Fresh Ideas For Staying Healthy & Clean This Holiday Season

How to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the holiday feasting and celebration time is about to commence. While gatherings are essential and fun, many people who have food sensitivities and health issues struggle to maintain their integrity through all of the temptation. As a result, important boundaries are compromised, and your weight or immunity suffers. Social stress and consuming too much of what are body cannot handle can lead to illness that can last throughout the winter months – it’s not worth it!

Wouldn’t it be better to approach holiday socializing with a clear set of intentions and boundaries, a strategic plan that maximizes your way of enjoying life, rather than bending to other’s expectations? Here are some ideas for maximizing the fun and minimizing the damage of holiday celebration time…

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1. Know your holiday stress points & take care of YOU. Do certain family members put you on edge? Do you take on too much and then find you don’t have time for it all? Start by asking yourself what makes you feel most pressured or irritable, and then what choices do you have to make this stress more manageable?

For example, Can you gracefully bow out of gatherings or obligations you no longer enjoy? Do you really need to bake all those cookies? Can this be the year you send a Christmas email or a link to your Facebook page instead of all those cards?
 If you have to see a difficult relative, arrange something fun and rewarding afterward. Give yourself permission to say NO to what won’t be fun for you, and to attend gatherings on your own terms.

2. Get Clear: What are the non-negotiables? What are the practices that you know to be the bedrock of your physical, mental and spiritual health? These will be different for different people, so each of you need to be clear about what you must promise to do for yourself every day, no matter what – and what you will not do or eat or drink when you are out in that big crazy world at holiday time. This is key to maintaining stability and good health throughout the holidays.

3. Bring the salad. If you practice a Cleansing Lifestyle, or know that certain common foods make you ill, then be the person that brings a healthy raw foods option to the potluck or party. It will stand out as light, fresh, and delicious among the heavier cooked foods. It can be the center of your meal so that you leave feeling good, rather than bloated and stagnant.

4. Set an intention ahead of time – If you’re going to a gathering where you know you’ll be tempted by foods or challenged by family members, sort it out ahead of time. Be energetically and personally responsible to yourself, and plan ahead what you do and do not want to feel and do. This will help you enter the fray with clarity and centeredness, so you can enjoy yourself on your own terms.

5. Allow for flexibility and enjoyment. If you’re someone who tend to be strict with themselves regarding diet and routines, then remember: life is meant to be lived and enjoyed, and it’s OK to have a little wine or desert or stay up late on occasion.

 

How To Bring Light To The Season Of Darkness

Winter Blues

Here we are heading into the darkest time of the year. How can we cultivate lightness of being when the outer world descends every day further into the longest nights and shortest days of winter solstice time?

images Here are some thoughts:

1. Embrace The Darkness –

We all carry within us the forces of dark and light, but it’s the darker side of ourselves that we tend to keep hidden. Sadness, anger, despair, depression – it’s hard for us not to judge and resist these emotions. But oncoming winter seems to offer a time to surrender to our dark side, to stop resisting the underbelly of life, and even welcome it to our table. This season serves as a reminder that we need the loss of light and life, the turning inward and downward of life force energy, in order to be whole and complete. If this time of year is calling out your inner darkness, you may find great solace and wisdom in Thomas Moore’s classic book, Dark Nights of the Soul, which brings recognition, honor, and self-realization to our shadow selves.

2. Cultivate Lightness of Being –

The ancient Taoist wisdom guides us to sleep long hours, be less active, make fewer commitments, and turn our attention inward. While getting some fresh air, sunshine and exercise is one of the best ways I know of to keep healthy, happy and warm throughout the winter, this is truly an ideal time to develop a meditation practice, to light a candle and play angelic music, or to practice restorative yoga. Our external environment is but a reflection of the inner, and as the trees withdraw their energy from the leaves and let them go in order to send the life force deep underground to rejuvenate the roots for next year’s growth, so too must we.

