Skip the Fads: Here’s How to Nourish the Soul to Age Well

Let’s talk about health and wellness. It’s definitely a big business, globally – roughly worth $4.2 trillion representing 5.3 % of the global economic output.

Why is it big business? It’s because we’re on a never-ending quest for eternal youth. The health and wellness industry knows our weak point.

A simple Instagram search for the hashtag “healthyfood” brings up 121 million posts; “healthylifestyle” gives you 127 million posts and “healthyeating” shows 44 million posts. Could you say that we are a little obsessed with finding the magic bullet for finding optimal health?

And what exactly are we searching for – is it a shortcut to losing weight fast, gaining more energy and focus, eliminating wrinkles and saggy skin or preventing diseases? Ultimately, is there a drive to live to a vibrant 120 years or beyond? You gotta wonder what we’re really after.

But, I have a nagging suspicion that many common health trends are leading us astray. In fact, they could be diverting us from the timeless principles that actually contribute to healthy, graceful aging.

Let’s cut through the noise surrounding these very noticeable trends:

Gluten is Evil - So Go Gluten-Free

Of course, while some individuals may genuinely require a gluten-free diet due to Celiac disease, sensitivities or a general intolerance, restricting gluten has become uber-trendy over the past 20 years.

About 1% of the American population is truly dealing with Celiac disease, yet more than 20% of Americans are on a gluten-free diet, perhaps to manage an autoimmune or digestive condition or by choice to lose weight.

Gluten, a structural protein comprised of prolamin and glutelin, is typically found in wheat, barley and rye.

The fact is, unnecessarily cutting out these grains may lead to deficiencies in fiber, calcium and B-vitamins, which are crucial for overall health. And the GF products you’re substituting with may contain additives, sugars, artificial preservatives, seed oils and synthetic ingredients that could do your body harm in the long run, including weight gain. Yes, that darn weight gain no one wants more of at midlife.

GF food is also up to 242% more expensive than regular gluten products. Instead, opt for a balanced diet with a variety of organic whole grains for comprehensive nutrition – your wallet will thank you too.

Cow Milk is Bad - So, Drink Soy or Almond Milk Instead

Ok, there are definitely more people being diagnosed with lactose intolerance who simply cannot drink cow milk. And more people are turning vegan. And as a result, we’ve seen an uptick in the consumption of soy, almond, cashew and rice milk at the expense of cow milk.

But here’s a bit of a reality check: fresh, organic, grass-fed wholesome cow milk has been consumed by people worldwide for centuries and it remains a good source of calcium and protein. Don’t give it up completely unless you’ve got a medical reason or you’ve opted for a vegan lifestyle.

The Protein Powder Craze

Protein powders have become synonymous with fitness and health, but relying solely on them can be a shortcut to missing out on the diverse array of nutrients found in whole foods.

Older adults over 60 typically need 45-68 g of protein each day. As we age, eating good sources of protein becomes increasingly important to maintain muscle mass and prevent sarcopenia (or muscle degeneration).

Eat a little more animal or plant-based real protein if you’re craving it – why consume a protein powder that’s likely been sitting on a store shelf for a while? Sure, it might be convenient to throw a couple of scoops into a smoothie, but it’s not fresh!

Could it be that we’ve been mindlessly contributing to a $5.28 billion market without giving our protein consumption much thought?

Many reports, including this PubMed study from 2018, indicate that the best whole-food protein sources like lean meats, legumes and nuts offer not only essential protein but also valuable vitamins and minerals that help older adults age well.

Vitamin Water Fad

Yes, this one is most definitely a fad that makes me cringe. The allure of vitamin-enhanced water often masks hidden sugars and artificial additives lurking within them.

Research and common sense suggests that the best way to obtain essential vitamins is through a well-rounded diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Opt for water infused with fresh fruit and herbs instead, ensuring true, organic and nutritious hydration without unnecessary and harmful extras.

"Healthy" Snacks

Snacking is a multi-billion dollar industry with numerous options claiming to be “healthy” – you know, they’re low-fat, fat-free, low-calorie or cholesterol-free. These so-called healthy snacks include, and are not limited to baked chips, vegetable chips, gluten-free cookies, protein bars, even “organic” yogurt with fruit. All of these items are highly processed, often laden with sugars, extra salt, preservatives and seed oils, and they lack the nutritional punch of whole foods. 

If you’re dealing with a chronic health condition, these “healthy” snacks could actually be making your health worse, and could generate other side effects including weight gain and diabetes.

Why not return to the simplicity of raw nuts, fruits and vegetables for nourishing snacks that support both physical and cognitive health? There’s probably a nugget of truth in the saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” – just saying.

The Brown Grains Myth

How have we come to believe that all grains must be brown for optimal health? I believe we have dismissed white grains to a large extend, which have been consumed across many Asian cultures for centuries. The fact is, both brown and white rice can be part of a healthy diet. Research shows that it’s more about the overall quality of the diet than the color of the grains. 

Lab-Made Meat and Plant-Based Alternatives

The recent rise of lab-made meat and plant-based burger alternatives mirror the quest for healthier choices that are better for us and the environment. But here’s the big question: do you really know what you’re eating when it’s lab-made?

What are the real long-term health effects of consuming these fake food products? They typically contain additives like methylcellulose, soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin along with seed oils and a hefty amount of added salt. We just don’t know the impact these ingredients will have on our bodies down the road.

