It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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How to Breathe in the Wake of Suicide

The beginning of October holds the anniversary of my brother’s death. He committed suicide before I turned 20, on his 25th birthday. Even after all these years, I have complicated feelings about his death. I am still learning how to breathe in the wake of a suicide, and not for the reasons you might think.

Every year I think about my brother and the role he played in my life. On his birthday this year, I received acupuncture. Could this energy work help me let go of any suppressed grief or other emotions? The session included tuning forks, sound bowls and needles. The goal was for an opening to be found somewhere in my psyche, that would help release unhealthy energy trapped in my body, and mind.

One tiny needle, called a Press Tack, was left in my wrist. It was secured under breathable tape, and would last for a couple days. This little needle would possibly help me continue processing old emotions. The tiny tack caused more discomfort than the longer needles. Was this an indication of what was to come in the near future?

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Understanding Vata Dosha

Are your hands and feet always cold? Do you have a hard time gaining weight? Do you often feel scattered and “spaced out,” or suffer from occasional sleeplessness and constipation? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you might have a Vata dosha imbalance—or, you might be a Vata dosha mind-body type.

WHAT’S A DOSHA?

According to Ayurveda, the five natural elements (ether, air, fire, water, and earth) are present in your mind and body, too—in form of the doshas: Vata (ether, air), Pitta (fire, water), and Kapha (water, earth). These elemental energies influence everything from your physical shape and digestion to the way you process thoughts and emotions. Find out your Dosha here.

Everyone has all three doshas present in their mind and body, but most of us tend to have one or two doshas predominating.

WHAT IS VATA DOSHA?

Vata dosha is the Ayurvedic mind-body element associated with air and space. It’s light, cool, and dry in nature, and it governs all movement and processes in your mind and body—including processes like blood flow, elimination, breathing, and the movement of thoughts in your mind.

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9 Healthy Fall Activities to Help You Get Outside

It’s sweater weather! Get outside with a pumpkin spice latte and enjoy the crisp fall air. Whether you have little ones and are looking for family activities or you want creative ways to stay busy with the days getting shorter, here are nine healthy outdoor activities to enjoy this autumn.

  1. Rake the Leaves

Raking up leaves might sound like a chore, but it's also a fantastic workout. Effortlessly elevate your heart rate by raking quickly. You'll be feeling the burn in your obliques and forearms for days. Get your kiddos involved by having them help rake for a bit, and then reward them with jumping in piles.

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Thank Your Mind

"When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary."  —Fred Rogers

I've Been Thinking...

Today is World Mental Health Day. Before you read further, I'd ask that you take a moment to check in with yourself this morning.

Check in with your mind. Sit with how you feel for a bit and don't judge. Think about all your mind does for you. Think about all it keeps track of for you. If you are like me, you probably drive it too hard. You probably put too much on its plate. You more than likely berate it for not being what you think it should be.

Pause.

The truth is, your mind is extraordinary and uniquely your own. Sure, it may drive you nuts at times (I feel you). You may wish it were different—maybe smarter, quicker, or better at retaining everything you want to remember. Maybe, like me, you wish your mind were less dark. I get that. But remember: your mind is yours and yours alone. Today, my wish is that you honor your mind's beauty. Honor its unique abilities, its perseverance, how extraordinary it is, and all it does for you. 

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The four legs of the stool: your PhD in healing with food

Knowledge is power! From our blog archives, this is a great one for you to read if you haven't already. I spell out the BASICS of current nutritional science, to help you both prevent and heal a myriad of health conditions. Very handy.


Does nutrition information sometimes seem overwhelming?


Especially if you are seeking to improve a complex health condition, you may feel like you need to acquire a PhD in order to find your way! Your doctor doesn’t have all the answers, NOBODY seems to have all the answers, so you may feel like it’s on all on you.


Allow me to assist.

Yes, there are lots of studies out there, and yes, we’re all different and there are lots of customizations possible. But starting with the food science basics can take you a LONG way towards elevating your health.


I call it the 4 legs of the stool.

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Plant-Based Families: How to Navigate Healthy Eating in a Household

Do you ever worry about the health of the people you love — and wish they ate healthier food? If you’ve tried to help others move in a positive direction, has it ever felt as if you were banging your head against a brick wall?

