Are Your Brown Eyes Blue? –natural remedies for the winter blues.

The happy holidays are approaching but some of us get S.A.D.  Did you know that in 2002, Columbia University conducted a study confirming that people with brown eyes suffer more from S.A.D. than those with blue eyes? Apparently blue irises admit more light into the eyeball.   That means that when days get shorter and darker I have an excuse to be tired and cranky. Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) is a term first coined by psychiatrist Dr. Norman Rosenthal after he moved from sunny Johannesburg to New York city and sank into a deep depression. He went on to discover that latitude affects your attitude as the incidence of S.A.D. increases the farther people live away from the equator and also that three to four times more women than men suffer from S.A.D. Symptoms associated with S.A.D. are lack of energy, low concentration, sleep problems, anxiety, panic attacks, carb cravings, overeating, and lowered immune function. S.A.D. is treated conventionally with a light box, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and anti-depressant medication.  The medications are supposed to help with mood chemicals in the brain such as serotonin, which helps with brain cell communications, and dopamine, the chemical released during pleasure such as when having sex or eating. What are some more natural ways to prevent or reduce S.A.D symptoms, besides the two activities just mentioned? Crawling under the covers for the next four months is an option, and your family may appreciate it, but when your immunity is at stake it’s a better idea to be proactive.  Heading south for the winter is not available to everyone. So, here are some other...

Healthy Steps to a Better Memory

It has been said that life without memory is no life at all.  We are fascinated by memory.  Our memories define our personal autobiography.  Shared memories are the glue that holds society, groups and families together and form the basis of culture. Drawn from our past, they help us create our future.  We all have memories.  It’s just that sometimes we can’t find where we put them. Anytime we experience real or perceived memory loss it is troubling.  We tend to imagine the worst and are tempted to try the latest fad brain supplement.  Shooting from the hip when it comes to brain biochemistry can lead to random and potentially damaging results. Each new chemical discovery provokes the marketing of a new enticing cognitive enhancement supplement with names like phosphatidylserine, gingko, bacopa, huperzine, and dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE).  It boggles the mind. Where to start and what to choose? Here are some tips you could keep in mind, or in your reminder notebook 😊, to help you navigate the path to better cognition. Brain research has shown that stress interferes with the synthesis, storage and transport of memories at the molecular level.  You can minimize memory loss, by reducing your physical, chemical and emotional stress. Get plenty of rest, fun and exercise. Eliminate the toxins in your environment and food supply as best you can. Give your brain a rest from the strain of constant interruptions from cell phones.  Pay attention to the quality of your relationships and release whatever emotional conflicts you are holding onto.  Meditation, regular exercise, yoga, time spent in nature, focused attention and intention, maintaining a positive outlook...

5 Day Diet Challenge

Fall is an ideal time to assist our bodies in cleanup and recovery from a summer of processed snacks and treats such as ice cream, hotdogs, soft drinks and alcohol.  This year especially, we have the added burden of inhaled pollutants from forest fire smoke to be concerned about.  Many people still have coughs and congestion, itchy eyes and other allergy type symptoms, unusual tiredness, brain fog, crankiness, stiff joints and an overall feeling of unwellness.  These are all classic symptoms of toxicity. Your body is an excellent waste treatment plant and will indeed repair, replace parts, and replenish with great efficiency if given the raw materials it needs to heal rapidly and completely.  How can we best support this process? First, Get Outside.  Get plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and lots of fun activity to make up for the deficiency of all three this past summer. Next, cleanup your diet to rest your organs of digestion and elimination and provide them with the tools they need to revitalize. Try this simple 5 Day Detox Challenge. Eat whole, single ingredient foods only. Foods from our local fall harvest such as beets, carrots, cucumbers, squash, kale, spinach, chard and other greens, all support the liver in filtering the toxins and promote healing. Unprocessed meat, fowl and fish are ok. Absolutely no sugar, refined salt, snack foods, energy bars, soft drinks, alcohol, caffeine, dairy, breads, pastas, cookies, candies, cakes or ice cream, processed foods, preservatives or additives of any kind except sea salt and water. Drink filtered water, coconut water, herbal non-caffeinated teas. Some additional tips: Eat organic, non-GMO, whenever possible...

It All Starts in the Mouth

When scientists first discovered microbes as a factor in disease, the initial reaction was fear.  For the next 100 years or so, the prevailing notion was that the only good bacteria are dead bacteria.  We tried to kill all bacteria, using antibiotics in medicine, dentistry, and in our food supply (meat, fish, eggs, and dairy) and even in our cleansers, cosmetics, and toothpastes. What we didn’t know initially was that bacteria have a powerful intelligence for survival and will mutate to survive.  This resulted in the creation of more virulent species and the very dangerous phenomenon of antibiotic resistance.   It seemed we were losing the war against microbes. No surprise since we have about 10 times as many microbial cells as human cells.   We are outnumbered. The human microbiome is defined as the collective genomes of the microbes (composed of bacteria, bacteriophage, fungi, protozoa and viruses) that live inside and on the human body. In very recent years, science has begun to see that a) microbes are a necessity for all life forms, and b) microbial balance is of prime importance to our survival. Microbes are our best partners in health.  They greatly impact the vitality of the entire gastro intestinal tract and play powerful roles in our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. In fact, we just can’t survive without them. An imbalance in our microbes can contribute to weight gain, chronic illness, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, anxiety/depression, joint inflammation, ulcers, diarrhea/constipation, bloating, food cravings,  leaky gut, and pre-menstrual syndrome. How do we return to the balance that nature intended? The first step is to stop killing and focus on balancing. Your microbiome is as...

Your AMAZING Body and You

Do you identify yourself as and by your body? Close your eyes for a moment and sense the outside edges of your body.  Now close your eyes again and sense the outside edges of YOU, the Being, not the body.  Are you inside your body or is your body inside of you? The truth is, you are an infinite being, and you have a body. A truly miraculous body. Your body is a sensate, sensorial organism that is constantly giving you information.  It has an innate intelligence designed to perceive energy like radar. Your body wants to give you the awareness of this energy that is happening all around you.  Have you shut down your ability to be in this awareness? Take a moment again and sense contraction.  Much of the pain people experience can be an awareness that has been contracted rather than expanded as the fullness of space. Now sense expansion.  Can you feel a difference?  When you are contracted, your reality is finite and limited.  When you are in the sense of expansion you are living in the state of infinite possibilities. Did you notice that you got there simply by choice?  It is that easy.  You could choose to live in the awareness of the expanded you, or you could choose to live in the state of contraction. Your body is willing and ready to do what you choose. This ability is a gift from your body to you.  It has no judgement of the choices you make. On the other hand, the beliefs and judgements you have about your body are sensed and responded...