By:Christine Bache, NTP
Here we are in the midst of the holiday season. For some it’s the most wonderful time of year and for others it’s a time of stress and overwhelm. For most of us it’s likely a little of both. Family gatherings, celebrations with friends, office parties, shopping, wrapping and baking on top of a busy life can leave little time for self-care. This is the time of year when expectations are high and sweets and treats are plentiful, even the most sound health and wellness goals can fall by the wayside.
Having a few simple strategies can help us maintain our sanity and sense of wellbeing.
Make self-care a priority. It isn’t selfish to care for yourself, you can’t be present for others or enjoy the holidays if you are depleted, exhausted and resentful.
Begin the day with a mug of warm lemon water. This rehydrates the body and gives the immune system a boost. Take a few moments to breathe, stretch and ponder a bit of gratitude.
Fuel your body with nourishing food first thing. Having protein in the morning can really set the tone for a balanced day. Leftover dinner can be breakfast, not conventional but it can help fuel the day. A cup of broth or soup can feel like a very nurturing way to start the day.
Plan ahead for challenging moments in your day. Overwhelm and stress are often the reasons we eat. It’s never the salmon and broccoli we go for, it’s the salty, greasy, or sugary stuff that does the best job of distracting and numbing those negative feelings. Pause in those moments before eating unconsciously. Step outside and breathe, walk in nature, it can work wonders to reground you. Reach out to a good friend or loved one. Listen to music you love. Journal for a few moments. Drink some water, sip some broth or tea.
When you do choose to indulge in those once a year treats like grandma’s pie or special cookies remember to enjoy it, savor it and never feel guilty about it!
Keep your home a sanctuary of health. Leave all of the goodies at the party. Stock up on seasonal root veggies and fruits like citrus and pomegranate. Prepare a couple of slow cooker meals. Have your favorite herbal teas on hand. Stash some dark chocolate and nuts for treats.
Making extra effort to rest and sleep are key to feeling well and navigating the holidays.
We can feel empowered and peaceful this holiday season by planning simple ways to ease stress and sustain our healthy choices.
Christine Bache is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and a licensed Restart Instructor. Nutritional therapy is a holistic, comprehensive and highly personalized path to health and healing. Christine works with a foundational approach to nutrition, using whole nutrient dense real food that honors the bio-individuality of each client. She performs specialized hands on clinical assessments as well as advanced Nutritional Therapy skills to restore balance and optimal wellness to the body. She believes real food supports real health and that the body has the profound and innate wisdom to heal. She is passionate about educating and empowering each client no matter where they are on their health journey. Christine offers one on one consultations, educational workshops, and the RESTART® Program. She will be offering a virtual Restart Program through Root & Branch in early 2019. Details to come!
I am often asked why we need to cleanse. If the body is designed to cleanse and filter out things on its own, why do we need to make a point of doing this? Well, the body, in all of its infinite wisdom and incredible design, was not meant to be subjected to the thousands of environmental toxins we are subjected to on a daily basis as a result of industrialization. Nor was it designed to withstand the amount of alcohol, caffeine, sugar, chemicals in foods, pesticides and hormones in the water, and processed foods that we eat on a daily basis. It is further compromised by layers of stress, over exertion, and lack of sleep. These three things alone will cause these wondrous bodies of ours to function less optimally, but along with all the rest, it just needs a break, and some support to do the best job it can. Detoxing means taking the burden off of the system so that it can do its job better. The beautiful result is that you will feel so much better!
I heard someone say recently that we are the only country in the world that complains about having to eat healthy. This really caught my attention because in so many places access to good healthy food is not an option. I work with many people with sensitivities to gluten, dairy and sugar, and who suffer with digestive and other symptoms, but trying to get them to give up the things they love, even if it means that they can reduce or eliminate their daily suffering, is extremely difficult.
There are lots of ways to cleanse, but I prefer for people to cleanse with the use of healthy whole foods along with some supplements that will support the detoxification organs to clear the liver, kidneys, lymph and fatty toxins in the body.