3. Recommit To Your Highest Potential –

Poised like a seed awaiting dark earth and water, inside the ending of the passing year is held the potential of the coming year. Rather than giving up on those dreams of health, fitness, weight loss, self-confidence, vibrant energy, or whatever you might have envisioned for yourself earlier this year, realize that it’s not too late (it’s never too late!)! To support you in your pursuit of physical detoxification, health generation, clarity, joy, and inner peace, my dear friend and colleague Holly Shelowitz and I have created a raw food-centric cleansing and cooking class, just for you and your magnificent holiday season. Click here to find out more!

 

Pharmaceuticals: How to Approach Their Use

When a health issue comes up, many of us head to the doctor first. We want to find out what’s going on. Aside from untitleddiagnostics, we’re often handed a script for some form of medication. Whether or not to take this medication, how to wean off of a medication that you’ve been on for some time, and how to avoid taking them in the first place is the topic of this week’s article.

As I’m sure you know, I am not a physician and instead offer my opinion from the perspective of an expert in natural medicine and detoxification.

Here is what we know: medications are toxic and extremely harmful to the equilibrium of the body and the planet. Minor and major side-effects or allergic reactions to medications are not uncommon, and pharmaceutically-induced death is sharply on the rise. Indeed, one of the best things you can do for your health as you age is stay off of medication as much as possible.

We also know that a clean, healthy body will be able to beautifully regulate all systems and functions of the body, and that whatever the reason you have been prescribed a medication, there is often a natural treatment strategy that can correct it. Typically these come down to the basics of changing the diet, engaging in gentle daily cleansing routines, and helping the body self-correct through the use of non-toxic treatments such as acupuncture and/or herbal medicine. The more serious your symptoms or disease, the greater the commitment must be on your part to change the internal conditions that set the stage for your disease to develop.

There are circumstances and illnesses where medication may play a necessary role. My approach to pharmaceuticals is that they be considered with the highest intelligence and discretion. What follows is some important advice around how to be an empowered and informed patient in relation to taking medication.

1. Do not leave you doctor’s office without getting all of your questions answered. Take careful notes, and do not allow yourself to be bulldozed or ignored. Make sure you fully understand what he or she is recommending and why.

2. Do your research. You should know the generic name of the prescription, all possible side effects and complications, what it has been prescribed for in the past (many medications are used to treat multiple issues) and your exact dosage. You should know exactly what you are getting into and take responsibility for being fully informed.

3. Consider where you are in the transition towards becoming independently healthy. How long have you been juicing, eating a clean diet, and engaged in gentle practices of detoxification? This will tell you your body’s ability to regulate itself. A highly alkaline system can fight infection better than an acidic system, and a long-time vegetable-rich and juice-filled lifestyle allows you to handle deeply emotional situations with more strength and intuition.

4. Gauge you level of discomfort. If you can easily bear your symptoms while you give your system a chance to do its work, you may not decide to interfere. If you are in constant pain that makes life unbearable you may decide to try medication.

5. Exhaust all other options. Have you tried acupuncture, emotional therapy, physical therapy, rolfing, and guided meditation? Medication should be a last resort.

6. Make sure you understand the length of time you are dealing with. Is this a long-term chronic pain, or something quick and commonly treated? The longer the medication is taken, the more it accumulates in the system.

7. Do not make any snap decisions. I often have clients meet with me for the first time and decide to go right off their anti-depressants. It is important to wean slowly and gradually off of any medication, and some (for mood and sleep disorders for example) may require months of careful reduction. It is often wise to seek the guidance of a wise alternative practitioner for help with side-effect, detoxification, and regulation of the body’s functions during this process.

8. Boosting your alkalinity with additional green juice and taking high-quality probiotics will help your body to stay strong during a cycle of medication. Avoiding all starches and sweeteners other than stevia or honey until all medication has left the system is also essential, so that additional yeast and fungal growth does not take place during the process.

Please remember, there are no gold stars for pain and suffering, and no guilt for any choices that are well researched, and made with the highest good in mind!