things are cluttered, messy, stressful, and overwhelming in your environment, you have a corresponding level of overwhelm and stress inside as well …”).
  • The impact of clutter on the spirit – When you’re living with clutter, it depletes your energy, leaving you feeling heavy, fatigued, and listless. Your creativity evaporates, and you can feel as if your head were full of static. Your relationships suffer, and your sense of spirit-connection begins to fade.

Why? Clutter blocks your root and sacral chakras, where courage, grounding, and sense of purpose and creativity originate. Clutter is usually caused by a deep sense of fear – either a fear of lack (storing up against lack) or fear of attack (barricading yourself behind objects). In either case, there’s a great fear of letting go and opening to new ideas and experiences.

Even your flow of abundance can suffer when you’re living in a cluttered environment. By holding on to things, we’re not allowing space for things to flow to us. We are saying to God that we don’t believe our needs will be provided for – we don’t trust in the Universe.

Where to Begin Decluttering?

When clutter leaves you in a chronic state of overwhelm, it’s hard to see any pathway out of the mess. Fortunately, however, simple mind games and small, practical steps can help you to ease your way out of the anxiety that just the thought of decluttering can trigger.

  1. Real Simple offers these cognitive strategies:
  • Envision your home as a prospective buyer might: Uncluttered spaces make the best first impression. They’re also a lot easier to keep clean and dust-free..
  • Imagine the potential buyer (or, worse, a relative) going through your closets or drawers. What would you not want him or her to see?
  • Buy containers and baskets only after you’ve decided what to keep. This way you’ll have a much better sense of the kind of storage you need.
  1. Start with a small space. Pick one area in your house: a room, an alcove, a closet, or a drawer. Feel into that space energetically – look at the space and everything in it and sense the “vibe” that it carries for you. Does it give you energy or leave you feeling depleted? Are there memories associated with it – good or bad? Is there a purpose for having it, other than the memories and (maybe) the guilt you feel about letting it go? How is it serving you now? Have you used it in a year – or three years? If it is depleting your energy and/or isn’t serving you, get rid of it.
  1. Set up three piles: Trash, Recycling, Donate, and Special Giveaway. Mark the Special Giveaway items for people who would appreciate them. Host an “Un-Birthday” celebration in which you give the items to your friends.
  1. Try to go paperless as much as possible.
  • Stop junk mail! Here are instructions direct from the FTC
  • When mail comes, go through it immediately or place in one spot and have a designed time of the week to go through your mail pile. Keep your mail pile close to your desk, with a recycle bin nearby to catch the discards
  • Read magazines and newspapers online
  • Pay bills online
  • Invest in a high speed scanner and scan important papers
  • If you have a smartphone, install apps to scan business cards directly into your Contact file, and receipts directly into your bookkeeping program.
  • Before picking up a brochure, flyer, handout, etc., ask yourself: do I need this? Can I get this information by writing a note to myself on my phone and looking it up online later?

5. Get rid of anything that isn’t beautiful or useful.

Yes, decluttering can seem intimidating at first – but I promise, it gets easier when you make it a regular practice! If you’re especially anxious at the thought of starting, contact a organizational coach, such as Simply Organized Today  to help you…or, if you are realizing that you have a hoard on your hands, contact Clutterers Anonymous

It is possible to create the space you need to move!

Trust Your Gut – The Wisdom of the Solar Plexus Chakra

So here we are in the middle of August and what could be more appropriate to this season than a look at the solar plexus chakra, the “fire within” that drives our will, self-esteem, and sense of identity?

If you’ve ever spoken of having a “gut sense” about something, or felt “kicked in the gut” by a violation of your rights…if you’ve ever felt a literal pain in your abdomen during times when you were uncertain of your path (or following a path that wasn’t right for you)….that was your solar plexus chakra sounding the alarm.

Located at the center of your body, between the rib cage and the navel, this is called the highest of the three physical chakras – not only in terms of its position, but also in terms of its function The chakra is placed at the site of your body’s “fourth brain” – the celiac plexus, a network of nerve fibers including the same type of cells found in the three lobes of your brain.

