3 Signs you KNOW Self-Care is Calling

Our mind, body and emotions are constantly keeping us informed as to whether they are being taken care of or not. Our body is our biggest divination tool, meaning, our body is so highly intelligent that it tells us exactly what we need to know in order to make the necessary shifts or step in the right direction.

Here are 3 signs (yes, there are many more!) to know that some self-care practices are in order:

1) Feeling Stressed, Irritated and Frustrated
The modern world seems to now run on copious amounts of coffee for breakfast, overwhelm for lunch and stress for dinner. Our culture and society is moving at a faster pace than ever and our bodies can feel it. The response? Becoming more irritated, frustrated and REACTIVE rather than proactive. The more we do, do, do, the more we find ourselves on the hamster wheel of coffee, overwhelm and stress trying to accomplish more, produce more, be more.

Our body suffers. Our mind suffers. Our relationships suffer. Ultimately this leads to complete burn out which when not tended to, leads to disease or dis-ease.

2) Lacking Motivation & Procrastinating
Remember that thing you were going to do yesterday but kept putting off? And today you’re not in the “mood” to tackle it? Tomorrow you are busy with other things and this weekend you have family coming into town? YA....I get it. Through my entire schooling procrastination was my middle name and seemed to be the only way I got my assignments, papers, projects, etc. done. By waiting until I was so stressed and had no choice but to complete it.

Obviously, this is not healthy. If you find yourself unmotivated (likely due to the hamster wheel above) which leads to procrastination, this is a wake up call. Are you living in a way of proficiency, efficiency and productivity?

3) Lacking Zest or Passion for your Life
Nothing seems to “light you up” anymore. You don’t have the same inner radiance shining from within. You stopped seeing your favorite people and engaging in your favorite things. I’ve been there. Feeling completely blue and down in the dumps. You begin to isolate yourself only to increase your lack of zest and passion.

Resonate with the above? Ya, so do I! Each day is an opportunity to step into our life with a sense of awe, wonder and delight for the gift of this body and the gift of our life. It is a choice that we make each day.

Get my ultra favorite top 3 simple mini midday [re]TREATs to bring you back to your confident, creative self by giving yourself the attention you need & deserve. 

Get to know this Powerful Plant Protein + Cooking Tips

I was determined to know beans.”— Henry David Thoreau, The Bean-Field

How about you? How well do you know beans?

Creamy cannellinis, meaty garbanzos, sweet adzuki, tender pintos, and so many more—beans are one of the most powerful, nutrient-dense plant foods around.

Consider this: Beans are packed with tons of fiber, as well as plenty of iron and protein. They are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. They are low in calories.


++ Plus, studies have found them to lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

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What To Do With Beans

Many people avoid beans because they just don’t know what to do with them. Are you one of them? 

  • Toss beans and diced veggies (such as celery, shallots, red peppers) with vinaigrette for a quick bean salad.
  • Blend cooked beans with tomatoes, onions, and your favorite seasonings to create a yummy bean soup.
  • Top a green salad with 1/3 cup of your favorite bean.
  • Puree beans with a bit of olive oil, a garlic clove, salt, and your favorite seasonings. Voila! A fast dip or sandwich spread.
  • Include 1/3 cup of beans with your other favorite toppings next time you make stuffed baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.
  • Add 1/4 cup pureed beans to your favorite pancake, waffle, muffin, or cake recipe. You’ll be surprised at how moist and springy baked goods are when baked with beans.

 

If you’re new to cooking with beans, try these tips for delicious and well-cooked beans.

  • Be sure to wash and clean the beans first.
  • Soak dried beans for 8-12 hours before cooking (hint: cut a bean in half; if the center is still opaque, keep soaking).
  • After soaking, rinse, fill pot with fresh water, bring to a boil, then skim off the foam.
  • To aid digestion, add kombu, bay leaf, cumin, anise, or fennel to the water
  • Cover and simmer for the suggested time.
  • Remember: Only add salt at the end of cooking (about 10 minutes before the beans are done) or it will interfere with the cooking process.
  • Quick tips: For speedier prep, boil dried beans for 5 minutes, then soak for 2-4 hours. Or use canned beans instead (some people find them even easier to digest!).  Be sure to avoid canned beans with added salt or preservatives and rinse thoroughly once removed from the can.

GET EVEN HEALTHIER!

Would you like help learning how to choose and cook healthy foods like beans? Curious about how health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule a complimentary breakthrough session with me today——or pass this offer on to someone you care about!

