Feeling SAD?

Feeling SAD?

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Winter Blues.

Winter Blahs

Seasonal Affective Disorder.

SAD.

It's February. Are you feeling it?

Last week I talked about self-care and the routines that help keep me mentally healthy. Let's call today Mental Health Monday.

I've been keenly aware of mental health for a long time and in addition to the routines, the yoga, the meditation etc. that I discussed last week, there are some other key elements to mental health. I'll discuss some of them briefly, departing from my usual verbose style. Note, none of this is a replacement for advice from a healthcare practitioner:

Light Therapy

Light Therapy consists of exposure to daylight or to specific wavelengths of light. Basically, it simulates day light. Some studies show that it's as effective as antidepressants at treating SAD. Light therapy makes up for lost sunlight exposure and resets the body's internal clock. Also, sunlight generally improves mood.

English: Light therapie lamp Philips HF3319/01...

Light therapy lamp Philips HF3319/01 Energy Light. Light intensity compared to daylight (circa 11.00 a.m.). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vitamin D

Here's some information that might be new to you: Known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D isn't really a vitamin, it's a hormone. It's made on the skin when UVB from sunshine hits the skin. Only the UVB wavelength of light makes vitamin D. So now it will make sense when I tell you that pork from pastured pigs – pigs that spend a lot of time outside in the sunshine – has the highest amount of Vitamin D of any land animal. If you're a pork eater, eat lots of pastured pork in the winter.

Exercise

Staying active increases the production of feel-good chemicals. Even a walk outside. Try a walk around the block, then see if you can keep going. Or walk to where you need to run errands, because you have to go anyway (unless you have a lot to carry or the errand is filling the gas tank). A walk to pick up a few groceries or to the laundromat is a good kind of multitasking.

Borrow a dog if you don't have one

This one is part exercise (dog walk), part pet therapy. My dog sometimes gets borrowed. Cuddling and playing with a dog is highly therapeutic.

Borrow a baby or child if you don't have one.

Same idea. One of my favourite things about babies: When you smile at them, they smile back. It's hard not to feel something. Also, children are inspiring. They're full of wonder and innocence.

Herbal Supplements

St. John's Wort

According to this book, it's Nature's Blues Buster. The fact that the author is one of my family members is tremendously helpful. St. John's Wort is one of those subjects with conflicting study results – some studies say it doesn't work at all, that it's a placebo, some say that it works on mild-to-moderate depression. It works on mine, so whenever people claim that it, or anything else, is a placebo I say, “That's fine with me!” I'm all for a placebo that will keep me from feeling like shit.

English: St John's wort in Bahrenfeld, Hamburg...

St John's Wort

Ashwaganda, Astragalus, Rhodiola, Schisandra

I'm lumping these together because they're part of a class of herbs called “adaptogens”. Adaptogens help balance, restore and protect the body and modulate your response to stress. They go to work where you need it. Dr. Frank Lipman provide one of the best descriptions I've ever read:

Adaptogens work a bit like a thermostat. When the thermostat senses that the room temperature is too high it brings it down; when the temperature is too low it brings it up. Adaptogens can calm you down and boost your energy at the same time without over stimulating. They can normalize body imbalances. By supporting adrenal function, they counteract the adverse effects of stress.  They enable the body’s cells to access more energy; help cells eliminate toxic byproducts of the metabolic process and help the body to utilize oxygen more efficiently.

I use them when I'm starting to feel symptoms of adrenal fatigue. One of the symptoms that I tend to notice most (as opposed to those I don't notice) is physical anxiety without mental stress. Not all adaptogens are listed here, only a few.

Ashwaganda

Even the word makes me feel better. I really enjoy saying “ashwaganda”. To me, it sounds like the name of a place inhabited by natives, referred to as “ashwagandans”. Ashwaganda is considered one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing. As an adaptogen, it helps the body adapt to stress. Furthermore, ashwaganda is anti-inflammatory, it protects the immune system and the brain and nervous system, and it improves learning, memory, and reaction time.

Say it: Ashwaganda.

Astragalus root

Astragalus, also fun to say, is used in Chinese medicine to boost immunity. It helps reduce stress and aging by protecting cells and DNA. Astragalus is found in some adrenal support formulas.