A well-balanced diet that includes real lean meats, plant-based proteins like lentils and legumes will provide a healthy spectrum of nutrients essential for aging well.

If you really want a plant-based burger, make your own from scratch – you’ll know exactly what’s in it.

Overreliance on Supplements

In the past 25 years, we have seen a proliferation of the global supplement industry. Why is that? Has the quality of our food combined with our modern lifestyle, deteriorated to a such a low point we need a handful of pills to get through each day?

Now, I’m not knocking all supplements out there – many of them do give us vital nutrients we need to manage a chronic health condition. But, make it a point to check your supplements for filler ingredients and to ensure they are truly the real thing and not synthetic chemicals you’re taking.

Even better – get most of your vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients from whole food sources instead.

Mindful Eating

Have you noticed how preoccupied we’ve become with the consuming part of eating? We’re constantly on the hunt for the best food promising quick and better nutrition that we’ve forgotten how to eat.

If you want your food to truly nourish you, and to age well, slow down and pay attention to your eating habits.

Stop eating on the go – and that includes while driving, working at your desk or running out the door with your mouth full.

Recognize your hunger cues, and sit and eat a meal with your full attention on it. Savor each bite, take in the aroma, and pay attention to when you become full. Make it a point to eat with other family members and friends on a regular basis (remember family dinner time each evening?) These are simple strategies for weight management, improved digestion and your overall well-being.

Call me old-fashioned (and I’m totally fine with that), but I believe the secret to aging well requires a return to the wisdom of balanced, home-cooked meals.

There are no trendy shortcuts when it comes to healthy eating and longevity.

The human mind, body and spirit come to life when you eat a colorful array of fruits and vegetables each day, some organically sourced protein, dairy, healthy fat and wholesome grains.

Getting nourishment naturally, in moderation and eating mindfully are the timeless cornerstones of healthy aging – along with getting daily exercise, keeping stress in check, avoiding stimulants and getting enough sleep.

Wouldn’t you agree it’s time to return to simple, wholesome eating? Let’s anchor ourselves in the proven principles of nutrition that continue to stand the test of time. And you’ll be on your way to living really well for the rest of your life.

And that’s food for thought if we want to live a long and healthy life.

Looking for some health coaching or nutritional advice? Book a free discovery call with me here.

Over 50? Get the 21-Day Positive Mindset Solution to Aging Well. Begin living your best life Now.

5 Ayurvedic Herbs for Mental Clarity, Focus and Relaxation

Greetings! Let’s talk about the use of Ayurvedic herbs for clarity.

Brain fog, fuzzy thinking and the inability to focus is something many people are dealing with these days. It’s something people silently suffer with, and perhaps it’s because they’re really not sure what’s going on. If you’ve tried everything, read on.

Anyone at mid-life can relate to feeling mentally burdened and exhausted. Between caring for children and aging parents, our brains can only handle so much information. Plus, we’re being bombarded by news and social media coming our way 24/7, and the pressing commitments we have each day.

As a certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Coach, I know what this is feels like. I’ve also been there, and have recovered from debilitating brain fog.  Specifically, 5 Ayurvedic herbs that are used for gaining mental clarity helped me find my way through the mental fog.

It’s so easy to become overwhelmed and lose mental clarity and focus to get through each day. Sometimes it’s hard to get anything concrete done let alone feel really productive, well and strong.

Ayurvedic herbs for mental clarity, focus and relaxation are time-proven tools that help with restoring mental health.

The science of Ayurveda dates back over 5,000 years where it originated in the Indian sub-continent.

Ayurveda means “the science of life” in Sanskrit, the ancient language from India.

It represents a holistic way of healing the mind, body and spirit using ancient Indian practices that include diet, exercise, meditation, breathing, yoga, herbal remedies, and lifestyle tips based on your body’s constituency and recognizing that each person’s mind, body and spirit is comprised of, and is energetically connected to the five elements or mahabhutas of Mother Nature: space, air, water, fire and earth.

There are at least 5 herbs used in Ayurveda that can help people with calming the mind. When our mind is calm, our body relaxes. So, it’s super important to recognize that when we’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, its time to take the steps needed to calm ourselves down and regain our sense of equilibrium to feel better.

Consider trying these Ayurvedic herbs to soothe and comfort the mind, find clarity and build resiliency:

Ashwagandha. Also known as Indian ginseng, Ashwagandha has been used for centuries by Ayurvedic practitioners to improve memory and concentration, treat neurological disorders and boost energy and vitality to live a long and healthy life. It has remarkable anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-depression, anti-cancer, anti-microbial, sedative, immunomodulatory and cardioprotective properties.

Brahmi. Also known as bacopa monneri, Brahmi supports a calm mind and provides mental clarity and alertness. When taken over a period of time, it can improve memory and concentration levels and provide long-lasting relief from anxiety and stress. And the bonus properties: Brahmi contains powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties and even anti-cancer properties.

Gotu Kola. Commonly found across Asia, South Africa and Australia, this herb has been widely used to fight oxidative stress, anxiety and depression, while gently supporting improved cognition, memory, concentration and focus. Gotu Kola specifically improves blood flow to the brain and promotes the growth of new brain cells. It also has amazing anti-aging properties with its Chinese name meaning “fountain of youth”.