On the physical level, the celiac plexus manages the sympathetic nervous system and the distribution of nutrition to the rest of your body – thus making all of your body’s functions possible. While it controls all of your major organs, it is particularly associated with your pancreas, liver, gall bladder, spleen, digestive system and nervous system.

But at a higher level, shamans and energy healers for millennia have identified the solar plexus chakra as the core of the body’s life force. In Hindu teaching, it is called Manipura, the “resplendent gem,” and is associated with fire and the color yellow, indicating your power to create and undergo change both within around you. This chakra helps to shape not only your sense of yourself and your self-worth, but also your relationship to the rest of the world.

With this chakra healthy and balanced, you’re walking in integrity with your deepest values (or on your way to doing so). You have the strength to confront your fears and blocks, confront the unknown, serve selflessly, and stay the course despite obstacles. You have the grounding to laugh and love deeply, to be at ease and to put others at ease through your energy.

So how can you balance your solar plexus chakra?

On the etheric levels:

Stones: Use yellow stones to help balance the solar plexus – topaz, citrine, yellow zircon, sunstone, and tiger’s eye.

Essential oils: Try diffusions of lemon, grapefruit, vetiver, Roman chamomile, or juniper

Foods:  Look for foods that support a healthy gut, such as foods with low gylcemic index (oatmeal, peas, carrots, kidney beans, hummus, most fruits except bananas and watermelon, says WebMD). Feast on foods rich in fiber, legumes, and fermented foods such as Kimchi, Sauerkraut and Kombucha, but eliminate high-glycemic, simple sugar, foods such as cakes, cookie, donuts, candy and sodas.

And don’t forget to include yellow foods such as organic corn, yellow bell peppers, yellow tomatoes, yellow summer squash, yellow split peas, lemon, pineapple, kumquats, and cumin
Activities: Finally, to balance the solar plexus chakra on the mind, body and spirit levels during your everyday routine, experiment with some of these activities.

  1. A good dance workout that involves shaking the hips (bellydance is perfect!)
  2. Core strengthening exercises such as Pilates
  3. The Boat Pose in Yoga
  4. Visualizations of yellow – a field of buttercups, a blazing sunset, or simply a yellow glow surrounding your body…
  5. Affirmations to build your courage, self-worth, and self-empowerment
    • I accept and value myself exactly as I am.
    • I determine to treat myself with honor and respect
    • I am confident in all that I do.
    • I trust my inner voice. I am strong, wise and powerful.
    •  I am willing to release all my fears and struggles that have to do with power and control.
    • It is safe for me to be powerful and I accept my God-given power to be used in
      the service of love and light.

6. Self-esteem building exercises

  • Instead of comparing yourself to others become your best cheerleader. Give yourself daily compliments
  •  Make a list of all your strengths and celebrate when you use them
  •  Eat foods that nourish your body, mind and spirit.
  • Do some form of movement or physical activity daily
  • Wear clothes that make you feel beautiful
  • Surround yourself with positive, supportive people
  • SMILE

Finally, your solar plexus chakra is all about stepping into your power…so believe in yourself and step up! If a cause is calling you to take action in the world, trust your gut and do it! Take the risk – in a network where you are supported and affirmed, take on a leadership role. Stretch your boundaries – you’ll be surprised at how your confidence will grow!

 

 

Mango-Lime Smoothie

This tasty treat doesn’t have added sugar or dairy like ice cream which makes this a healthier alternative. Mango and lime also have a number of health benefits.

Mangos

  • Rich in antioxidants, vitamin C , and vitamin A, all which help strengthen to immune system and prevent certain diseases
  • Have moderate amounts of B6 ,cooper, magnesium and potassium
  • Fibrous nature helps in digestion and elimination.
  • Have aphrodisiac qualities and is also called the ‘love fruit’. Mangoes increase the virility in men. Vitamin E, which is abundantly present in mangoes, helps to regulate sex hormones and boosts sex drive”. Mae Chen (17 Reasons Why you Need a Mango Every Day)

Also Traditional Chinese medicine considers mango to be sweet and sour with a cooling energy. Making it a great summer time food.