Rhodiola

Also known as roseroot, Arctic root or golden root. It's long been used in traditional Chinese medicine, in Scandinavia and in Russia. Like the others, it enhances the immune system. A study published in 2007 in the Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, showed that patients with mild-to-moderate depression who took rhodiola extract reported fewer symptoms of depression than those who took a placebo. It's long been used to treat anxiety. A small human trial of rhodiola at UCLA published in 2008, reported significant improvement in 10 people with generalized anxiety who took the herb for 10 weeks. Rhodiola appears to work faster than conventional antidepressants. (Source: Dr. Weil) Some studies have concluded that rhodiola is neuroprotective against toxins. It's also used to reduce the effects of prolonged and physical exhaustion that leads to fatigue.

Schisandra

Schisandra is a berry used in Traditional Chinese medicine. It helps balance hormones and improves the ability to deal with physical and psychological stress. It also reduces inflammation, improves cognitive function and is neuroprotective.

Schizandra

There are 2 adrenal formulas that I've used and like:

  1. AdrenaSense by Preferred Nutrition
  2. Adrenal-Pro by Can Prev

Finally, Take advantage of the sunny days! Don't let yourself stay inside because it's cold, bundle up and go get your face in the sun. Take a brisk walk, maybe with a borrowed dog. Go sledding or skating, and follow that up with a hot beverage of your choice such as a hot chocolate with milk or golden milk. You might feel better.

Shut Up and Write (athon)

Shut Up and Write (athon)

Shut Up and Write – My Journey

This is a departure from Finding Health and Wellness, but bear with me: Through elementary school and high school I wrote a lot of fiction, a lot of stories. I had imagination and told stories with dialogue and narrative. I didn't need to “shut up and write”, I just did because I had stuff to say. My parents still have a copy of a short story I wrote called “The Elephant's Party” with 2 friends in Grade 3. I remember working on it in the school library.

When I was applying to universities I applied to both a Creative Writing program and a Journalism program. I ended up in Mass Communications, where I did a lot of report & thesis writing and fell in love with that in a way that I didn't in high school. The essays I enjoyed most in high school were reports on books I enjoyed and on topics I enjoyed researching, and then in University when I was more often allowed to choose my own topic, I thrived. I spent hours in the library pouring through books noting THEIR sources and going to secondary sources in both my university's library and the library of the “competing” university (both universities had cheer songs that mocked the other). The internet was JUST coming of age and so internet research wasn't as robust as it is now.

I thought of this yesterday as I was completing a 10-day challenge called the Shut Up And Writeathon, a free 10-day program for coaches, healers & self-employed professionals. It does what it says, encouraging participants to Shut Up And Write!

Mailing Lists Galore & Lack of Inbox Chaos

One of the many people whose newsletters I subscribe to is Stella Orange, leads these challenges. I've been subscribed to her newsletter since September 2015 and it appears that I'd signed up for some of her free classes and workshops in the past but I honestly don't remember sticking with them. I tend to get overwhelmed. I can tell you that I'm an email pack rat.

In Gmail, I assign a label to everyone whose newsletters I subscribe to and then do one of three things: Read and delete, read and archive with the label, or don't read but archive with the label anyway. I have 82 of Stella's emails. Eventually one of her programs had to stick. Stella has lead the Shut Up and Write challenge (minus “athon” it's my SEO keyword here) at other times in the past but I never signed up before because it didn't resonate.

“The Shut Up And Writeathon is a free 10-day program that takes you to the heart of whatever is NOT WORKING in your marketing, so you can face it, defuse it, and come up with your own original solution to creating great clients!“, says her website.

It didn't seem right.

Why Not?

Then this time I thought, “What the hell?”

And, as it turned out, this time the Shut Up and Writeathon complemented the work I've been doing on myself to get over my fear of using my voice and being visible. Maybe that's why I was guided to do it.

I didn't do 10 consecutive days of Shut Up And Write, but I did every prompt. Sometimes I skipped a day, then wrote two, or I'd do two days in a row, catch up and miss a day.

I struggled with day 1, but not so much because of the starting part, but the prompt: Freestyle write, then burn it.