There are two that I particularly like: Standard Process 21 Day Cleanse: This cleanse is comprised of a protein powder (with or without dairy) for one-two shakes per day, and a couple of supplements to supports the normal toxin-elimination function of the liver, kidneys, gallbladder, and digestive system, provide antioxidant support, and overall cellular health. Their products can be somewhat customized for dietary and digestive needs. They also provide a book, which is downloadable HERE. This book explains the process of cleansing and walks you through the 21 day program, along with providing tons of recipes. 21 days is a good period of time to begin to implement some lasting changes in the diet as well.
Pablo Cleanse, by Designs for Health. This is a really easy to follow cleanse which comes with a guide on foods to eat and to avoid, a delicious protein powder designed to use while cleansing, and a formula called Amino Detox which helps the body rid toxic buildup in the liver. This cleanse allows you to continue to eat animal products, which many other cleanses ask you to avoid. This can be done for 14 or 21 days, your choice!
Should you be interested in doing a cleanse, we provide access to all of the products that you will need to do either of these, along with answering any questions you might have about them. We have done them both and really felt that they were incredibly effective and user friendly.
So, consider cleansing in the next month or two, before it gets too cold! It is a great way to rebalance the system and prepare for winter. Enjoy!
Eileen DePaula, M.Ed., M.Ac.Lic.Ac.
For some reason, year after year, in spite of knowing better, we continue to try to cram ridiculous amounts of activities into the 10 weeks of summer. I recognize that there are multiple reasons for this, but from a Chinese medicine standpoint, it is also related to the yang of the season. Yang is an energy that is associated with heat, light, movement, and creativity. By definition, summer has all the aspects of yang: our days are longer, the temperature tends to be much warmer, and this pushes us to be much more active.
In general, this isn’t a bad thing. But in our fast paced world, we are often forgetting to pause and take time to be quiet. There are camps, vacations, family obligations, things we want to do and those we have to do. Trying to balance all of this can end up making the summer exhausting, and leave us wishing for school to start again, if only to have a routine back.
If your family is anything like mine, the entire summer is scheduled by early June. While all of those activities are things I look forward to, what I miss is the ability to be spontaneous, the ability to know that there is a weekend with nothing on the calendar. The idea that I can just “be”.
With that in mind, I encourage you to try to build that time in to your schedule. Even 5 minutes of checking in with yourself, sitting quietly with the eyes closed, can make an enormous difference. It can allows us to connect with where we are, how we feel, and whether we are doing a good job at taking care of ourselves. Here are some thoughts to consider:
I hope you all have a wonderful, nourishing, restful summer!
Welcome to Spring! Are you feeling fussy and anxious, or scattered and lacking focus? Here’s some good news- according to Chinese Medicine, it’s Spring’s fault! Spring is a time of regeneration and renewal, and at its best it’s a time of upward and expansive movement of creativity, planning for the future, vision & perspective”. We are transitioning from the quiet, dormant, hibernation phase of winter into a time of expansion and movement, and that can often stir people up a bit. On the emotional level t’s very common to feel a bit more frustrated, anxious, depressed or scattered in this transitional month, and physically you may feel Spring’s effects as well: headaches, twitching eyes or muscles, tight/stiff muscles and tendons, PMS or digestive issues… but acupuncture and yoga can help.
This 2 hour Yoga + Acupuncture Workshop will explore ways to utilize Traditional Chinese Medicine (including acupuncture, acupressure, herbal medicine and dietary therapy) to bring your body into balance with the new season. You will also be lead through a series of postures to help realign, and invigorate you while stimulating the meridians associated with Spring: the Liver and Gallbladder Meridians. The yoga practice will culminate in a 30 minute savasana with an optional mini-Acupuncture treatment to awaken you to all the possibilities of Spring.
Through a combination of the ancient methods of Acupuncture and Yoga, Courtney Dutch and Rachel Gorman will guide you through an evening designed to rejuvenate and refresh your whole being for Spring!