58. Healing better.

the sleep edition

In my humble opinion sleep is the foundation of true health and wellness. 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night is the golden standard meaning, it’s a non-negotiable for me.

Our body’s need sleep to be fully functioning, healthy, and resilient. Sleep refuels, rejuvenates, repairs, and restores us. According to the Scientific American, “Sleep serves to reenergize the body's cells, clear waste from the brain, and support learning and memory. It even plays vital roles in regulating mood, appetite and libido.”

So how is your sleep?

If you’re the average client I work with, you wish you could sleep more and better at the same time you’re continually convincing yourself you can get by with 5-6 hours a night. Unfortunately this is far from the truth.

Chronic sleep deprivation puts major stress on the body. The way we live our lives in the 21st century—spending hours on the computer, checking social media throughout the day, over-scheduling our days, and not taking adequate down time for true rest and relaxation—causes our bodies to be flooded with stress hormones which in turn leads to all sorts of not-so-fun things like anxiety, brain fog, concentration and memory issues, and even insomnia. Add in the blue light from your screen and you have a cocktail of circadian rhythm disruptors.

SLEEP HYGIENE

  • Keep a consistent schedule. I try to go to bed around the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends. Initially this was hard but after doing this for over 18 months, it’s easy. During the week I am in bed by 9pm and up by 5am. On the weekend, I vary those hours by no more than an hour in either direction. This means I’m usually in bed by 9:30-10pm and up by 5:30-6am.

  • Unplug. There are zero electronic devices in my bedroom besides a white noise machine/alarm clock which wakes me up with daylight to promote those normal circadian rhythms. This is the device I use.

  • Optimize your bedroom: My bedroom is dark, quiet, dark, and night it is on the colder side. Cooler temperatures are best for sleep promotion.

  • Eating + drinking: I avoid caffeine after 2pm. I usually eat my heaviest meal at lunch. I do not snack after dinner and try to give myself a 3 hour window between dinner and going to bed. If I drink more than a glass of wine at dinner, I notice I sleep poorly so I do limit myself to 1 glass if I’m drinking that night.

  • Movement: Being physically active during the day can help you fall asleep more easily at night.

  • Unwind: Use a mind-body practice—meditation or mindfulness practice—or read or brain-dump in your journal to help calm your nervous system. A hot Epsom salt bath is also a great way to promote restful sleep.

STRUGGLING WITH SLEEP?

I am here to help! I have a wonderful toolbox of resources including mind-body practices, helpful herbs/botanicals + supplements, and other supportive measures to help you invite high-quality and adequate sleep back into your life.

We can also work on creating a plan for problems like autoimmune or chronic diseases which can greatly affect the quality of sleep you’re getting. Remember, not sleeping well can make the issues you’re already dealing with worse.

Sleep can feel easy and joyful. You can wake every day feeling rested. Let’s make it happen for you!


This week’s writing prompt:

  • What have you been leaning on to distract yourself or help yourself unplug?

  • How often do you feel the need to unplug? Ask yourself: is it because you’re avoiding something? Or because you need a break?

57. Wellness + Movement

on health + goals + living your dream

I have been asked several times recently about why I chose to be an Integrative Health Practitioner. One friend shriveled up her nose and asked, “Who wants to talk about poop and parasites every day?” That would be me 🙋🏻‍♀️

My short answer: I wanted to show us fully as myself each day. I wanted to feel more joy each day ✨✨✨

I have always wanted to be in the health and wellness field. Always. I didn’t want to do the traditional college route. In high school I told my mom and stepdad I wanted to become a doctor. They told me it was impossible because I struggled in math classes. In college I worked at a bakery and around the corner from the bakery was an herb school. I proposed becoming an herbalist. That was a firm no. All through college and grad school I toyed with the idea of becoming a massage therapist. That was also shot down. Every single time. So I did the work, finished my degrees, and all the while I read books on Ayurveda, herbs, healing, nutrition, traditional medicine.

The turning point for me was after choosing a non-Western medicine approach to handling my Hashimoto’s, fibromyalgia, and Sjogrens, and actually feeling better (it is possible!). This is what I wanted to help others experience; I want to put your healing back into your hands. That revelation (and a supportive husband) gave me the confidence to complete training in Ayurveda and Integrative Health. It felt like I’d finally landed where I was meant to be and had fully stepped into my own life.

I reached my goal. It took a while and the route wasn’t always clear to me. If you haven’t found that spark, that thing that makes you come alive when you talk about it, it’s not too late!

I knew there was a bigger reason behind my dream of working in the health and wellness field. What is the bigger reason behind your plans, your dreams, your ideas? Maybe you want to write blogs and social media posts to connect with people. Maybe you want more job security, Maybe you are looking for a way to challenge yourself. There is no wrong answer.

I can’t answer your why but I invite you to sit down and think about your WHY. Make notes. Make lists. Research.