My response to that was, “But, I journal every day, and I don't want to write anything I'll want to keep if I've got to burn it.” I thought about taking a photo of my writing but I thought that wouldn't count, and would defeat the purpose. It reminded me of the concept of the “Shitty first draft”, which Brene Brown wrote about in some of her books, crediting Anne Lamott's book Bird By Bird.

Shut Up and Write

Shut Up and Write – Write Now

I found that some days the prompts seemed tricky, and that's one of the reasons I didn't write every day. I needed time to let it marinate.

The day 10 writing prompt is this, here, now. I wrote much of it in my head yesterday, when I chose family time over writing. The prompt was this:

Write a 500-word blog post telling a story about your Shut Up And Writeathon experience, with a headline and bulleted list with 5 things you learned.

The prompt is brilliant. See, by writing this, I'm promoting Stella to my readers. And by posting a link to this post in the Writeathon Facebook group later, I'm getting more eyes to my blog.
(Hi Writeathoners, please sign up for my newsletter.)

Here I go, starting the assignment “for real” (after 800 words):

Shut Up and Write: The Blog Post.

Spaceballs: Shut Up and Write: The Screen Shot. How meta is this? I might miss my old Macbook, but the Snipping Tool on Windows comes in handy often enough.

What I learned from the Shut Up and Writeathon

  • I learned that business writing isn't completely unlike the creative writing that I used to love doing. This series of writing prompts got me back in touch with that.
  • A reminder that writing is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. Bring some fun  and joy into it, even if it's not fun. In your own writing you can choose enjoyable topics. In writing for others, ask yourself where you can find joy in it.
  • I learned that I still have a knack for dialogue, evidenced in Day 8 when I was to have a conversation, on paper, with my “mean wolf” (you could call it your ego or the devil on your shoulder). Big Bertha made 3 pop culture references. Not quite Gilmore Girls cadence (see what I did there?). I also referred to improv “Yes, and” rules. I've never taken an improv class, but I read a lot and know about it. “Yes, and” should be an important part of the writing process. Consider open-ended words and be open to possibilities. Use your inner dialogue.
  • Use your inner dialogue!
  • When you keep pen to paper and don't overthink it, marvelous, unexpected things can appear on the page.

I used my notes from Day 9 + reflection for this. The prompt: “In the dance with your mean wolf, what’s been the most helpful to you? What hasn’t been helpful? What are 3 new disciplines or instructions you have for yourself when it comes to dancing with your mean wolf, going forward?”

On Day 5 I ended up with some ideas for this website. Writing while seated on my couch next to my bookshelf on Day 4, I pulled Amy Poehler's Yes Please off the shelf. opened to the following bookmarked  page, and transcribed a paragraph. Then I shared the page with my SUAW Facebook group.

It was a wonderful experience, and now I'm over 1200 words, so I'll leave you here.
(Next challenge: Self-editing.)

I encourage comments below.

 

 

The Most Popular Health Trend of 2017…Plus, A Sweet Opportunity

The Most Popular Health Trend of 2017…Plus, A Sweet Opportunity

Keto Bundle
For years, the Paleo diet has been one of the most popular diets. However, as of December 3, 2016, more people Googled the Ketogenic diet (aka “keto”) than for the Paleo diet. The popularity of keto is only growing.

In this post, you'll read why the keto diet has become so popular and the many benefits you can get.

This post is a combination of writing by the folks over at The Keto Bundle (which you'll read about below), and my own writing.

The Basics of Keto

A ketogenic diet focuses on using “ketones” and fat as fuel for your body – rather than glucose (sugar).

Whenever your body doesn't have much glucose, it naturally produces more ketones by breaking down fats. This is how your body adapts to periods when sugary and starchy foods aren't available.

A ketogenic diet causes your body to rely more on ketones – and it does this primarily by limiting the amount of sugars and starches you eat.

The result is that your body burns fats rather than sugars (carbohydrates), you feel full more of the time, and you gain greater energy and mental clarity.

Explaining that further assuming that the words “ketones” and “ketosis” are meaningless to you:

WebMD says, “Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones….when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy.”

Ketone bodies are produced by the liver during fasting, carb-restricted diets, prolonged periods of intense exercise and starvation.

Is a Keto Diet Effective?