Turmeric. A staple golden spice in all Indian households, Turmeric is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties. But did you know turmeric also helps fight brain fog and mental fatigue? Used consistently, Turmeric can bring you amazing mental clarity and focus, plus it’s great for keeping inflammation at bay throughout your entire body.

Tulsi. Also called Holy Basil, this plant is commonly found at the entrance of homes across India and is used to bless homes as a holy herb. Tulsi has incredible antioxidant properties, it lowers stress and cortisol levels, supports the nervous system, brings mental clarity and improves memory when used over time. I love sipping a fresh cup of Tulsi tea mid-morning each day and it gives me the zip I need to get through to lunch time with amazing focus.

These are my five favorite Ayurvedic herbs for mental health and well-being. Turns out they are also great for both mind and body health! They are known as adaptogens – they contain good stimulant properties that know how to counteract the stress in your mind-body, and they’ve been proven to provide relief to people for thousands of years.

How to consume them

You can consume them as a tea or as dried herbs, capsules, extracts or tinctures. Be sure to check with a licensed Ayurvedic practitioner or health care provider to ensure there are no contraindications with other medications or supplements you’re currently taking.

Where do you buy them?

All of them are available at reputable health food stores. You can easily get turmeric at most major grocery stores now. Buy organic – you want to avoid products that might contain traces of pollutants or heavy metals from the soil it was harvested from, which is common in Asian countries where the products are shipped from.

Understanding the properties of Ayurvedic herbs and using them correctly to heal are just a small part of the Ayurvedic philosophy. For a deeper dive, check out my first book, The Little Book of Grounding: 75+ simple ways to restore balance to your mind, body and spirit using ancient Ayurvedic teachings for today’s worldNow available worldwide through Amazon and all major book distributors. Or contact me for a free consultation.

Looking for more mental health tips?

Check out my new course: The 21-Day Positive Mindset Challenge! Your gift: a Free 21-Day Journal when you purchase my simple, 35-minute self-paced course – just $7!

Have an awesome day!

Alert: These 6 Toxins Are Lurking In Your Organic Skincare Products!

Greetings!

Here’s a bit of a shocker: Did you know your favorite ORGANIC skin and personal care products could contain some toxins?

We spend a lot of time and money carefully picking our beauty and skincare products. After all, we only want to put the very best stuff on our face and body.

But, surprisingly, some so-called organic products have a lot of toxins in them. I kid you not.

Your skin is your body’s largest organ and it deserves your mindful attention because self-care can actually be self-harming if we’re not careful.

While some of these toxins can irritate the skin, what’s more concerning is that every time you slather on your favorite body lotion or facial serum, toxic chemicals are potentially entering your body. They could be traveling through your bloodstream and accumulating in your organs. Over time, these toxins can potentially cause serious health issues like autoimmune diseases and cancer.

I was shocked when I first discovered this in 2017 when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition.

With a little investigating, I revamped all of my bathroom products.

In my research, I discovered that even a product like Aveeno contains gluten that was irritating my skin and affecting my digestive health. At the peak of my suffering, I wasn’t able to tolerate many foods. And I had severely itchy skin.

While I had eliminated gluten from my diet, my gut wasn’t able to completely heal until I addressed the source of gluten in everything. That included all of my personal care products. In fact, gluten can be found in toothpaste, deodorant and shampoos. While not exactly a toxic chemical, I mention gluten because many people have an allergy or sensitivity to it – making it “toxic” to their health.

As a result of my personal health challenges, my interest in this topic has grown and I’m always fascinated to learn about the most current research.

So, here’s the alarming thing about organic beauty and personal care products: the term “organic” doesn’t mean much in an industry that’s largely unregulated. A product could have 1-2 organic ingredients among mostly synthetic ingredients. And it still could be called “organic” or “natural”.

What are these 6 deadly toxins?

Let’s take a look:

1. Parabens – they are known to cause major health problems because they affect the proper functioning of hormones and cell function that can cause major health problems. They also increase fat storage in your body.

2. Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids (Lactic and Glycolic Acids) – contrary to what you would think they speed up the appearance of aging skin, and recent studies show they don’t prevent it. These acids can actually double UV-induced cellular damage to your skin.

3. Hydroquinone & Benzophenone ­– are linked to skin and other forms of cancer. Some studies have shown they are potentially toxic to your kidneys, liver and eyes. They can also cause a skin condition called ochronosis, that causes your skin to thicken and turn bluish-grey. These chemicals are so toxic that they’ve been banned in Europe.

4. Octinoxate – also called octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), this is a UV filter that mimics hormones and could lead to breast cancer and thyroid dysfunction.

5. Fragrances – this is a catch-all term that includes thousands of toxic chemicals including carcinogens, allergens and hormone disruptors. The number of adults that have reactions to fragrances is skyrocketing with 35% of US adults reporting health problems when exposed to products containing fragrances. I’m one of these people who gets a migraine whenever I walk through the cosmetics counter in a department store – I dread it.

6. PFA’s and PEG’s – these chemicals are often disguised as “fluoro” something and are linked to causing cancer, immune dysfunction, thyroid disease and liver damage.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

Holistic healthcare experts recommend that you buy USDA Certified Organic products. Or look for the ones that have the non-GMO label on them. In Canada, you might not find these labels at all. So you’re on your own to discover which products are truly organic.