Limes are also rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants, which help boost the immune system. Limes aid in digestion and are alkaline in nature helping the body to prevent diseases.

Try this delicious, cooling dessert but remember to eat in moderation due to the high fructose content of the mango.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups frozen mango chunks
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2-4 mint leaves

Directions

Thaw mango chunks 15 minutes. Place in blender or food processor, and purée with lime juice. Transfer to shallow glass or metal bowl, and place in freezer. Freeze 30 minutes. Stir purée and serve. Add mint leaves on the side of each scoop

Build Your Throat Chakra to Speak Your Truth!

As a woman, cutting a new path for myself and (I hope) my clients, I have always loved the quote from Black, womanist, civil rights activist,  mother, warrior, poet Audre Lorde: Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.

That, dear friends, is the highest work of the throat chakra: to communicate our truth, self-knowledge, choice, authenticity. When your throat chakra is open and balanced, you are able to express your needs, desires, emotions, thoughts and feelings…able to speak your truth at all levels.

The throat chakra is the bridge between the lower and higher chakras, and, as our center of communication, it indicates just how well our other chakras are functioning. All of our spoken interactions with the world, all our expressions of our physical, emotional, and spiritual experience, are filtered through this chakra.

On the physical level, it’s associated with breathing, with the senses of hearing, smelling and taste, and with the regulatory functions of the thyroid gland. Thanks to the hormonal dance between the thyroid, the adrenal glands, and the hormones of estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, the throat chakra is also intimately connected to our sensual/sexual presence (sacral chakra) and our ability to deal with stress (solar plexus chakra).

Isn’t it interesting that here in the US there is such a high incidence of thyroid problems?. Could it be that as a society we fear speaking our personal truth, showing up in our wholeness?

So at the deepest level, balancing the throat chakra is really a process of balancing all the chakras…and this is most evident when we look at helpful foods…

Foods:  In Chakra Foods for Optimum Health, Dr. Deanna Minich discusses how food for the throat chakra brings together the elements of lower chakras within the food.

  • Sea plants (bond between the root and sacral chakra) – nori, dulse,kelp, arame, agar
  • Soups (bond between the root and sacral chakras)
  • Juices and high water fruits such as watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew and grapes (bond between throat, solar plexus and sacral chakras; green juices also adds in the heart chakra)

To activate the throat chakra on the energetic levels, use any of these tools…

Blue Gemstones and Semiprecious Stones:  lapis lazuli, blue topaz, sapphire, aquamarine, turquoise, blue quartz, chrysocolla and sodalite.

Aromatherapy Scents:  lavender, geranium, spearmint, and blue chamomile

Yoga poses:

Activities

Anytime that you do these, you will have a subtle effect on your throat chakra…and to increase that effect, you can choose to do them purposefully.

  • Do breathing exercises
  • Chew your food consciously, taste your food consciously
  • Express gratitude before you eat
  • Wear clothing that is blue in color
  • Do visualizations: place your hands at the hollow of your throat and communicate with your body, visualizing your chakra glowing warmly and beautifully, opening like a lotus into full bloom.
  • Sit in meditation, simply listening to the sounds around you (your heartbeat and breathing as you’re alone in your room…the noises of the natural world in a park or at the beach…the noises of the office or the city as you eat your lunch at work)
  • Explore your mind/body/spirit experience in your journal, or start a blog to share your thoughts with the world
  • Speak up at work, at school, on your parish or community council or civic organization. Consider joining Toastmasters!
  • Sing in the shower or in the car – or join a local choir or chorus

Affirmations

You can say these mentally if you choose, but it is so much more effective for this chakra of speech when you voice them aloud!

  • I express myself truthfully and clearly
  • I know when it is time to listen
  • I listen to my body and my feelings to know what my truth is.
  • I have a right to speak my truth

And remember – in this world, your voice is needed! You bring a unique perspective that – if silenced – cannot be replaced. You are more than worthy, you are necessary!