The main reason why the ketogenic diet has gotten so popular is because it works for so many people.

In fact, for quick weight loss and increased energy, a keto diet is often better than any other diet. This is particularly true for folks with high blood sugar or with a lot of weight to lose.

But it's also true for anyone seeking more productivity and higher energy levels.

keto diet bundle

While keto is a great tool for fast and effective weight loss, many people like it so much, they end it doing it for years at time.

And it's not just weight loss and mental clarity that people rave about. Keto diets also tend to give you better moods as well as better sleep.

Plus, there's growing research suggesting that a ketogenic diet can help prevent (and even treat) cancer as well as neurological diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. And historically, keto has been used with great success to treat epilepsy in children.

You can read more about the ketogenic diet on my friend Fawn's website and check out her page of epilepsy resources. Some might call the change in her daughter Jade's health “miraculous”. It didn't happen overnight, it took years, but it did happen.

What Do You Eat on a Keto diet?

For the most part, a ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate version of a Paleo diet.

You eat real foods but avoid the really starchy or sugary ones like many fruits (think pineapples and bananas), tubers (like sweet potatoes and parsnips), and sugars (like honey or maple syrup).

Instead, you eat lots of healthy fats (like coconut oil, ghee, tallow, lard, olive oil, avocado oil) and non-starchy vegetables, along with berries, nuts, seeds, meats, fish, and other seafood.

How does the ketogenic diet differ from similar diets? 

Other diets don't focus on being in a state of ketosis. Keto is similar to paleo, except that paleo is based on the belief of what our ancestors ate. Really, though, “ancestors” came from all over the world, and hunters and gathers ate different food depending on where they lived. My summary of the paleo diet: Eat real food. I often say that “paleo” created an entire industry that's way more lucrative than the “just eat real food” message. The ketogenic diet addresses medical issues.

What To Eat On Keto

A Sweet Keto Opportunity

Perhaps you've tried many diets before and you know that it can get expensive to buy new foods, new books, and new cookbooks.

That's why I want to tell you about the 2017 Keto Diet Bundle. It's only available for 5 days this year – February 7th to 11th, 2017.

This event includes pretty much everything you need to get amazing results on a keto diet…

keto diet bundle

There are over 84+ weeks of meal plans and 11+ Keto cookbooks (from awesome experts like Maria Emmerich, Mellissa Sevigny, Martina Slajerova, Leanne Vogel, Patricia Daly, Tasteaholics, and Vivica Menegaz). That's hundreds and hundreds of delicious recipes to keep you going.

There's also a ketogenic ecourse as well as beginner keto ebooks explaining step-by-step what you'll need to focus on.

There are even discounts on various keto foods – including discounts to Fatworks, Keto Krate, Keto Kookie, and even a free 16.9 oz carton of bone broth from Kettle & Fire. And if you need help with sleep or fitness, there are ebooks to help you with those aspects too.

Plus, the first 500 US-based purchasers will get a free sample of Perfect Keto's ketone supplement (with free shipping). Not being US-based myself, I feel like I'm missing out.

If you're on a keto diet (or are thinking about trying it), then please check this event out before it's too late.

You won't regret it, and you'll save countless hours and hundreds of dollars.

Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl Pudding Bites

Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl Pudding Bites

When I posted this a little over a week ago, I didn't know that my second version of smoothie bowl would provide me with two types of treats in one bowl.

I'll keep this introduction brief, because when I find a recipe on someone's blog via Google I don't want to read through their entire narrative, I just want the recipe.

As I said in that Instagram post on Tuesday of last week, I craved a warm smoothie after a snowy dog walk. I usually cringe at the idea of a “smoothie bowl”. It's a trend that I don't understand. Why put a smoothie in a bowl when you can drink it from a nice glass and a glass straw, like the ones from Strawesome? (I own around 4.) I prefer my smoothies more liquid than thick. I don't want to eat smoothies with a spoon. That's like soup.