USDA Certified Organic means the product is free of synthetics like chemical fertilizers, pesticides and dyes. It also means the product wasn’t processed using irradiation, industrial solvents or genetic engineering. You want to buy non-GMO products.

I have a simple grounding tip for you: Sort through your skin and personal care products carefully, especially if you haven’t been feeling well. Check the ingredients to see if these toxins are present. Then decide to toss them out.

Replace them with truly organic and all-natural products and see if your health improves. Be patient. It could take a few days before there’s any noticeable improvement.

Curious to know which skin and personal care products I use?

***I’m thrilled to announce my new online storefront in time for the holiday season!***

Check out my personal favorites at the Grounded in Love Storefront, at discounted prices for you to try 😊

Here are some of them, with special holiday pricing:

All-natural, organic skincare products from The Ayurveda Experience

3 All-in-One All-natural Ayurveda eye and body care formulations

SkinRnR all-natural, organic day and night cream, holiday bundle

SkinRnR all-natural, organic hand and body cream

SkinRnR all-natural & organic acne solution kit that works!

SkinRnR all natural, organic eye brightening cream

Give your body some love today and throw out anything toxic that could be harming you through your skin.

After all, your skin is an important doorway to your overall health. It deserves only the very best, purest self-care products as nature intended.

3 Super-Easy Exercises That Promote Grounding Fast! 

Greetings!

Let’s talk about three super-easy ways to move your body to feel balanced and grounded – fast!

Ok, they are yoga poses. If you haven’t tried yoga or just don’t like yoga, no worries – I get that. Yoga is not everyone’s cup of tea.

But these three movements don’t require any yoga experience at all. You also don’t need to be flexible or in great shape, or even be remotely interested in yoga. Best of all: doing these exercises for no more than five minutes a day can give you some really great mind-body health benefits.

So, here they are (along with their Sanskrit names):

Mountain Pose (Tadasana):

This pose is also called a mindful standing meditation. Simply stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands by your sides with your palms facing inward or forward, and close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply, notice the sensations in your body as you maintain your balance. This exercise promotes mindfulness, reduces stress and fosters mental clarity.

Tree Pose (Vrikshasana):

Tree pose is an excellent way to challenge your physical balance while enhancing your mental focus. It’s very easy to do: just stand on one leg and place the sole of the other foot on your inner calf or ankle, and if you’re balance is good, you can place your foot higher up on your inner thigh. Even if you start with keeping your foot on your ankle as you hobble and find your balance, it’s all good! Your hands can be folded in prayer position in front of your chest or you can raise your arms above your head, palms facing inwards. Then switch legs and repeat the exercise. As you practice tree pose and build up to holding it for a minute on each leg, you’re improving your balance, your mind sharpens and gains clarity, and you gain a feeling of inner peace.

Child’s Pose (Balasana):

This is the perfect pose when you need to retreat into stillness. Kneel on the floor, sit back on your heels and reach your arms forward or by your side. Rest your forehead on a pillow or the ground, if you have the flexibility. This gentle pose releases tension and invites mental clarity, making it an ideal choice for moments of reflection and inner peace.

BONUS Tip: Stand on Your Toes Like a Ballerina

Yes, this simple exercise involves standing on your tip toes for a few seconds, maybe just a couple of seconds. It strengthens your calf muscles, foot arches and lower back, and it instantly clears your mind as you concentrate on balancing, and nothing else. If you’re not able to stand on your toes, you could have tight calf muscles, flat feet, fallen arches, ankle pain or another foot issue. Consult with your healthcare provider before trying this exercise for appropriate advice.

Why Are Balance, Flexibility and Coordination Important to Maintain?

You know the saying: if you don’t use it, you lose it, right?

Well, it’s true.

If you don’t work on moving your body daily in ways that focus on improving balance and coordination, it could impair your mind-body health on many levels as you get older. For example, you could become more prone to falls and injuries. Good balance, flexibility and coordination support mobility and independence as we age. And they are essential for cognitive health: they engage the brain in motor planning and problem-solving. Lastly, good balance and coordination contribute to overall physical well-being and a sense of grounding, reducing the risk of muscle atrophy and other health issues.

So, if you’re looking to ground yourself, why not give one of these exercises a try?  Or try all of them.

Have some fun, let your focus on finding physical balance, flexibility and coordination serve to clear your mind, be in the present moment, and just relax. And then try them again tomorrow.

Looking with a little help with sticking to a physical fitness routine? Schedule a free lifestyle coaching session with me here.

Grab your free copy of my monthly newsletter, Grounded in Love by clicking here. You can also get your free copy of my guide, 5 Ways to Instantly Destress and Gain Mental Clarity here.

Get a Great Workout in 5 Minutes Doing This 

Greetings!

Who doesn’t want a great, easy workout that doesn’t take much time?

Well, I have an awesome activity for you to try.  It will leave you feeling grounded, amazing and balanced. And you can do it under 5 minutes!

Anyone can do it, It doesn’t matter what physical shape you’re in, or even if you have an underlying medical condition. And your age doesn’t matter either.

What the heck am I talking about?

It’s an exercise called Laughter Yoga.

Yes! Now, don’t let the word “yoga” scare you. You don’t need to be good at yoga. In fact, if you’ve never tried yoga at all or it has never appealed to you, you’re all good.