 

From Bicycle Commuters to Buying Local – I Saw Wellness in Action in Portland, OR!

They say that in traveling, you see the world with new eyes…and how true that’s been for me lately! I visited Portland Oregon, for the first time, a couple of weeks ago, and came home with a mind full of possibilities.

First of all, I want you to imagine the setting with me – breathtaking natural beauty! Oregon is called “The Rose State” and while I was there the roses were in full bloom. I’ll share some of my experiences in the stunning Rose Garden in another post.

Oregon is also known for its progressiveness…and I was thrilled to witness all of the many ways in which the people of Portland have embraced socially and environmentally healthy practices in their city! Just as a couple of examples…

Rather than commuting by car, many people bicycle to and from work. At 8:45 a.m. PST Monday I was crossing the Heiberger Bridge and noticed a monitor, which stated 1502 cyclists had rode across the bridge that morning. More than 450,000 had crossed it from Jan to June 9. Amazing!

Rather than walking around with earbuds in and eyes glazed, or focused on a cellphone or tablet, people in Portland were walking down the streets interacting with one another or paying attention to the natural beauty. How refreshing!

What impressed me most, however, was that buying local appeared to be the norm… in fact, Oregon seems to identify itself by its local farms and manufacturers.

Read more

Spring Time Greens

Spring is an excellent time to eat leafy greens such as arugula, spinach, kale, collards and dandelion greens. This is the season where leafy green are in abundance and when eaten their nutrients can help neutralize toxins and remove them from the body. Spring cleansing anyone?

Leafy greens have so many benefits. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and quercetin.

Collards, kale and dandelion greens, are particularly rich in calcium, which helps keep your teeth and bones strong and reduces your overall risk for osteoporosis. Calcium also contributes to muscle function and blood-pressure management. Leafy greens contain the mineral potassium, which further protects against osteoporosis and helps manage blood pressure.

Leafy greens are also a good source of magnesium, one of my favorite minerals. Magnesium is an essential mineral, which supports the function of every organ in the body. Some of the benefits of magnesium are; it helps regulate the hormone melatonin which promotes sleep, relaxes the nervous system, relives constipation and helps alkalize the body.

Greens are rich in vitamin C, which helps the body make collagen; collagen is a major component of cartilage that aids in joint flexibility, and helps keep your skin and hair healthy.

As if all of the above benefits aren’t enough, leafy greens are also an excellent source of folate, which can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and memory loss. Folate also contributes to the production of serotonin, which helps improve mood.

These vegetables are rich in vitamin K, which is essential to building strong bones and preventing heart disease. It also plays a key role in blood clotting if you’re taking a blood thinner like warfarin (Coumadin), be sure to have your doctor monitor your blood and your medication dosage as you increase your intake of dark leafy green vegetables.

Leafy greens are an excellent source of folate, which can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and memory loss. Folate also contributes to the production of serotonin, which helps improve mood.

Phytonutrients such as, lutein, and zeaxanthin that are contained in leafy greens have been shown to help reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Quercertin another phytonutrient found in leafy greens has anti-inflammatory properties.

With all these nourishing benefits of greens I suggest you eat 2-3 servings a day. You can add them your smoothie(one of my favorite ways to consume greens), add them to a stir-fry, eat them in a salad, or eat them alone. Below is a delicious recipe for you to try.

Spring Time Medley of Greens
1 cup of chopped dandelion greens
1 cup of chopped Kale
1 cup of chopped collards
1/2 red pepper sliced
1 clove of minced garlic (optional)
1 Tbs of coconut oil
Sea Salt to taste
Crushed red pepper (optional)

Place coconut oil, garlic and greens in a wok. Cook on medium/high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Add sliced red pepper and cook for another minute. Remove from heat and add sea salt and crushed red pepper to taste. You can eat this as a side, with your favorite main dish or on it’s own. Enjoy!

Are You Tired of Seeking, Questioning, and Struggling Alone on Your Soul’s Journey?

Discover the support and companionship of the Soulful Living Community!