And yet, rather than a regular hot chocolate smoothie, I wanted to try something new and be adventurous. I also wanted to use “superfood powders” that I've had in my cupboard for years, because I don't use them anymore and don't want to throw them out. For many years I was a hoarder of superfood powders. Now I'm over it.
(If you subscribe to my newsletter you might get a free ebook called, “5 Superfoods That You Might Already Have in Your Kitchen” and if you don't, email me. I'm working on updating the book with updated links and don't know if it's automatically sending with newsletter subscription confirmations anymore. Updates to the book and such are on my to do list.)

Brief explanations about the superfoods used follows the recipe.

Two days after making the first hot chocolate smoothie bowl I made another one that was even better because I included the ingredients that I'd forgotten in the first round.

Using my favourite Genuine Health products

This smoothie bowl also uses two of my favourite products from Genuine Health: Greens + Extra Energy (cappuccino flavour) and fermented Greek yogurt proteins+.

No one from Genuine Health knows I'm posting this. They haven't sponsored it. I'm not being obsequious. I haven't been to a GH promotional event in a long time. However, it was around this time last year that I was introduced to Greens + Extra Energy (as I posted one year ago yesterday- with my introduction to fermented Greek yogurt proteins+ being five months later). This recipe finally killed my big container of greens.

Something cool about this recipe which I discovered after (as you'll read below): It contains many mood-boosting ingredients! I could call it “The Anti-Anxiety Hot Chocolate Almond Smoothie” or “The Mood-Boosting Hot Chocolate Almond Smoothie” or, if you consume it in its “after” stage, “Mood-Boosting Chocolate Almond Smoothie Bites”.

As a smoothie, it will be thin liquid at first but with the gelatin, it will thicken as it cools and no longer be “hot chocolate”. (More on that below the recipe.)  If you want it thicker, add the suggested oats.


Yield: 1 serving

It's gluten-free, sugar free and can be made with or without dairy.

Hot Chocolate Almond Smoothie

(A prettier, printable version with less detail follows.)

Ingredients

1 C milk of your choice (dairy, almond, rice, etc.)
2 Tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder (I like the Organic Traditions brand)
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp grass fed gelatin powder (I use the one by Great Lakes)
1/2 Tsp vanilla powder (also Organic Traditions) or a drop of vanilla extract.
Optional: 1/4 C rolled oats

2 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp Genuine Health Fermented Greek Yogurt Proteins+ (or other vanilla protein powder of your choice).
1 Tsp chaga mushroom powder
1/2 Tsp gelatinized maca
1/4 Tsp slippery elm powder
1 scoop of Greens + Extra Energy, cappuccino flavour
1/2 banana
3 pitted dates (for sweetness)

Toppings:
Banana (definitely), cocoa nibs, hemp seeds – if you want/have.

Directions

Option 1

  1. Add the gelatin powder to your measuring cup where you pour the milk. Stir and let sit for one minute. It will be smooth.
  2. In a small pot, combine milk-gelatin powder mixture with chocolate powder, coconut oil,   vanilla, and oats (if using). Whisk as you bring it to a boil.
  3. Transfer to a blender (I use a Vitamix) and add the almond butter, protein powder, chaga mushroom, maca and slippery elm. Put the lid on tight. Blend until creamy and smooth.
  4. Pour into a bowl and top with banana, hemp seeds and cocoa nibs, or pour it in a nice glass and drink it.
    (Brands of hemp seeds I prefer are Manitoba Harvest and Ruth's Hemp. I'm not too brand loyal with cocoa nibs but am currently enjoying a big bag of Giddy YoYo.)

Option 2

Instead of heating the milk/gelatin in a pot you could heat it in the microwave alone and then transfer it to a blender with the remaining ingredients and blend. I suspect that using a stick blender in the pot would work too instead of a whisk + blender.

Notes

  • Instead of gelatin powder you could use Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate, which is cold water soluble.
  • Please don't go out and buy all of those powders, unless you want to, and unless you're going to use them again. Use what you've got. You can omit them all if you'd like. I recommend always having vanilla powder, cacao (obviously), coconut oil (my favourite head-to-toe oil) and almond butter around, but save your money and don't buy the rest just for this. I do always like to have the Collagen Hydrolysate on hand, but that's because I use it to make my own Bulletproof-inspired coffee.
  • Don't worry if you get globs of gelatin in the pot. The blender will break it up.
  • A brief description of the superfood powders used is located at the bottom of this post.
hot chocolate smoothie bowl ingredients-labeled

After initially posting this I made it again & took this photo. A few pinches of ginger made it in this time. Click to see it bigger.