If you know my story, you might think I can’t relate. After all, I grew up eating a whole foods, plant-powered diet in the home of one of the world’s best-known proponents of healthy, plant-based eating (my dad is Food Revolution Network co-founder and president John Robbins, author of many books on health, nutrition, and social and environmental justice, including the 1987 bestseller Diet for a New America.) How could I possibly have any idea what family conflict around food is like?

Hear me out.

When I was a kid, we had our fair share of food conflicts in our extended family. My grandpa Irv, the co-founder of Baskin-Robbins, wanted nothing to do with our “hippie” eating style. He ate the standard American diet with gusto — including, of course, lots and lots of his favorite ice cream.

When my mom, dad, and I would visit my dad’s parents, we sometimes stayed in a rented condo because sharing meals could become such a point of friction. At one point, my grandma Irma famously declared, “You will NOT cook tofu in my kitchen!” She was clear who was in charge in her domain, adding: “When you’re in my house, you will eat what I serve.”

Since my grandma wasn’t exactly a black belt in flexibility, we did not try to convince her to let us cook our simple, plant-based meals in her kitchen. Instead, we prepared most of our meals separately in our condo kitchen.

We didn’t want differences over food to keep us from being a family. But because those differences were based in very different realities and values systems, we struggled with the conflicts and separations they caused.

Blood Can Be Thicker Than Ice Cream

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Home remedies; dealing with wounds and scrapes

Nobody likes to deal with open wounds. Not only are they painful and quite messy, but they also end up taking a lot of time to actually heal. They also tend to leave a permanent mark on your skin, which no one would want. Sure, you could put quite a few ointments and creams in the hopes of trying to heal it faster, but did you know that home remedies can be as effective as over-the-counter medications? Certain ingredients that are used in a ton of culinary delicacies also have multiple healing properties. We have curated a list of the most popular kitchen ingredients that can help you deal with wounds and scrapes.

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5 Foods That Put You in A Good Mood

Food is a substance the world absolutely needs. Without food, how would humans have built the empire we live in today? However, many people tend to believe that food is terrible for several reasons.

Despite all these negative misconceptions surrounding food, one fact remains; our bodies need food to thrive and survive. None of the food is bad for you; however, you must know the right amounts to eat. One of the best benefits about food is that some of them even help to reduce stress and put you into a good mood. Here are five of the best:

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Good Health Begins With What Three Things?

When we talk about health and nourishing our bodies, the conversation usually turns to diet and exercise.

In fact, dieting has almost become a national pastime. Turn on the television or look online and you can’t miss the ads for pills, drinks, classes and even surgical options for those looking to get healthy fast.

Sadly, these very popular “fast track” health options rarely create lasting results.

If you want better health, it may surprise you to know that it doesn’t start with supplements, equipment or most of the products sold online today.

Your best health begins on the inside. 

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The Ayurvedic Understanding of Emotional Imbalance (Part 1)

In Ayurveda, the inability to process emotions in a timely manner is seen as the main cause of emotional imbalances. So the Ayurvedic emphasis is on efficiently processing emotions.

Occasional low moods can take many different forms. This list includes: frequent feelings of anxiousness or emptiness; a loss of interest and pleasure in activities; fatigue; irritability; social withdrawal, acting-out behaviors, family conflict; occasionally feeling blue, down, sad or simply emotionally bogged down; difficulty sleeping; loss of appetite; weight gain; feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or pessimism; declining school grades or job performance; and poor concentration.

Seasons can bring on moodiness. So can major life changes, such as a divorce, major financial problems, an illness, death of a loved one, or any challenging, stressful events in life.

Occasional low moods affect more than 19 million adult Americans yearly. (Women are twice as likely as men to experience this, and are vulnerable after the birth of a child, before menstruation and during menopause.)

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Feel Whole

What’s left out?

The Practice:
Feel whole.

Why?