Laughter yoga is simple to do. Here’s how you do it in two easy steps:

1. Find something funny that makes you laugh out loud. It could be a comedy show, a meme on social media, a joke you remember, something funny that happened to you or someone you know, or something silly that your pet, child or grandchild did. It could even be a silly, funny memory from your past or childhood.

2. Whatever your funny thing is, just remember it and begin laughing. If it feels awkward to get started, start with a smile, then a giggle, and before you know it, you’ll be laughing out loud 😊

Why is Laughing Out Loud a Form of Yoga?

When you laugh your cheeks off (you can decide which ones, or maybe it’s both sets LOL), your entire body is involved. Every organ gets massaged when you laugh really hard. You release negative hormones like cortisol and those feel-good hormones called endorphins kick in.

Laughing hard also increases your heart rate and reduces heart-rate variability. It burns calories, can reduce blood pressure, boost immunity, minimizes existing pain and discomfort, and lowers stress and levels of depression. This is why laughter yoga is a full body workout with incredible healing benefits that you can realistically do in under 5 minutes. You’ll feel great, happy, grounded and balanced afterwards. Not bad, eh?!

So, let’s find something that makes you laugh out loud for a few minutes!

Need a few giggles to get going? Check out this video:

This parrot reminded me of the one my grandma had who would swear at the hired help every morning, imitating her LOL (this one here has a clean, cute vocabulary). That memory makes me LOL every single time, and that was decades ago. 😊

There’s so much truth to the saying: laughter is the best medicine!

It’s free and it definitely works 😊

Need a bit of help with managing your stress level? I’d love to help you. Schedule a free lifestyle coaching session with me here.

Grab your free copy of my monthly newsletter, Grounded in Love by clicking here. You can also get your free copy of my guide, 5 Ways to Instantly Destress and Gain Mental Clarity here.

What Water Teaches Us About Finding Our Flow 

Greetings!

Let’s talk about water and the many ways it can help us ground our mind and body each day.

No, I’m not going to talk about how many glasses of water we need to drink each day. That’s an individual thing, just my humble opinion. I’d like to take a broader look at the role water plays in our world, given that it’s one of the essential elements of nature.

Without it, there’s no life on earth.

Have you ever noticed how water flows down a river?

Or marveled at the majestic beauty of a waterfall like Niagara Falls?

The sheer magnitude of how water just moves beautifully and effortlessly can teach us a few things about going with the flow of life every day.

The magical thing about water is that it effortlessly finds its flow, adapting to obstacles, meandering through challenges and it’s always moving forward. It’s a valuable metaphor for how we can navigate life, too.

Going with the Flow

Water teaches us to embrace the idea of “going with the flow”. Life can throw curveballs our way, and sometimes the best response is to adapt and adjust in the most natural way possible to you. Just as water doesn’t resist the path it takes, we can find greater inner peace and resilience by learning to simply accept and adjust to the changes that come out way, especially the uncomfortable ones.

Take Things in Stride

When life’s rapids test our balance, water reminds us to take things in stride. Much like a river keeps moving forward, we, too, can find strength in our ability to persevere through life’s challenges. Sh*t happens. When you get a pile of it, it’s about maintaining forward momentum while keeping your equilibrium and remaining grounded to get through it.

Letting Go of Things That Don’t Serve You

Have you noticed that water doesn’t cling to any obstacles in its path? For example, it knows how to flow down a river, around rocks and then simply moves along. We, too, can learn from water’s wisdom and practice letting go of negativity, grudges, anger, resentment and unnecessary baggage that holds us back from finding our flow.

Moving Through Life Effortlessly

Water effortlessly moves through different terrains and landscapes. It doesn’t resist or force its way; it simply flows. Similarly, in life, when we release our need to control every aspect of it, we can experience a sense of ease and flow that leads us to solutions and opportunities we might have missed otherwise.

Today, simply notice how you can go with the flow of life. Is there anything stressful that’s disturbing or blocking your flow today? Set an intention to let go of it, take everything in stride and move forward effortlessly and naturally.

We’re living in an upside-down world that often encourages us to be in control of everything and to fight against the currents of life. It’s exhausting. And it can lead to burnout and serious health conditions if we’re not mindful of the way we respond to stressful situations.

So, if something doesn’t feel right, simply notice it. What aspect of it is making you feel uncomfortable? What’s raising your spidey-sense? Acknowledge it, and if you can, stop doing it. Remind yourself to let it go and flow forward in a way that feels authentic and right for you.

The wisdom of water teaches us to find and embrace our own unique, natural flow each day – it’s there and you can definitely tap into it to find your equilibrium again.

Need some help with letting go of something? It’s not always so easy to do. Book a free coaching session with me here to begin exploring strategies that can propel you forward. It can be the first step to finding your flow again.

Grab your free copy of my monthly newsletter, Grounded in Love by clicking here. You can also get your free copy of my guide, 5 Ways to Instantly Destress and Gain Mental Clarity here.

How To Harmonize Your Home for Awesome Health

Greetings!

We’ve officially entered holiday season and that means prioritizing getting our homes in top shape to celebrate the season with family and friends. And, if we’re not mindful, this time of the year can also become very stressful.

So, it might be timely to reflect on how harmony can be achieved in our home environment.

Quite often, how we feel each day is directly related to what’s going on in our homes.

Let me share some examples:

– A headache could be the result of poor air quality or lighting.