IMPORTANT: IF YOU HAVE LEFTOVERS…

Put the bowl in the fridge (or transfer to a container). When you remove it, the gelatin will have transformed the smoothie from liquid to solid snack that's between a pudding and a Jello – a creamy Jello.

If you've ever made Jello or cooked with gelatin you know that  it dissolves in hot water and sets to a gel when it cools. I wasn't thinking about that when I put my smoothie in the fridge. I knew it would thicken, and it certainly thickened as I ate (I eat slowly), but I didn't anticipate how thick it would be after refrigeration. How thick? It went from this:

Hot Chocolate Smoothie cooking

To this…

 

Hot Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

To this… Ta da! I present to you Chocolate Almond Energy Pudding Bites:

Chocolate Smoothie Bites

I like how the banana looks. Imagine if I'd transferred the smoothie to a container, and then either sliced into squares or used a cookie cutter.

Yes, I should choose a name and stick with it.

If you want a chocolate-almond butter pudding-like snack…

…make the recipe above, immediately put it into a container and chill.

I will use a 1/2 Tbsp of gelatin next time and report back.

Disclaimer:

If you use Greens+ Extra Energy, and you're affected by caffeine, don't consume later in the day. You could use another greens powder but I think that here, cappuccino flavour was key. I've had to remind myself not to sneak bites later in the day. It looks like dessert. The next time I make this I probably will omit the Extra Energy for this reason.

A cool observation:

On Monday morning my mental state was in rough shape. I was having an existential meltdown after finding an old journal/workbook that, upon reading some of it, upset me and made me question my life. After eating a few squares of this I felt so much better. It was like I'd taken an anti-depressant. It could be coincidence, but here's my theory:

  • Chocolate is mood-boosting. Cocoa boosts the brain neurotransmitter serotonin, which affects mood, anxiety and happiness. Further research lead me to a CNN article with this information: “According to a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in May 2013, those who drank a chocolate drink once daily (the equivalent of 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate) reported feeling calmer and more content than those who didn't.” Here's the study.
  • Some of the ingredients in the Greens+ Extra Energy are mood boosting/balancing. I went to have a look at the ingredients to check that theory and found a lot of mood-boosting ingredients in there, including:
    • Ginseng, a powerful adaptogen that helps your body cope with stress. A study published in Human psychopharmacology in August 2010 found that 200 milligrams of ginseng for eight days slowed the fall in mood. The 400 milligram dose improved calmness. This wouldn't have affected me after a few bites, but it's worth noting.
    • Rhodiola, another adaptogen, which I sometimes take as a supplement to help with depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies have shown Rhodiola to significantly reduce symptoms in patients with mild to moderate depression
    • L-Tyrosine, an amino acid used to produce dopamine. Tyrosine improves mood and stress response and supports energy and motivation. According to WebMD, People take tyrosine for depression, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other issues.
  • A little bit of research told me that one banana contains up to 10 milligrams of neurotransmitter dopamine.

…Now, I'm not sure that small amount I ate would affect my mood, but there is an indication that it could have.

A brief explanation of the superfoods used

Chaga mushroom powder
Among chaga's potential heath benefits: Supports the immune system and balances it, has high antioxidant and antimicrobial activity, could help protect your cells

Maca
Maca is rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. According to various studies, maca helps balance hormones in both women and men, is beneficial for libido (female and male) and fertility. Black maca has positive effects on sperm production. In addition to that, and related to it, maca has a positive affect on mood (as does increased libido), energy and stamina. Yes, sexual stamina too. People call it the “sexy root”.

Slippery elm
Slippery elm contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. It coats and soothes mucous membranes  in the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines while also absorbing toxins that can cause intestinal imbalances. It soothes inflammation in the stomach and small intestine.

So, go on and make this mood boosting drink/pudding-like snack.

Tell me: What would YOU call the smoothie and the chilled version?

Click here for a prettier & printer-friendly version of the recipe
Massive Discount on Your Shining Year Products

Massive Discount on Your Shining Year Products

Create Your Shining Year

In a recent post, I mentioned that I tend to buy productivity planners and abandon them. It's just my way. I bought some recently, though, and I couldn't keep this to myself when my mission is to connect you with cool shit.

