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Top 10 Supplements for Anxiety

Anxiety and stress related issues are an increasingly pervasive part of our society today. Memes about anxiety get thousands of likes because just about everyone can relate, and a whopping 75-90% of doctor’s visits are for stress related complaints (yes, you read that right). I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard stories of people going to the ER with chest pains thinking they were having a heart attack, only to find out it was a severe panic attack. What’s the deal? So what’s going on? Why is everyone so stressed out and anxious? And what can we do about it? Well, it’s impossible to give a definitive answer, but I have a few theories. Our modern high speed + high information lifestyles, paired with assault from environmental pollution in our homes and food, plus more disconnection from family, friends, and nature than we’ve ever dealt with before…

Reishi: The Adaptogenic Magic Mushroom

I get a warm feeling in my heart whenever I talk about the reishi mushroom. I have personally felt more positive physiological benefits (specifically regarding stress and sleep) from welcoming this magical mushroom into my life than just about any other substance! One of the feelings I like to compare it to is getting a big, warm hug and an “it’ll all be okay” from a kind grandma after you bomb an important exam.  In fact, a common anecdotal experience among reishi users is an increased sense of peace and well-being. Since I mention reishi often and use it frequently, I am going to give you some background on The Queen of Mushrooms so you can decide for yourself if it’s right for you! Background Reishi, also known as Ling Zhi, is well loved in traditional Chinese medicine. It is known as “the mushroom of immortality” because of its powerful anti-aging abilities and its…

The Real Reason You’re Not The Person You Want To Be

I used to think of myself as a disorganized, hot mess of a person who couldn’t get anything done on time or keep my surroundings clean. I pretended to “own it” and be okay with it on the outside when, for example,  I walked into the classroom and see everyone else handing in a ten-page assignment that I had no idea existed because I forgot to check the online schedule for that week and missed the day that they discussed the due dates. However, despite being able to laugh it off on the outside, I had deep feelings of shame and inadequacy and a voice inside my head would berate me saying “why are you surprised this happened? You’re a total mess who’s never going to be successful in the real world. You’re never going to get it together, you idiot. Your kid isn’t going to be successful either, because…

23 Tricks for Mythical Princess Sleep

Good, deep sleep is extremely important if you are concerned with the quality of your life. During sleep we rebuild our bodies and clean out our brains and other body systems. Poor sleep (and poor sleep habits) can lead to many negative symptoms including brain fog, moodiness and irritability, strained relationships, daytime fatigue, depression and anxiety, and poor blood sugar control. It also affects your appearance, leading to weight gain, reduced muscle tone, and increased aging. I am no stranger to insomnia. Lying awake in bed for hours wondering if I might be going crazy with sleep deprivation used to be a nearly nightly occurrence for me. I experienced many of the negative effects from not getting enough sleep Now that I’ve changed a few key lifestyle habits, I get MUCH better sleep and feel so much better! Occasionally I will still have a rough night of sleep (or several…hello…

Turmeric: The Indian Spice Your Brain Craves

What if I told you that there’s a spice from India that scientific studies have demonstrated: 1. Is as effective as Prozac at relieving depression symptoms 2. Reduces social anxiety* 3. Increases your long-term memory 4. Protects your brain from alcohol-induced neurodegeneration 5. Increases neurogenesis These effects are just a small fraction of the overall effects of this spice. In addition it has been shown to aid in healing and recovery with the following: 1. Inflammatory diseases 2. Cancers 3. Diabetes 4. Arthritis 5. Obesity 6. Pain 7. Skin conditions 8. High cholesterol At this point you’re probably wondering: “So, what is this magical, mythical spice that has all these benefits? How does it work? And how do I get some of it into my belly?!” Patience, young apprentice. We will explore all of this in this article. But to answer your first question, this magical spice is turmeric and…

7 Ways to Trick Yourself into Cooking More

As “wellness culture” keeps exploding in popularity, so too have the many mostly true, but nearly useless health advice cliches. “It’s not that hard to eat healthy! Just eat whole, unprocessed, organic foods! Incorporate movement into your life! Stop eating out and cook at home and eat as a family!” Those are all good things, but it’s not useful advice if you’re not already in the habit of doing them. Each of those “tips” involves changing a lot of ingrained habits. In this article, I’m going to outline some of the practical tips that have been the most useful for tricking myself into cooking at home more often. The problem with eating out Eating out is one of those conveniences of modern life that can free up so much time and energy for us, but can also be detrimental to our long term health. The infamously large portion sizes, oxidized…

4 Ways to Deal With an Unsupportive Tribe

How many of you have had the lovely experience of making positive lifestyle changes such as eating better, exercising more, or quitting bad habits, only to have the people closest to you make fun of your efforts, put you down about it, or even start treating you differently as a person? As it turns out, this is an incredibly common situation. One of the biggest challenges that people face when trying to get healthier can actually be their own friends, coworkers, and family! (As a disclaimer, the purpose of this is not to complain about how “everyone is holding you back” and how “they hate me cuz they ain’t me” but to explore how to navigate this common social phenomenon. We want to change, but those closest to us might seem to discourage it, especially if it’s a positive change. However frustrating it is, this is totally normal.) Say you…

Grape Seed Extract: Protector of Brain Cells and Cognitive Function

History’s Sexiest Fruit The small but mighty grape has long been a symbol of youth, beauty, wealth, and sex. Would a Rennassaince painting be complete without bunches of grapes draped artfully over a bowl or body part, or pouring from a feast table? The Hebrew Bible constantly references grapes and vineyards in reference to blessings and wealth, and the Greeks and Romans had a major god dedicated to the fruit (Bacchus/Dionysus). They were a luscious, juicy fruit, with thick, bitter skins and tiny hard seeds. Now, fallen from their former glory, the antioxidant-rich skins and seeds have been mostly bred out to make them more palatable to the delicate sensitivities of the general public. You find them not on the feast tables of demi-gods (unless we’re talking about Chris Hemsworth, amirite?), but rotting in the back of the crisper drawer or as a half-assed addition to a fruit platter in…

14 Ways I Beat Anxiety Without Medication

Disclaimer: Mental illness is a serious issue so if you need help, please talk to a professional. This is my personal story that I’m choosing to share in hopes that it encourages someone else on their journey. It was my own decision to tackle anxiety without taking medication, and I am not in any way telling you to do the same thing or passing judgment on those who take medication. If you have a desire to discontinue psychiatric medication, please talk to your healthcare provider about tapering off. I am not a doctor and these are my own opinions–not medical advice. In our overstimulated Western culture, most of us suffer from one form of anxiety or another at least some of the time. We stay up too late watching violent TV shows, we eat food that makes us feel bad, we lack intimate social connections, our jobs are stressful and…

Lithium: Why You’re Crazy Not to Take It

Typically, when someone hears the word “lithium” the image that comes to mind is of either lithium-ion batteries, or severely mentally ill patients on lithium therapy locked up in a psych ward – and not exactly a substance that you would want to intentionally try to get into your body. The positive effects of lithium for those with severe bipolar disorder have long been known in the medical community, but recently, several studies have shown that lithium can have far-reaching benefits for a wider range of diseases and conditions, including depression, aggression and violence, Alzheimer’s disease, suicide, and even alcoholism! Lithium as an essential element in the human body has been vastly underrated, but if we could prevent and treat severe mental diseases with a microdose (a very tiny dose) of any element, shouldn’t we know about it? Even though very recent, high quality studies are somewhat lacking due to…