Published By: Institute of Integrative Nutrition 

12 Ways to Use dōTERRA On Guard® Protective Blend

One of the top selling doTERRA essential oils is non other than On Guard. doTERRA On Guard, a proprietary essential oil blend, provides a natural and effective alternative for immune support when used internally.* As one of doTERRA’s best-selling blends, doTERRA On Guard protects against environmental and seasonal threats with essential oils known for their positive effects on the immune system when ingested.* doTERRA On Guard can be taken internally on a daily basis to maintain healthy immune function and support healthy cardiovascular function.* It can also be used on surfaces throughout the home as a non-toxic cleaner. When diffused, doTERRA On Guard helps purify the air, and can be very energizing and uplifting.

To purchase your own doTERRA On Guard oil, visit: http://bit.ly/EnhanceYourHealthOils

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Primary Benefits

  • Supports healthy immune and respiratory function*
  • Protects against environmental threats*
  • Supports the body’s natural antioxidant defenses*
  • Promotes healthy circulation*
  • Energizing and uplifting aroma

Ingredients

Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils.

12 Ways to Use On Guard in your home

1. Diffuse On Guard (Protective blend) anytime you are concerned about what’s going around.

2. Mix a few drops of On Guard with 2 drops Lemon essential oil and honey or agave nectar in a teaspoon to soothe your throat during the winter.

3. Add 15 drops of On Guard to a cup of corn starch or baking soda. Mix, sprinkle and rake on carpet then allow it to sit for up to an hour. Then, vacuum it clean!

4. Mix 5-6 drops with a half cup of baking soda to clean your bath tub and skip all of the harsh, bleaching chemicals.

5. Put a few drops of On Guard on your car’s cabin air filter or home air filters to obliterate dank, stale filtered air…right from the duct!

6. Boost your Immune System Some people amp up their Zinc or Vitamin C intake (via orange juice) every autumn. If this is you, add a few drops of On Guard to your juice for added protection.

7. Gargle with one drop of On Guard to 4-6 oz. of water for fresh breath. Bring it for after your teeth get cleaned at the dentist and sign up your dentist (!)

8. For a clean toothbrush, store it overnight in a small glass of water with 3-5 drops of the On Guard.

9. When you take out the garbage, spray down your cabinet with On Guard and water (new ON GUARD MIST COMING OCT 2nd!). On Guard Cleaner Concentrate (my favorite!) is also excellent for this purpose.

10. After your oven’s self-clean cycle, spray a mix of purified water, On Guard and Lemon essential oil onto the oven interior. This will clear up all of the greasy smells as well as the smell of the oven cleaner...

11. Before climbing on to the equipment at the gym, spray it with On Guard and water.

12. I have a bottle of OnGuard next to my kitchen sink and always put a few drops in after we clean up; then i use the Cleaner Concentrate in spray bottle on every counter.

To learn how to incorporate essential oils into your home or office + purchase your own doTERRA On Guard oil, visit: http://bit.ly/EnhanceYourHealthOils

 

**Adapted from Elena Brower

Ritual for Offering and Receiving Nourishment

from jayakula.org

“Your body” is in nite. It does not end at your skin. When we enjoy healthy, nourishing food that is satisfying to the senses, all beings feel enjoyment. When we are nourished, all other beings are nourished. When we express the desire for the liberation of all beings, ourselves and all beings benefit. 

The correct orientation while performing this ritual is that you are Self offering to Self. Self offers nourishment to Self and then receives the offered food from Self. This is natural devotion expressed through the activities of everyday life. 

Method 

Before each meal, take a moment to offer your food, and the nourishment and enjoyment derived from your food, to all beings. First, when you are seated at the table, preparing to eat, take a moment to make contact with the food. 

See the beauty of what you are about to consume.
Smell the beauty arising from what you are about to consume.
Feel the heat or notice the tactile qualities of what you are about to consume.                          Hear any sounds associated with what you are about to consume.

Second, offer this nourishment to all beings by saying either aloud or mentally:

May this food nourish all beings.
May this food be enjoyed by all beings.
May all beings be free. 

Fruit 

The ritual of reciprocity expresses the natural devotion of Self to Self. This ritual attunes you to the movement of manifest life toward moksha and establishes you greater awareness of interbeing. 

 

How to Detox Your Body, Mind, and Home Without Dieting

Detoxing is hot right now, but it goes beyond doing a juice cleanse to lose a few pounds and get glowing skin. You can renew your body, mind, and home any time of year – you don’t have to wait for the seasons to change or a beach vacation where swimsuits are required.