Time and again my clients ask me – how can I live more authentically, more in touch with my inner truth? How can I be more present to myself and the people around me? After health-related questions, these are probably the questions I’m asked most often!

These questions get to the core of one of my favorite topics: that of soulful living. Soulful living means living a life from the wisdom of the inner soul, the inner self, the higher self – or as Louise Hay would say, the “inner ding.” It means pausing and allowing ourselves to be in the present moment, speaking our authentic truth from a place of heart, a place of love and peace.

So I am excited to tell you about a soulful living community started by my friend Jodi Chapman, in which I am the guide for questions of wellness. There are a total of 12 guides, on topics including Spirituality, Wellness, Abundance, Soulful Parenting, Self Love, Relationships and much more.

As guides, we help you to find and use the resources of this supportive community; its virtual classroom/retreat center, The Soulful Life Sanctuary; as well as a set of  tools and resources ranging from e-courses and live classes to blogs and forums to help you live your most radiant, authentic, soulful life!

To give you an idea of all this community has to offer, and how it came about, I want to share an interview that I did with Jodi just recently…

***

Cassandra: You’ve just created the Soulful Life Sanctuary, and I would love for you to share more about it with us!

Jodi: I would love to! It’s been a dream of mine for quite awhile now, and I’m so excited that it’s here! The Soulful Life Sanctuary is a sacred community where we lift each other up and support each other in listening to our soul’s whispers. It’s a gathering of like-minded friends and a collection of soulful tools and resources to help you along your journey. You’ll be supported every step of the way by me, plus a dozen Soul Guides and a loving community of like-minded friends. It’s a place where we can slow down, share authentically, reconnect with our soul, and open our hearts to others who are on a similar journey.

Cassandra: What inspired you to create the Soulful Life Sanctuary?

Jodi: I created the sanctuary for a few reasons: to give each of us a sacred community where our hearts could share openly and expand with others who are on a similar journey, to create a loving space where we could slow down from all of the DOing and simply BE, and to bring together soulful tools to help each of us along our journey.

I have found in my own life that it’s sometimes easier to disconnect from our true voice – our soul, our purpose, the deeper meaning of life – than it is to stay connected. Life gets so busy, we’re all driven by our to-do lists, and DOing sometimes seems to be given more priority than BEing.

This is something that I’ve struggled with throughout my life, actually. I’ve accomplished some really great things through doing and pushing and achieving. And I’m so grateful for that. But I found that all of these achievements didn’t mean anything to me if I lost my connection to my soul and to the universe and to what’s truly important in my life. If I wasn’t present, grounded, or connected, I wasn’t able to enjoy these accomplishments. They felt hollow to me, and I couldn’t feel grateful for them.

On the other hand, I found that when I was connected with my soul, to others, and to the universe, I could appreciate everything that happened in my life much more easily.

It’s my intention that the Soulful Life Sanctuary will be a space for all of us to go when we’re ready to reconnect with our soul, connect with each other from an authentic space, and breathe a collective exhale.

Cassandra: I see that you have invited 12 Soul Guides to join you in the sanctuary. Can you please share more about them and what their role in the sanctuary will be?

Jodi: Sure! I used to be someone who tried to do everyone on my own. And not only was it a lonely way to walk through life, it also was exhausting. When I opened up and began to live a soulful life, I realized that inviting others to be on the journey with me felt so much better. I saw that we are much more powerful together than we are alone. And my heart was happy to have others to share my experiences with.

This is why I invited these beautiful souls to join me when I created this sacred community. I chose people who were already living their soul’s purpose and were already serving others in loving ways. Each of the guides is an expert in their area, and I’m so happy that they will be sharing their wisdom with all of us. They each have a sacred space inside the Sanctuary where they will be supporting the members.

