3 Herbs you Need to Know for Healing Depression: Interview with Sarah Josey

Depression is a condition that reportedly affects one in ten Americans.  It is a conversation often avoided, but I was lucky enough to interview Sarah Josey Herbalist, Nutritionist and Founder of Golden Poppy Herbal Apothecary.  She shared three herbs that everyone should know about when it comes to depression and one to avoid, while on medication.  Watch  video.

Find out more about Sarah Josey and Golden Poppy Herbal Apothecary at http://www.goldenpoppyherbs.com/

Join the conversation below.  Have you tried any of these herbs?  Let me know in the comments.

Is Water Drying You Out?

a toddler drinking water from a garden hose

It is a fact that we need water to survive, but why have you been drinking the alloted 62oz. of water, and you still feel thirsty?

If you think about it when water is referenced from a Spiritual or religious standpoint the literature speaks of water as being purifying and cleansing.  Purification reduces body mass.   Water removes toxins as well as some of the good things like healthy oils, vitamins and minerals if your cells are unable to retain moisture.  This means the 62oz. of water rule only works if your cells are properly hydrated.  Keeping your cells healthy can be even more difficult in Pitta and Vata aggravating climate, such as places that are  dry, windy or hot.

Are My Cells Healthy?

To keep your cells healthy, you need to eat *healthy oils and omegas as well as externally applying healthy oils in the form of Abhyanga.  Healthy cells allow water in and out and retain the proper amount of moisture/suppleness in your skin.  If you try to rub oil into your skin and it doesn’t sink in , or you have post nasal drip, your cells need more moisture. (Note:Keeping your cells hydrated is not the same as bloating.)

*Healthy Oils and Omegas – avocado Oil, Olive Oil, Ghee, Sesame Seed Oil, Salmon, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds.

Beverages for Staying Hydrated:  

(These beverages are recommended for people with Pitta and Vata who have trouble staying hydrated. )                                                                                                                                                                            

Recharge is a natural Gatorade you can make your own by diluting juice and water, and add a pinch of salt.

Herbal Tea– helps your cells stay hydrated  Mint is cooling. Hibiscus is great for helping you feel quenched.  Chamomile is grounding and a natural antihistamine (helps with allergies).

Coconut Water-is not only a demulcent, but it also helps as an anti-inflamatory.

What do you use to stay hydrated?  Let me know in the comments below

To Be, or Not to Be Gluten-Free (Guest Post by Dr. Samantha Brody)

Woman Holding a Baking Tray with Freshly Baked BreadChoosing not to eat gluten is becoming more and more popular. “Faddish,” even. Celebrities are doing it. Chelsea Clinton is doing it. Olympic athletes are doing it. Even Keith Olbermann is doing it.

The thing is, you can’t know something is a fad until it’s passed as a fad.  By definition is short lived. Given how many people feel better on a gluten-free diet, it’s hard for me to imagine that it will be a fad. And just because something’s a fad doesn’t mean that it’s not good for you.

So how do you know if Gluten Free is right for you?

I had been off of wheat for years, intermittently off of gluten. Cutting out gluten on top of being off of wheat didn’t really make a difference….. until it did. I decided to do an anti-inflammatory diet for a chronic shoulder condition I’d developed. My shoulder pain? No change whatsoever. But lo and behold I had another effect I never would have imagined. My state of mind changed profoundly. My little one had just turned five and I was still a bit of a mess on the heels of becoming a mother. I was anxious and irritable more often than I really cared to admit. It wasn’t until I was off of gluten for a month that the cloud lifted and I realized just how much my state of mind was not where it should have been.

In my practice I had always been on the lookout for Celiac Disease for my patients with gastrointestinal issues. I had diagnosed it many times, but after my own experience I started recommending a gluten-free diet to more of my patients. The results have been remarkable. Chronic neurological issues, migraines, digestive disturbance, mood issues, inflammation..…were all vastly improved if not eliminated from cutting out gluten.

Is it the answer for everyone? Absolutely not. There are people for whom it does not make a lick of difference. Some people do fine eatingMP900177958 whole wheat and other gluten grains, and it may be the healthier choice for them.  But is it worth a try to see how you feel? As a rule I’d say yes, but swapping out an unhealthy gluten filled diet, for an unhealthy gluten-free diet may not be a fair trial. Be assured there are scads of unhealthy things out there that are gluten-free. For instance, packaged foods that have always been gluten-free but are now being labeled as such for commercial purposes. Take gummy bears for example, or Spam.

If you do decide to give it a try, make sure you work with someone to help you understand what your diet should look like to make it a healthy choice. Avoid processed foods, even if they are gluten-free. Eat plenty of vegetables. Eat plenty of protein. Make sure the food you eat is food. And give it some time. You’ll know if it’s right for you.

Dr_Samantha_web_028Dr. Samantha Brody is a licensed naturopathic physician, acupuncturist, and owner of Evergreen Natural Health Center in Portland, OR. When she’s not seeing patients or blogging, you can find her cranking out her upcoming class series on healthy and easy gluten-free living. She’s a powerhouse speaker and has been a featured in numerous print and online publications including the Wall Street Journal and Shape. Connect with Dr. Samantha on Facebookand Twitteror sign up for her newsletter here.