– Your mood and energy levels could be influenced by the colors, lighting and sounds in your home

– Household and beauty products could contain harmful toxins and hormone disrupters that could be making you sick

– Electromagnetic fields (EMF) from your smartphone and other devices could be impacting the quality of your sleep

Curious to learn more? I hope so – this is one of my favorite topics!

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be sharing some tips on my blog on how to transform your home into a sanctuary of wellness, even at this busy time of the year. How? With ancient Ayurvedic lifestyle principles that are fun and easy to implement.

I’ll also introduce you to the concept of Vastu Shastra (often called Vastu for short), the Indian precursor to feng shui. Vastu is an ancient science related to the environment and architecture.

Certain Vastu principles when used correctly can help you stay well, strong, happy, healthy and grounded. Who doesn’t want these benefits as we move through the busiest month of the year and flu season?

Here’s a great grounding tip: open some windows for a few minutes and let some fresh air circulate through your home.

Even if it’s chilly today, there’s no better feeling than inhaling a bit of fresh air while ushering out stale, stuffy indoor air.

Maybe you’ll feel a bit invigorated and your mind will feel lighter.

Opening your windows could be a quick, easy fix to lift your mood, clear a dull headache, rejuvenate your cells, and set a positive, energized tone for the week ahead.

We’ll start with the kitchen – it’s the one place in our homes where we spend so much time. Let’s look at how this space can be easily optimized to achieve your best mind-body health.

Looking for some coaching to feel balanced and grounded? Book a free session with me here to get started.

Grab your free copy of my monthly newsletter, Grounded in Love by clicking here. You can also get your free copy of my guide, 5 Ways to Instantly Destress and Gain Mental Clarity here.

Feeling Overwhelmed? RAIN Could Help You Feel Better 

Greetings!

Let’s talk about RAIN. Two kinds: the wet stuff that falls from the sky and another lesser known one that has nothing to do with water.

I’ll begin with the latter.

When I was working with a family counselling agency a few years ago, I learned a very powerful grounding technique called the RAIN self-compassion meditation.

It’s an easy way to step out of challenging emotions that could be weighing you down. Maybe it’s a stressful situation you’re dealing with. Or it could be feelings of sadness, self-criticism, insecurity or unworthiness that have you feeling down in the dumps.

You know, sometimes we are our own worst critic.

We ruminate over things others have long forgotten, worry about the future, or we criticize ourselves non-stop without ever realizing how we’re damaging our mental, emotional and even our physical well-being.

When was the last time you really showed yourself some kindness, compassion and love?

RAIN is an easy mindfulness tool that can be used to let go of whatever heavy emotions are not serving you. It has four steps and it stands for:

1. Recognize what’s going on

2. Allow the experience to be there, just as it is

3. Investigate it with kindness, and

4. Nurture what you find, and give yourself the comfort and reassurance you need from a place of natural, loving awareness

The RAIN meditation works like this: every time you’re feeling hurt, judged, fearful, anxious or unworthy, simply slow down. Notice and catch the emotion. Name it, observe it and allow it to be there without changing anything. Then ask yourself some probing questions, such as “why am I really feeling scared about this thing?” “Or “what do I really need right now – is it safety, kindness, some reassurance or love?” Finally, give yourself some rest, as you sit in the natural presence and awareness of your feeling, and gently let the negative emotion go because it doesn’t define who you really are. With an open, loving heart, feel the heavy emotion slowly dissolve.

The more you practice the RAIN meditation, the better you’ll get at dropping negative emotions that really don’t serve you. Over time, this type of RAIN can cleanse and free your mind from shackles that are often self-created and harmful to our ability to thrive. Over time, your confidence and self-esteem can improve, depression and anxiety can dissipate, and you can feel more balanced and grounded knowing you have the skills to handle negative emotions effectively without getting swept away by them.

Today, why not see if you could benefit from using the RAIN meditation in a situation that’s not serving you well?

Here are some situations where you can begin to practice using RAIN:

– When you’re triggered by something someone has said, or a social media post

– When you’re reminded of a past event that you keep replaying in your mind, causing you to feel negative

– You’re worrying about a future event so much that it begins to cause you angst

– When you’re stuck in situations beyond your control, such as sitting in traffic

– After reading the news and you begin to feel depressed, angry or fearful

If you’d like to learn more about the RAIN self-compassion meditation, check out this article from Tara Brach, a world-renowned psychologist and meditation teacher here which also has an audio for you to try it out.

Now, for the first type of RAIN, I’m going to share some actual sounds of rain as a form of sleep meditation. When you listen to the rain falling outside, you’re aligning yourself to an important element of nature – water. If you’re struggling with getting a good night’s sleep, the relaxing sound of rain could help with lulling you into a peaceful slumber:

Relaxing Rain and Thunder Sounds, Fall Asleep Faster, Beat Insomnia, Sleep Music, Relaxation Sounds
Want some coaching to learn how to meditate? Book a free session with me here to get started.

Grab your free copy of my monthly newsletter, Grounded in Love by clicking here. You can also get your free copy of my guide, 5 Ways to Instantly Destress and Gain Mental Clarity here.

10 Ways To Unplug And Recharge Your Batteries

Greetings!

It’s the time of the year where we turn the clocks back an hour and get an extra hour of sleep. What a great time to simply unplug from your digital devices and recharge your batteries!