Here list a list of the Soul Guides and their Sacred Spaces (in alphabetical order):

·       Christine Callahan-Oke – Soulful Guidance
·       Leanne Chapman – Creativity
·       Robin Chellis – Soulful Love & Relationships
·       Cassandra Herbert – Soulful Wellness
·       Sue Kearney – Soulful Astrology
·       Caroline Kirk – Soulful Spirituality
·       Becky McCleery – Soulful Parenting
·       Astra Spider – Soulful Abundance
·       Dan Teck – Joy and Gratitude
·       Lori Thiessen – Earth Angels
·       Shann Vander Leek – Soulful Self-Care
·       Nuhket Hendricks – Intuition

Cassandra: I also saw that you’re offering a special discount for everyone who joins the sanctuary in June! Please share more about that!

Jodi: It’s true! The sanctuary opens on July 1st, and I wanted to kick it off early with a special discount for everyone who signed up now! So I’m offering $100 off the regular price all month long! You’ll receive over $1300 in goodies when you join + over $2000 in bonus gifts if you’re one of the first 50 to sign up. It’s pretty amazing, and I know that your soul will be so full when you dive into all that’s included! I can’t wait to see you inside!

You will find all of the details here: http://bit.ly/soullife

 

Cassandra: Before we end I just have one more question: what does soulful living mean to you?

Jodi: For me, it means being connected to our soul – to that magical, neverending part of ourselves who is so wise and loving. It’s so easy to walk through life feeling disconnected, and so this would be the first part of living soulfully – plugging back in.

It also means that we’re open to giving and receiving love, and we’re open to allowing ourselves to embrace our life. We open to the possibility that the world is for us rather than against us, and we see our life through a lens of expansion and possibility. We open ourselves up to miracles.

It also means living authentically – bravely sharing our true selves with the world – letting our uniqueness shine through. It means that we come back to the present moment – over and over again. We know that it’s natural to leave it (we’re human after all), but we also know that we have the power to come back to it – to get into the habit of grounding ourselves and breathing this exact moment into our hearts.

Living soulfully means living a balanced life. It means taking time for ourselves as well as supporting others.

It means saying yes to our soul’s whispers – acting on them and honoring them, even if we are afraid (especially if we are afraid).

I believe that a soulful life is a life filled with so much love.

***

You may be asking at this point – what do I need to do to become involved?

The short answer is simple – click here! If you’re really asking “what do I need to BE to be ready?” I’d like to invite you to take a breath, center yourself and ask your soul the following questions:

  • Are you feeling a deep desire to slow down and reconnect with your soul, your purpose, and your place in the world?
  • Are you looking for positive, soulful tools to help you become more grounded and connected to both the physical and spiritual world?
  • Are you ready to give yourself permission to Do less and Be more?
  • Are you ready to receive support to help you on your wellness journey?
  • Are you ready to love and be loved, to give and to receive, and to stay open to the magic?
  • Are you excited to immerse yourself in a loving community of guides and fellow learners who will companion and support you on your journey?

 

If you answered Yes to any or all of these questions, I hope you will join us in this center of positive living, personal growth, and healing! Click here to learn how you can take this next, important step to support your growth on all levels…and receive over $3300 in goodies and bonus gifts if you’re one of the first 50 to sign up.

But don’t wait – this offer is meeting an amazing response, and those 50 sign-ups are going fast. You don’t want to miss the deep soul-support that this community can give you on all levels, physical, emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual!

Looking forward to supporting your total wellness!

Cassandra Herbert

P.S. – Are you’re feeling hesitant about signing up? Just to give you a taste of what I’ll be offering in as a Wellness guide in the Soulful Living Sanctuary program, let me give you an free, exclusive, downloadable video on Ways to Balance your Root Chakra, along with an in-depth article demonstrating how your chakras impact your health and why it’s essential to keep them open and balanced….along with mouth-watering recipes that will support and nourish your root chakra while they delight your palate!

Just enter your name and email below, along with the word chakra in the comment section,  and I’ll send you the link…as well as add you to the list for occasional news, announcements, and special offers from the Soulful Living Community. I promise, I’ll never rent, sell, or give away your information, and I’ll never overload you with email.

Here’s to your wellness on all levels!

Celebrate Women’s Health Week with Radical Self-Care!