My New Years Resolution Breakdown

MP900309664This year is going to be the year I _________.  What did you fill in?  Loose weight, find a significant other,make it big?  What ever you put in the blank, I dare you to answer the question, why?  I hope it was for you, and if it’s not, make one that is solely for you.

The Doshas and Goal setting:

Vatta’s tend to set big goals and get overwhelmed. (Try small tangible goals)

Pitta’s tend to force themselves to reach their big goals, even if that means they are not enjoying it and can tend to express anger towards others because of it. (Try the 50% rule, allowing yourself a little break.)

Kapha’s can become stuck in their habits and not realize what  negative habits are doing to them. (Try supported change, gym, one on one training, exercise group, or do a challenge with your family) 

The two biggest reasons I find that New Years resolutions don not work are.  People set a big goal and expect fast results or they haven’t dealt with physical or emotional pain which can hold them back.  Here are ways to overcome theses issues and make this the year you stick to your new years resolution.

1.  When you set your  goal, break it down into smaller goals.  Lets just stick with the weight loss example, your big goal might be to lose 15lbs. but your small goal might be to lose 1lbs. a week.  That means that in 3 months you will have lost 12lbs.  Every time you reach one of your smaller goal you feel succesful and you have accomplished something, which allows you to be succesful see results and stay motivated to keep going.  On this gradual plan you are able to make progress without overwhelming yourself.

Once you have broken down the steps and made smaller goals, put it in your calender, make your plan just as important as your work schedule.  (Exmp. walk 2:30-3:00p.m. Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat.- Sun 10-10:45)

Eating healthier-try the 50% rule.  Half the time you eat what you want and half the time you eat healthy.

Exercisise-Try cardio every other day, depending on how much you currently do (haven’t been working out 10 min. already workout 30 min) and 10-30 min of walking every day .  A walking partner or music(one ear bud only for safety) can make it easier and keep you motivated.

 

2.  Physical and emotional pain can be big factors in being successful in your resolution.  Haven’t been exercising?  Is it because your knee, back is hurting?  Are you unable to stop overeating? Is it because you are constantly hearing your mother in your head telling you, you are not good enough or stressed because of work?

Take a moment to do a quick body scan.  First do this standing and then sitting.  Close your eyes, take a couple deep breaths and start at the top of your head all the way down to your toes look for any pain, soreness, tightness or discomfort, if you notice anything write this down.  Depending you may want to see a Chiropractor, Massage therapist, Ayurveda Practitioner or Doctor.

Sitting down, take a moment to think about your resolution, notice what doubts, or blocks pop into your head.  Maybe there is another stressor that has nothing to do with your resolution that keeps showing up.  Write these down.  These types of issues can be worked with through meditation, eating a Vata calming diet, talking to a good friend, psychiatrist, or regaining empowerment through physical activity.

Have a Great New Year!

What is your new years resolution?  Let me know if this post helped in the comments below. 

Have you signed up for the Free 5 Week Sensory Cleanse?  Starts Wednesday January 2nd.  Click here to sign up.

Do you have a sweet tooth? Read this.

This cooler, windier time of year is considered Vata and can increase flightiness, constipation, anxiety and overwhelm.  Combined with all of the Holiday parties and festivities it may also aggravate your sweet tooth.  Out of the six tastes sweet is best for calming Vata and Pitta.  No, this is not your free ticket to candy town.  In Ayurveda the sweet taste comes from fruit, grains (rice, wheat ext.), dairy, natural sugars (maple syrup and honey), some vegetables ( sugary tubers like sweet potatoes and carrots) and even some sweet herbs like licorice.   The sweet taste has a cooling and grounding affect, which make it one of the tastes that Kapha’s should have the least of.

When you crave processed sugars and carbs. there are three main things to look at: hydration, protein and sleep.

Are you hydrated?  A lot of times when you are craving sweets, you are really craving the cooling quality and energy.   Dehydration can cause your brain to feel foggy, and tired, just like when you don’t have enough glucose so your body tells you to eat something, because you have already over rode the feeling of being thirsty.  Try keeping a water bottle or thermos of herbal tea with you.

How much protein is in your diet?   Protein is a good source of energy and it helps slow down how quickly sugar is absorbed into the blood stream, allowing for less up and downs in your blood sugar.  One of my favorite forms of protein is raw sunflower seeds with sea salt. 

*Digestive tip #1 Having all six tastes on your plate can help prevent cravings.

*Digestive tip #2 Eat sweet things first (especially fruit), for better digestion.