Here are some awesome ideas for self-care that give your mind and a break from technology and re-energize your body and spirit too:

1. Sleep in, even if it’s a few extra minutes!

2. Go out to dinner with friends or family and make a pact that no one will check their phones.

3. Catch a movie, a concert or a performance.

4. Go to the gym, or take in a yoga or fitness class at your local community center. Or play some golf.

5. Go to the public library and read a real book.

6. Attend Sunday service in person at your place of worship.

7. Get a deep tissue massage, a facial or a haircut.

8. Try a meditation.

9. Go for a walk or hike. Hug a tree while you’re at it. 😊

10. Walk barefoot on the grass, or sit on a chair with your bare feet on the ground, and enjoy a cup of tea.

Ok, so tip #10 might be challenging if there’s rain or cooler temperatures in the forecast, but you can try it under cloudy skies for a couple of minutes … 10 if you’re brave.

Try one or a couple of these activities today, or sometime this week.

Isn’t it time to show your mind-body some self-love?

Make the most of the extra hour of sleep to simply unplug and recharge your batteries.

Want a deeper dive on this topic? I’d love to help you!

If technology is ruling your life, you can reverse it with a comprehensive digital detox and some coaching from me. Together, we can come up with a digital detox plan that works for you to restore your sense of balance and wellness. Contact me here or drop me an email at groundwithkaren@gmail.com to schedule a free session.

Grab your free copy of my monthly newsletter, Grounded in Love by clicking here. You can also get your copy of, Get Grounded: 10+ Digital Detox Tips here.

This cheap medicine can make you feel better now

Greetings!

If you’re feeling tired after a long week, or like you need a bit of a mental or emotional boost, I’ve got something special for you.

It’s laughter.

You know the saying, “laughter is the best medicine,” right?

There’s truth to it. And it’s cheap medicine too, as famously said by Lord Byron, the British romantic poet of the 19th century.

A good belly laugh doesn’t cost a cent but it has incredible health benefits.

At a physical level, a deep belly laugh makes us feel so, soooo good. And, it actually improves your intake of oxygen-rich air which stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles. In fact, you’re actually giving your organs a massage with every belly laugh.

Laughter also instantly lifts our mood, reduces stress and leaves us feeling refreshed. According to this study, it can even fight depression and help us sleep better.

But, did you know that laughter actually boosts your immune system through the release of endorphins? It’s those natural feel-good chemicals that promote an overall sense of well-being. Endorphins also support the production of immune cells and antibodies that help defend your body against illness, and can reduce pain and inflammation.

So, given all these amazing health benefits associated with laughter, when was the last time you had a really good, tears-down-your-face belly laugh?

Personally speaking, I’m tired of seeing grumpy, whiny people everywhere.

You know, the people who always have a frown on their face. The ones who take life so seriously.

Have we really forgotten how to lighten up? I sure hope not.

So, today, find something funny that makes you really laugh out loud. And then share it with someone to make their day.

It could be a funny meme, a joke (even a good knock, knock joke could do the trick), watch a sitcom or some stand-up comedy, or reflect on a funny memory. Share your funnies with someone and make them laugh out loud too.

And then make a conscious effort to spread some more laughter over the weekend. Make it contagious, because that’s what laughter really is. It’s the healthy contagion, LOL.

Don’t forget to claim your free copy of my monthly newsletter, Grounded in Love by clicking here. You can also get your free copy of my guide, 5 Ways to Instantly Destress and Gain Mental Clarity here.

Balancing Your Emotions Begins with This Root Word

Greetings!

Here we’re going to focus on the root word of this one: emotion. It’s the word “motion.”

Let’s talk physical movement. Now, I’m not going to give you a long list of exercises to try. Absolutely not, because exercise is such a personal thing and you know your body better than anyone.

But one thing I want to share is this: I did hear awhile back that there’s an interesting connection between the words “motion” and “emotion”. The word “motion” is in “emotion” for a reason: when we move our bodies, our emotions improve.

The key to managing your stress and emotions, and finding that sweet spot of balance might very well be as simple as getting up and moving your body each day.

The Link Between Physical Activity and Emotional Balance

It might sound surprising but the connection between physical activity and balanced emotions is profound. When we move our bodies, whether through a brisk walk, a dance session, a yoga class or playing pickleball, a bunch of positive changes happen within us.

One of the most noticeable effects is the release of endorphins, often called the “feel-good” hormones. These natural mood lifters help reduce stress and anxiety, and promote a sense of well-being and emotional stability. Physical activity also improves blood circulation, so your brain gets the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function optimally.

Stress Management Through Movement

Stress is often the biggest factor behind emotional imbalances, and daily movement can be a powerful stress management tool.

When you’re under stress, your body’s fight-or-flight response kicks in, flooding your system with stress hormones like cortisol. By engaging in physical activity, you’re giving your body a healthy outlet to release these hormones, reduce stress and allowing your emotions to regain equilibrium.

This explains why even just a little exercise can clear our mind, lift our mood and even make us smile 😊

Simple Ways to Incorporate Movement for Emotional Balance

Time is such a precious commodity that it’s often downright hard to find ways to move each day that are actually good for our emotional and physical health.

But, there are simple ways you can incorporate movement for finding emotional balance each day. For example, you can try these things:

· Begin your day with a few minutes of stretching or take a short walk to set a positive emotional tone for the day.