I love Women’s Health Week . Just love it. It sounds rather silly, perhaps – but rather than this being a “holiday” that pressures our loved ones into showing their appreciation for us, it’s a time for us to pay attention to the ways we do (or don’t!) take care of ourselves and our wellness. After all, as Mao Zedong said, “Women hold up half the sky.” We can’t carry the weight of the heavens (and our families, and careers, and…..) if we’re spiritually exhausted, emotionally depleted, or physically ill!

So this is a good time to ask: what does it mean to you to be a well woman, and how do you tend to your wellness?

The Women’s Health.Gov web page on National Women’s Health Week makes the following five suggestions:

  • Visit a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings.
  • Get active.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress.
  • Avoid unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, texting while driving, and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet.

While I agree 100% with these suggestions, I’d like to add a few thoughts on three of them, and share one or two of my own….

Get Active

“Get active” – that is so much better than saying “Exercise!” Where “exercise” brings to mind “no pain no gain” routines like cross-training, Zumba, or Pilates, “activity” could refer to free-flowing, fun practices like gardening, walking or bicycling, bellydancing, Tai Chi, yoga…the list is endless. If you’re looking for a super-efficient form of activity to fit into a busy schedule, many nutritional and physical fitness experts are recommending “burst” training (Extremely short duration high intensity interval training), which helps your body adapt to stress, burn fat, regulate blood sugar and boost production of Human Growth Hormone.

And there are added, hidden benefits. Doing your physical activity barefoot on the Earth (“Earthing”) helps to activate the root chakra and sacral chakras, release pent-up emotions and keep you grounded and centered (among many other benefits!). Outdoor activity also gives you a good dose of Vitamin D, as well as the mental and spiritual benefits of being in nature.

And all of this is essential to keeping your bones strong, your joints supple, and your heart healthy.

Eat Healthy –

Women’s Health.Gov is singing my song here! I could talk for hours (and often do) about the importance of healthy eating in maintaining wellness. Here are just a few of the key points to remember:

  • Hydrate – drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water
  • Tip your diet toward a better pH balance, and reduce inflammation and disease, with more alkaline foods such as lemons, limes, all greens, cruciferous vegetables
  • Try fermented foods such a kimchi and sauerkraut  – they naturally produce more of the “good” probiotic bacteria in your gut, which aids in digestion and helps decrease sugar cravings
  • Reduce your consumption of sugar, caffeine, processed foods and breads/pasta
  • Eat high water content fruits and vegetables – they’re a great source of antioxidants, and keep your skin supple and you your juices flowing
  • Boost your magnesium (thus boosting dopamine production in your brain and helping your body to process estrogen) by adding Swiss chard, spinach, nettle, pumpkin seeds, cashews and almonds to your diet.
  • Boost your calcium while you avoid the side effects of dairy: indulge in green goddess foods such as tahini , spinach and nettle.

Mental Wellness

Did you know that Women’s Health Week comes in the middle of Mental Health Month? It’s a wonderful twofer, reminding us to support not only our physical health, but also the balance of our body/mind/spirit. It’s important to take positive steps toward mental self-care, starting with practices like these:

  • Connecting with supportive, loving people
  • Taking time to play
  • Laughing!
  • Taking part in activities you enjoy
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Connecting with your higher power

Most important – if life is seeming bleak, or you are having difficulty functioning, see a therapist or other mental health care professional! Whether you choose cognitive therapy, medication, or a naturopathic path to relieve your struggle, you do not need to suffer alone. Get help.

Bottom line? Be proactive with self care activities!

As women, we often wind up tending to everyone around us while we neglect ourselves. Women’s Health Week is an important week-long reminder, but we need to bring the lesson home all year long: to make the time to nurture our own wellness with self nourishing activities.

So – start building your self-care habits now! Why not try doing just one of these activities each day…and plan to enjoy them for a lifetime…

  • Turn your plate into an artist’s palette with colorful fresh, local fruits and vegetables
  • Check in with your intuition before agreeing to something

Treat yourself to a massage, pedicure or manicure

  • End a tough day with a soothing salt bath, scented with essential oils
  • Read a challenging or inspirational book
  • Meditate
  • Lastly, remember to breathe.

To your self-care!