Are you getting enough sleep?  The afternoon lull  can be caused by lack of protein and healthy fats or the fact that you’re actually tired.  Your morning coffee has warn off and you may have skipped lunch.  Food = energy, your body has learned to crave sugar and caffeine when it is tired, to refuel quickly.  The fact is if you are doing this frequently it is affecting your adrenals and can have longer lasting unwanted affects.  Getting 7-8 hrs of sleep a day is recommended.  Some people think that by having the lighter coffee or sugar this will help them loose weight or avoid feeling heavy or gassy.  In reality the lighter foods will aggravate Vata and cause flabbiness, because there is no nutrition.  Spicing healthy foods with neutral herbs like fennel will help alleviate heaviness, where as coffee is dehydrating your body and can be habit forming, to induce elimination.

 What step are you going to take to take your sweet tooth out of the drivers seat?  Tell me in the comments below.

Top 10 Tips for making it Through the Holidays without Stress or Weight Gain

It’s good to be back in Fort Collins, CO.  I am finally getting back into the swing of things after being on the Midwest Tour (Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa), Story Telling, Ayurveda Presentations and working with Ayurveda Jump Start to Health Patients.  It was so much fun sharing Ayurveda Health and Empowerment.  Changes are a coming for the clinic in the new year, stay posted in the next month for more details.  Also have you joined the fabulouse group of people on the Earth Ayurveda Clinic Facebook page?  If not click here.

The Holiday seasons can be stressful with traveling, visiting family, trying to keep your immune system high and not gain weight.  Here is a gift from me, to you:)  The Top 10 tips you Need to know to make it through the Holidays.  (In no particular order)

1.  Bring something you can eat that tastes good and that doesn’t make you cringe when you think of the health factors or calories.  (Try setting a goal of maintaining through the holidays, not trying to loose weight.) If you want a food that isn’t good for you, take a small portion instead of depriving yourself.  And remember it is what we do most of the time that affects you, not what you do once in a while.

2.  Family stress even just thinking about it can cause you to hold or shorten your breath.  Start practicing deep abdominal breath, which is not very noticeable but can have an astounding affect on calming the nervous system and the mind, allowing you to deal with family members and driving. When you reduce stress, it helps keep weight off.

3.  Overcoming the infamous stuffing your face.  Eat until you are almost full, not stuffed.  Your stomach digests food faster when there is a little space for it to squish and digest your food.  (Don’t stress about not getting enough, you can put what you want on your plate and save it for your second meal or cover it and take it home.)

4.  Whether you are hosting a party or going to one ask yourself “What can I do to make this run as smoothly as possible?”  exmp.  having food prepped the night before, plan a stop while your traveling in the middle, and allow children to run and go to the bathroom instead of whiny cranky children or make a list of safe topics that you know your family or friends can handle to divert to.

5.  Spice your food, in India all food is spiced, as it helps with digestion.  Some neutral spices are coriander and fennelBlack pepper is good if you are eating a particularly heavy or creamy meal.  You can bring spices with you if you don’t think they will be available, bring a fennel capsule to have before meals or bring some digestive tea to share instead of coffee.

6.  Your a vegetarian going into a household of non-vegetarians.  Bring a vegetarian dish that to you is considered a main course.  Do not bring a dish that has any reference to a meat substitute, because you will be setting yourself up for a battle.  Even though meat substitutes can taste great, non-vegetarians expect it to taste the same and will tell you it’s not that great.

7.  Be aware of your own sabotaging thoughts and behaviors: be able to recognize which role you tend to fall into and have a mantra or affirmation to snap yourself out of it.  (A favorite affirmation of mine is I bless everyone I see and they bless me.)

Vata’s tend to blame themselves.

Pitta’s tend towards blaming others.

Kapha’s can tend towards smothering and controlling behavior.

8.  Going for a walk.  It is best to let your food digest for atleast 10-30 min.  then taking a short, gentle walk of a minimum of 108 steps tells your body to burn fat and helps with digestion.  Try going for a group walk, or walking the dog or stepping out for a breath of fresh air.

9.  Go into the party with a positive attitude.  Don’t start off thinking it’s going to be terrible or that your going to gain five pounds, instead put out the energy that everything is going to be great.  What would be the perfect scenario?

10.  Have a support network, if a family situation starts to get a little hard to handle have someone you can text that will send you a positive text back, or someone you trust that you can go hang out with in your family.

Stay healthy and have fun this holiday season.

Related Blogs

If you are traveling check out How to Stay Healthy While Traveling Blog.

Ayurveda Book Gift Ideas click here.

Find out how to keep your immune system working great click here.

Yummy Recipes click here.

Give your Immune System a Boost

The leaves are turning beautiful shades of Red, Orange and Yellow.  On the color wheel these are considered warming.  Mother nature is using our visual senses to warm us up for the cold winter weather to come.  Out here in Colorado the leaves are mostly a beautiful yellow/gold color.  The color gold in Ayurveda is considered one of the most nourishing, rejuvenating, and Ojas building.  Ojas is our life force and is the container for our energy.  Watch Ojas Video.

Gold is one of the most common colors to see in the fall, mother nature always provides and she is giving us lots of nourishment and abundance before Vata really sets in.  Here are some ways to build ojas with the color gold:

-Watch the sun set or spend time watching the golden leaves on a tree dance

-Eating Squash or adding Ghee to your food

-Sprinkle some Turmeric in your food or warm milk.