· When you’re out during the day, take the stairs instead of the elevator if you can, or park your car a little further away when out shopping to get in some extra steps.

· In the evening, try winding down with some gentle stretching to prepare your body for a restful night’s sleep.

So, today, reflect on whether some daily movement could help you feel better emotionally.

If you want to give this tip a try, I’ll be sharing some daily movement tips on my blog that anyone can do, regardless of your age, health and current fitness level.

And I know, as the weather gets colder, there’s a natural tendency to want to hibernate and eat chocolate on the sofa while binge watching Netflix.

We’ve all been preached to about the physical benefits of exercise – we know it helps with weight loss, toning and building muscles, maintaining bone density and much more. It can seem overwhelming to get going let alone stick with a daily fitness routine.

This week, I invite you to focus on the emotional benefits of daily exercise. And it’s not the intensity of the activity that matters, it’s about consistency – even if it’s a single small thing you do every day. Find a way to move that you actually enjoy; this way, you’re more likely to stick with it each day. When you embrace the power of simple daily movement, you could very well find your emotions becoming more balanced. And you’ll reap all those amazing physical benefits too.

Daily movement is just one grounding tool in your mind-body wellness toolbox. And it’s definitely a powerful one.

If you’d like some help with getting started with a daily movement routine, why not schedule a free lifestyle coaching session with me? You can do it here.

Grab your free copy of my monthly newsletter, Grounded in Love by clicking here. You can also get your free copy of my guide, 5 Ways to Instantly Destress and Gain Mental Clarity here.

Social Media Apps: A Toxic Trap?

Greetings!

Let’s talk about social media apps.

If you’re on them, you’ve likely checked them at least once before reading this blog post.

That’s because apps like Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), Tik Tok, LinkedIn and many more have become an integral part of our lives. They connect us with friends and community and provide a window to the world … but are they also making us sick?

Let’s explore how social media apps could actually be toxic to your mind-body health, and ways to reduce your screen time for the sake of your overall well-being.

The Scroll and Stress Connection

As I’ve mentioned before, social media apps are downright addictive. They lead you to a constant stream of information and notifications which can trigger stress and anxiety, along with elevating cortisol levels which can be detrimental to your health. It always seems like someone else’s life is way better than yours. And before you know it, you’ve got some FOMO (fear of missing out), building up, adding to your stress.

Toxic Online Engagements

You know that feeling: engaging in an online argument with a complete stranger on social media can indeed raise cortisol and insulin levels which can wreak havoc on your body, and can even manifest into diseases like diabetes if you make this a habit. Virtual spats that lead to stress, anger and heightened anxiety are typically fueled by emotion rather than thoughtful discourse. Why do we do this? It’s an unconscious reflex that can get the better of us.

Fear and Irrational Thinking

Social media apps can create an atmosphere of fear and sensationalism. The constant bombardment of alarming news and fear-inducing content can lead to irrational thinking. Over time, these apps can influence you to become more anxious or make decisions based on emotion rather than logic.

Brainwashing and the Echo Chamber

Social media can also foster an echo chamber, where people are exposed only to information that aligns with their beliefs. This lack of diverse perspectives can lead to something called confirmation bias and groupthink, which inhibit independent and critical thinking. What ever happened to the concept of respectfully agreeing to disagree?

Reduced Autonomy

Have you ever experienced having a conversation about something and an ad for it pops up in your social media feed? Or you might be visiting a place and you’ll see an ad for it on Facebook while you’re there? Social media platforms often use algorithms to curate content tailored to individual preferences, and your phone is tracking your preferences to do this. While this can enhance your experience, it can also manipulate what you see and influence your thoughts, opinions and ability to think independently. As a society, many would argue that our collective autonomy is also at risk.

Reduced Attention Span

The quick, bite-sized nature of social media content can train your brain to seek instant gratification, which can lead to a shortened attention span and difficulty concentrating on longer, more complex tasks.

Disturbed Sleep Patterns

Late-night scrolling before bedtime can disrupt your sleep patterns. The blue light emitted by screens interferes with melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

So, social media apps have a downside. What can you do to reclaim your health?

Today, notice how much time you’re spending on social media apps. Keep a tally on a piece of paper every time you check your phone and note how much time you’re on these apps. At the end of the day, take note of how much time you’ve spent on social media and which apps you’ve been on the most.

Social media apps definitely have their place in our increasingly online world. But like with everything else, they’re best when consumed in moderation.

There are easy ways to detox from social media apps: you can set screen time limits on your apps so you don’t spend excessive time scrolling, you can designate specific periods of time daily for a digital detox and engage in screen-free activities like reading, going for a walk, or spending quality time with loved ones. You can also delete them altogether from your phone and only check them on your laptop, which reduces the temptation to constantly check your feeds.

By being mindful of the toxic nature of social media apps, and taking steps to limit your time on them, you can mitigate their negative effects on your mind-body health.

Want a deeper dive on this topic? I’d love to help you!

If technology is ruling your life, you can reverse it with a comprehensive digital detox and some coaching from me. Together, we can come up with a digital detox plan that works for you to restore your sense of balance and wellness. Contact me here or drop me an email at groundwithkaren@gmail.com to schedule a free session.

Grab your free copy of my monthly newsletter, Grounded in Love by clicking here. You can also get your free copy of my guide, Get Grounded: 10+ Digital Detox Tips here.