When I look back on mistakes I’ve made – like dumping my anger on someone, making assumptions in haste, partying too much, losing my nerve, being afraid to speak from my heart – in all cases, a part of me had taken over. You know what I mean. The parts of us that have a partial view are driven by one aim, clamp down on other parts, really want to have a particular experience or to eat/drink/smoke a particular molecule, yammer away critically, or hold onto resentments toward others.

The mega part – the big boss – is of course the inner executive, the decision-maker, and the driver – some call it the ego-centered in neural circuits in the prefrontal cortex, behind your forehead. This part is determined to a fault, running things top-down, ignoring bottom-up signals of growing fatigue, irritability, burnout, and issues with others. It draws on and gets wrapped up in the sequential, action-planning, language processing parts of you that are based in regions in the left side of your brain. (The statements here about sides of the brain are reversed for about half of all left-handed people.) Meanwhile, the boss part shames, disowns, and suppresses other parts of you, especially those that are softer, more vulnerable, and younger.

But when you open to the whole of your experience, you have more information and can make better decisions. You perceive more fully, seeing the big picture, putting things in perspective. You free up energy that was spent pushing down your real feelings. You tune into your body, your heart. You’re less fixed or attached in your views. You recognize the good things in you and around you that you’d tuned out. You feel more supported, more protected. You take things less personally.

You feel at home in yourself.

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7 Reasons Keeping Your Inner Child Alive Is Good for Your Mental Health

Are you acquainted with your inner child? This psychological concept evolved to explain the complex way our minds and physiology remember the events of our youth. They can drive our attitudes and behaviors, even if we aren’t conscious of them.

However, it benefits your psyche to get in touch with this miniature you. Better yet, you should bring them out to play now and then. Here are seven reasons keeping your inner child alive is good for your mental health.

1. It Helps You Understand Your Present Relationships

Do you find yourself attracted to the same type of person over and over again? Worse, do you find yourself repeating old toxic patterns that you seem unable to break? Doing inner child work could help you understand and reverse the cycle.

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What You Eat Can Impact Climate Change! See 9 Foods That Harm the Planet and 11 Foods That Can Help Save It

If there’s one common problem that every inhabitant of the Earth is currently facing, it’s climate change.

Those two words sound innocent enough: “climate change.” And maybe that’s part of the problem; with everything that’s going on right now, thinking about the climate changing in 10 or 50 or 80 years just isn’t that much of a priority for most of us.

But that’s got to change. Because really, what’s happening isn’t just climate “change”, it’s climate chaos. And as crazy as things have gotten, unless we change course, we are barely seeing the tip of the iceberg of what’s coming.

But already, climate chaos is beginning to unfold, and it’s not looking good.

With unprecedented heat waves in unlikely places, like Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and even British Columbia; unprecedented flooding in Germany, Belgium, and China; unprecedented droughts and wildfires in the Western US and around the globe; the first rainfall on the peak of Greenland’s ice sheet for the first time in literally ever — and a truly alarming new scientific report on the now-unavoidable impact of global warming on our world, we can’t keep acting as if this isn’t an urgent matter of life or death.

So here’s the latest update on the crisis — and on one of the most important things we can do to turn it around (that almost nobody is talking about!).

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Make Self-Care a SNAP

Skills to Build Mindful Self-Compassion Anytime, Anywhere


Just when we thought the pandemic was in the rearview mirror, cases are again surging along with stress over how to cope. Parents sending kids back to school or off to college, workers wondering whether to return to the office, everyone unsure what the future holds — who doesn’t feel worried, frustrated and disappointed?

September is Self-Care Awareness Month, yet many people don’t take the time they should to care for themselves. Maybe they think self-care is frivolous, time-consuming, or even selfish. Or they get so busy fulfilling the demands of making a living and caring for a family that they forget to put their own oxygen mask on first. When turbulence hits, they feel stretched too far and snap.

If you have been feeling stressed out, burned out, or beat up by circumstances in life, it’s time to start practicing mindful self-compassion.

Mindfulness is being able to face and acknowledge our difficult thoughts and feelings with a spirit of openness and curiosity. Self-compassion involves responding to these difficult thoughts and feelings with kindness, sympathy, and understanding so that we soothe and comfort ourselves when we’re hurting. Fortunately, mindful self-compassion is a skill you can practice anytime, anywhere.