Here are nine high-leverage ways to refresh your body, mind, and home so you can feel light, clear, and motivated to move forward in your life.

First, let’s talk body. Follow these three steps to detox your body without dieting:

1. Eliminate processed foods. They hinder your circulatory and excretory systems, leaving you bloated, tired, and heavy.

2. Sip warm water with lemon throughout the day. This is a natural and highly effective way to gently trigger your body to release excess fluids that lead to bloating and toxicity.

3. Experiment with an elimination diet to easily test for allergies. Start by eliminating dairy, gluten, soy, and eggs for two weeks. Then add in each allergen, one at a time every three days, and notice if you have any reactions or symptoms. Always get approval and guidance from a medical doctor.

 

Next, master your mind with these steps:

1. Start each day by writing down 3–5 things you’re grateful for. When you’re grateful for what you already have, everything you want flows more easily.

2. End the day by doing a brain dump of everything on your mind and writing out a to-do list for the next day. This will wipe your mental slate clean for the following day and help you sleep without anxiety.

3. Experiment with meditation. Start by sitting and breathing deeply for 3–5 minutes. If it feels good, meditate for longer and research different techniques to see what you like best.

 

Now cleanse your environment to support yourself. A clear, calm environment fosters a peaceful mind and a balanced body:

1. Grab a large garbage bag and go through your closet and drawers, throwing in everything that no longer fits and/or makes you feel great. You can sell or donate these things.

2. Replace your cleaning products with nontoxic versions. Choose products that use the natural power of essential oils, soaps, and even household items like apple cider vinegar and lemon to keep your house clean.

3. Burn candles to absorb food scents and naturally keep the air fresh. Open your windows frequently to improve air circulation.

What’s the first step you’ll take to detox your body, mind, and home without dieting? What’s the big reason you want to renew and refresh yourself on a holistic level? Your big “why” will drive you and keep you on track.

Leave a comment below and tell me the first step you’ll take – I can’t wait to hear from you.

Published By: Institute of Integrative Nutrition

Forest Bathing: What it is and Why it's healthy

Wellness trends come and go, but we can always look to nature for timeless wisdom that’ll never go out of style. If you’ve taken a walk in the woods lately, you probably know what we mean.

Forest bathing is a creative term for something our ancestors have known for a long time: nature heals. It comes from the Japanese phrase “shinrin-yoku,” which means taking in the forest atmosphere, and was first proposed in 1982 by the Forest Agency of Japan as a wellness and relaxation activity to promote good health – especially for those who lived in cities.

Simply being among trees, breathing fresh air, and walking at a comfortable pace can do our bodies and minds a world of good. But it wasn’t until recently that the scientific research of forest bathing caught up with the reasons how.

Here are some of the benefits associated with walking in a forest:

  • Improved immune system functioning, with an increase in the body’s cancer fighting Natural Killer cells – partly due to the essential oils from wood in the air
  • Reduced stress and blood pressure – via a reduction in cortisol
  • Improved mood/positive outlook
  • Increase in energy
  • Greater ability to focus and think clearly
  • Improved sleep
  • Quicker healing from illness or surgery
  • Additionally, participants in research studies on forest bathing showed a decrease in mortality rate from cancer and a greater frequency in feeling “calm,” and children also experienced benefits in fitness, weight, and attention span.

Now that spring is upon us in the northern hemisphere, this is the perfect time to get the benefits of forest bathing firsthand! No matter where you live, find the closest forest or hiking trail and embrace wilderness on a regular basis.

Why do we love forest bathing?

At Integrative Nutrition we believe that health is about much more than what you eat. Our concept of Primary Food states that a holistic approach to life creates the greatest balance, which is why we consider spending time in nature, physical movement, a fulfilling career, nurturing relationships, and many other non-dietary elements as all playing a vital role in our wellbeing.

Published by: Institute of Integrative Nutrition

4 Simple Ways to Create a Healthier Home Environment

Did you know that health is about way more than what is on your plate? That’s right, your relationships, career, level of fitness, and hobbies all contribute to your well-being – it’s what Health Coaches call primary food.

Your home environment is no exception! It’s where you spend much of your time, and it should contribute to – rather than undermine – your health and happiness.