Leonie Dawson is having a HUGE clearance sale on her Create Your Shining Year Biz & Life workbooks. I've bought these ones numerous times and they're great.  Leonie has thousands of satisfied customers.

In Leonie's words:

So – I made a fairly large ordering mistake this year… and ordered WAY too much printed stock! We've still sold more than we did last year… we've continued growing which is SUCH a beautiful thing… but I have so much stock leftover… and I don't want it sitting around in warehouses when it could be out there helping people now!

So for the first time in history… I am having a HUGE STOCK CLEARANCE SALE!

You'll score a WHOPPING 50% off EVERYTHING – printed workbooks + planners, bundles and digital products.

The day she released the offer to her email list, it crashed her server for hours. (A good lesson for people having a big product launch.)

Here's why I think you should buy it:

  1. If you're like me and have a habit of buying planners and abandoning them, then it's less of a financial commitment.
  2. For my fellow Canadians, the 50% makes the U.S.-Canada exchange rate much more tolerable.
  3. If you buy the digital products, like I did, you don't have to pay for shipping. That's great for Americans, extra great for Canadians.
  4. Leonie's products really are awesome. Don't take my failure to use the tool as an indication that they're not. For one, they're GORGEOUS.  I'm in awe of her graphic design skills. Secondly, they're comprehensive. Third, they're inspiring.

Testimonials about the Shining Year products:

I love these workbooks and have used them for years for my life and business. Whatever I write in there ends up happening. I highly recommend them.

-Nathalie Lussier, founder of software startup AmbitionAlly.

I’ve been using the workbooks for a few years now. They’ve allowed me to achieve some really crazy goals I’ve set for myself. I’m a huge fan. They are a must-have if you want to create an amazing year. Make sure you grab them.

-Denise Duffield-Thomas, author of Lucky Bitch.

I follow both of those women online. You'll find more testimonials here.

With this amazng sale, the highest price is $32.50, for the Your Shining Year Biz Bundle. This includes both print + digital versions of her Biz Goals Workbook, Life Goals Workbook & 2017 Weekly Diary/Planner + 2 print copies of the 2017 Wall Planner (one for your office + one for your home).

I bought the digital versions for the 2017 Shining Year Workbooks bundle with the 2017 Life Goals Workbook, the 2017 Biz Goals Workbook, and the 2017 Dairy/Planner. That bundle costs $10.95 in U.S. dollars, the default for most online purchases.
Together, it all cost me less than $15 Canadian. The exchange rate has been brutal for Canadians for a long time but sales like this make it palatable.

The three books contain nearly 600 pages combined.

Three potential ways I envision interacting with the digital versions:

  1. Visit a local printing store to have all three books printed and bound.
  2. Visit a local printing store to have all three books printed on 3-hole punched paper, and add them to a binder myself.
  3. Fill it all in online.

With options 1 & 2 if I mess up any pages when I'm filling them in, I can print them out myself. The paper quality might not be as good, but I'm okay with that.

With option #3 I could always print out pages as needed.

I do recommend buying the hard copies, though, on their original quality paper. You won't regret it.

I do want to remind you that as well reviewed as these books are, your mileage may vary. The best product for you is the one you'll use.

Eat Dirt! A Book About Leaky Gut

Eat Dirt! A Book About Leaky Gut

Eat Dirt!
Hippocrates is famous for saying “All disease begins in the gut”. According to Eat Dirt author Dr. Josh Axe, if you have any of these issues, then chances are you have leaky gut:

  1. Food allergies or food sensitivities
  2. Autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or lupus
  3. Poor digestion, bloating, gas, constipation, loose stools, heartburn and nutrient malabsorption
  4. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), including, IBS Crohn’s or colitis
  5. Thyroid issues such as hypothyroidism, Hashimotos thyroiditis or Graves disease
  6. Adrenal fatigue, candida and slow metabolism
  7. Mood disorders, including anxiety, depression and autism
  8. Chronic pain in joints and muscles, including arthritis and headaches
  9. Skin problems, including eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne and age spots

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