Self-care comes in many forms. Some require you to stop what you are doing and take a break, such as taking a break to walk in nature, soaking in a soothing bath, or reading your favorite book at the end of the day. But there’s also another way you can practice self-care that only requires you to pause and evaluate what you need to feel better. I call this the SNAP system:

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Is Metabolism The Key To Disease And Aging?

Medical research enjoyed a major breakthrough over the past decade when two factors were isolated that link almost every major disorder: inflammation and stress. Neither came as a total surprise. Inflammation was long known as a paradoxical process in the body. Disease and injured tissues need an added supply of oxygen and immune cells in order to heal, but taken too far, as in the case of severe burns, and inflammation can lead to shock and even death.

Stress is more clear-cut, since it has always been associated with harmful effects in the body and is linked to many disorders from depression and anxiety to hypertension and lowered immunity. But a breakthrough occurred when it was suddenly realized that the culprits in disease and aging were not acute, dramatic instances of inflammation and stress. Instead, the damage to the body is low-level and steady, a chronic condition that does its damage slowly at the cellular level. It turns out that aging and chronic disease actually begin almost invisibly at the cellular level long before any symptoms appear, over a span of years or most probably decades.

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Know the benefit of Kratom to Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Every fitness enthusiast out there usually needs a supplement to complement their fitness goals. In your quest for the perfect body, it is customary to want natural support to make this goal a reality. However, synthetic supplements have not proven helpful when you consider the side effects and possibility of over-dependency.

This has driven various people towards a natural substance that will present a safe approach to support users' fitness journey. Kratom is one such organic substance that athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts can consider to help with their fitness goals.

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10 Foods for Increased Immunity and Longevity in Life

Treating your body with kindness isn’t just about doing what feels good in the moment. In fact, truly caring for the needs of your body is often much more about thinking long-term. It’s no secret that even in the short term — but especially over time — eating junk food can take a serious toll on the body.

Too much sugar can make you feel sluggish, processed meats can increase your risk of cancer and salt can elevate your blood pressure. Alternatively, there are so many foods that you can use to fuel your body for healthy longevity and immunity. There are so many amazing, natural sources of nutrients that you can turn to — from the fresh and sweet to the savory. Here are a few of those foods that can truly have a profound impact on your life and your body.

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Ayurveda for Stress: 11 Ways to Find Your Calm

There’s no way around it: everyone experiences a little stress now and then! Over time, though, high levels of stress can cause an excess build-up of free radicals in your body and can lead to premature aging and disease. Fortunately, the ancient science of Ayurveda offers many helpful ways to combat day-to-day stress and enhance your body’s natural ability to throw off its effects. 

Below, you’ll find some of our top recommendations on finding stress relief through Ayurveda.

1. START YOUR DAY STRESS-FREE

When you begin your day with a good routine, it sets you up for a stress-free day by helping to keep Vata dosha in balance.

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5 Lifestyle Changes that Help Ease Menopause

Menopause can be a challenging phase for many women. With various side-effects like mood swings, bloating, joint and bone pains, etc., menopause can cripple the quality of life if you don't take necessary precautions.

However, this is also the time to bring some positive changes to your lifestyle and lead a healthy life. There are several safe and effective supplements that can help counter many side effects to allow you to lead a completely normal life. In addition to supplements, there are a few critical lifestyle changes like exercising regularly, quitting smoking, etc., that can help.

Read on to find out the five most effective lifestyle changes you must adapt to during menopause.

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Shadows and Light

On August 9, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.* For two days I moved, stunned, beneath the dark shadow of those words, which I never had imagined would apply to me. I felt as if all joy and flow in my life had vanished. I couldn’t access the inner peace that had become so much a part of my daily experience. I couldn’t hear my soul’s voice. I was lost within the dramatic scenarios my mind was playing out, all of them shadowed and sad. I grieved the loss of my connection to spirit, to trust (and perhaps to life). Then a wise friend reminded me that I didn’t have to immediately be at peace, that it was okay to feel whatever I needed to, day by day. The light of peace would eventually return, as long as I remembered not to get caught in the mind drama, and just trust the divine process of it all. He was right.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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