Here are 4 ways to create a healthier (and happier!) home environment:

  1. Remove dust regularly.
    Pthalates, flame retardants, and phenols, oh my! The dust in your home can harbor a stew of toxic chemicals, so it’s best to remove it frequently. Dry dusting can kick up the dust particles into the air you breathe, so use a wet mop on uncarpeted floor, microfiber or moist towels on furniture, and your vacuum cleaner instead. This will help to absorb and remove the dust with minimal agitation.
     
  2. Be mindful of what you buy.
    Aim to prevent the accumulation of toxins in your home by paying attention to what you buy in the first place. Plastics – such as for food containers, children’s toys, and vinyl shower curtains – are linked to health effects related to hormone disruption, behavioral changes, and even cancer. Other materials such as carpets, paint, and furniture can release harmful gases, and synthetic materials in clothes can rub off and be absorbed into your skin. The point, of course, is not to avoid all purchases or become consumed by paranoia, but to make more conscious choices. Choose natural or organic fibers when you can, use glass or ceramic food containers, find BPA-free and non-PVC plastic, and make your own cleaning products. And sometimes, yes, see if you really need to buy something new at all.
     
  3. Get more plants.
    Houseplants offer immense benefit to us - mind, body, and soul! They remove toxins from air and lower the amount of dust that accumulates, release oxygen and humidify the air, and even lower stress. They also improve our moods, reduce pain and discomfort, and can apparently make us more productive and smarter by improving attention span. Beyond that, they remind us of nature, which creates a sense of equanimity and balance, and they make our homes look welcoming, fresh, and clean.
     
  4. Create your special wellness zones.
    Many of us share a home with others, so we can’t always control what happens in our overall surroundings, but you can create your own special pockets of wellness, small spaces that simply make you feel healthy, calm, and good. For example, your bedroom can have a meditation corner with some candles, crystals, and a singing bowl. Your kitchen could have a special cupboard or drawer just for your favorite superfoods, herbs, and tea. Your living room can have a cozy cushion next to a small table with a plant on top and some essential oils that you like. The point is to create your wellness zones and go there when you a need to get grounded and balanced.


Additional ideas to maintain a healthy home environment:

  • Get an air purifier if you live in a city.
  • Share your wellness intentions with whoever you share a space with.
  • Don’t wear outdoor shoes inside.
  • Clean up diligently after pets.
  • Clear out old clutter and “piles.”
  • Open windows regularly to let in fresh air (even in winter).

What are your favorite ways to keep a clean and clutter-free home? Share in the comments below!

Published by: Institute of Integrative Nutrition

How to Take A Technology Time-Out

It seems like there’s another social media platform popping up every day – Periscope, Peach, Yik Yak, Kik – and many more. Yikes!

All this social media can be overwhelming. It might be time to take a break from all your technological crutches (yes, that means email too) to give your brain a breather and refocus on the real-life priorities that really matter to you.

Technology is amazing in its ability to connect people around the globe to information and each other, but people who make the most of this access often have to deal with the negative effects of overstimulation.

Media addiction can make you feel scatterbrained, sap your creativity, and lead to eyestrain, stress, and sleep deprivation.

Not to mention that every minute you spend checking Instagram or playing Farmville is time you aren't spending nourishing your primary food needs.

Like any other addiction, the initial withdrawal can be difficult. You may feel disconnected, jittery or impatient with the slower speed of a non-digitized life, but stick to it to feel the profound benefits of taking a tech time-out. You’ll soon start to feel relaxed, calm, and insightful.

Here’s how you can take a break from technology this weekend:

1. Set a time goal. Whether it’s just a few hours, a day, or the whole weekend, get specific with your goal. Shoot your emergency contacts a quick email to let them know you're going off the grid. If you must provide a backup method of reaching you, make it by phone – but turn off ALL alerts and push notifications other than your ringer.

2. Hide your laptop and other devices. "Out of sight out of mind" often works, so try stashing your computer somewhere you won’t see it.

3. Breathe deeply and clear your head. Let your brain reboot.

4. Make unplugging a treat. Enjoy your favorite meal, activity, or glass of wine while you revel in all the beauty you notice when you step away from your computer monitor.

5. Distract yourself. Get outdoors or meet up with a friend. Spend some face time (the real kind, not through the app) with your family. Leave your phone at home if you can. Pretty soon, you'll realize all the fun is happening in real life – not on your phone or computer.

Do you make time to disconnect from your gadgets and reconnect with your life? It’s crucial for your health and productivity.

Share your experience with me in the comments below!

Published by: Institute of Integrative Nutrition