Then hit reply and tell me you're why. I'd love to hear from you!


Use these writing prompts to help you get clear on your spark: What about your goals? What goals do you want to achieve? What things do you want to do? Which people do you want to spend time with?

What is your ultimate goal?


Local friends, there are still a few spots open to come yoga with me under the live oaks! This will be an all levels class. Come prepared to play and have fun!

56. Wellness + Movement

on secret lives + detoxing

Have you ever dreamed about having a secret life? It’s been a thing for me ever since I was a kid. I had a couple of different secret life options as a kid—in each secret life I had a name and a backstory, I knew what made each secret life version of me tick. It’s still a fun game I play with myself from time to time, especially when I am feeling particularly overwhelmed or stressed but it’s a game now played in an adult way.

A couple of weeks ago, while house-sitting for a friend, I had this epiphany that I could have a secret life while house-sitting, I could check out from my day-to-day life and spend an entire weekend in retreat, in exploration of some questions that had been banging around: What if I enjoyed myself more? What if I felt freer to do the work I love? What if I could fully embrace unselfconsciousness and say, Who cares?

It was a weekend of inquiry. It looked a lot like the photo up there: me, a journal, and warm cuppa tea moving between bed, sofa, and the back deck. I thought hard and questioned harder. Every time I hit on something, I asked myself, What does this mean for me? Who am I when no one else is looking?

Here’s what I learned about myself on my secret life weekend retreat:

  • I like privacy. A lot.

  • My work process is personal. I get invested. I want clients to feel better and see results.

  • I need to make smarter use of my limited time to do the work I love. See above.

  • I have started revisiting a practice that I learned from a friend and mentor back in college: marking transitions. The practice only takes a short amount of time and it always brings clarity, loosens the tightness I’ve carried home in my body, and slows my racing mind. When I come home from work, I sit in my room for a few minutes, eyes closed, one hand on my belly, breathing slowly. Sometimes it takes seven breaths, sometimes seven minutes. I do it without imposing time constraints. It takes the time it takes.

  • I need to come to the table without expectations. I have been working on this for most of my adult life. Sometimes I excel, sometimes I fail. I do know that my best practice is letting go of expectations and then, when my mind tries to make it into something, I flip the script, I lean in, I let it be love or a prayer.

Talk to me about your secret life. Do you have one? Do you run from it? Have you ever considered claiming part of your day for you, for your own purposes? For me, claiming time is an act of freedom. It feels a bit laissez faire to remove yourself from the world where validation comes in the form of likes, where comments and unsolicited responses rule the day, but imagine what that might feel like.

Start today:

What if I enjoyed myself more?

What if I felt freer to do the work I love?

Who am I when no one else is looking?
What would you do or make if all you had to do was please yourself?
Who are you when no one is looking?


I will be undertaking a seasonal detox this week with a group of people ready to start spring off in better health (Interested in joining us? Reserve your spot in our summer group here). Yay! I will follow that with a Full Moon Parasite Protocol next weekend so there will be lots and lots of self-care happening in my house over the next 10ish days: I’ll be opening up my drainage pathways with the Functional Medicine Detox, then the Parasite Protocol, spend time in the infrared sauna, do a couple of castor oil packs, and yes, even a coffee enema (your girl knows how to have fun!).

I’m slowly adding information about all of these things on my website (see links below). If there is something you would like to learn more about, reply to this email or pop into my DMs on IG and let me know!

55. Wellness + Movement

on stress + showing up for ourselves

I was home alone yesterday and even though I knew I should be working, I did things like the clean the cat’s litter box, restock toilet paper, and water house plants. Why? Because I love to piddle and faff about before I sit down to work. By the time I settled in and found my work rhythm, the front door was opening and the family was back. I was annoyed by the disturbance and it showed. I had to apologize later.

I spent some time thinking about why it their early return made me upset when I had technically not used my time to work as best I could. It’s two prong: 1. I do not have a large house or a dedicated space for work so I work at the end of the dining room table. This means if kids are watching tv, I hear it. If they’re in the living room squabbling, I hear it. If they (and by they I mean the husband and the kids) have a random thought, they’ll mosey on up and fill me in on whatever was passing through their brain pan despite the fact that my eyes are fixed on my screen and my fingers are typing. 2. Feeling guilty about being upset by their early return, I decided to escape to a shower. And while I do not grasp the magic that makes thinking in the shower so much better than say, thinking while folding laundry, but it occurred to me that in the previous twelve months, I’ve had no focused time alone.

My time is fragmented and interrupted. This means my thoughts are fragmented and interrupted. It means my exchanges and calls with friends are fragmented and interrupted. No wonder I feel like I’m drowning most of the time. And all the hot baths and getting up before everyone else for a few minutes of peace is me keeping my head above water while my legs are still furiously treading water below the surface. I know I am not alone in this. While this might be my reality over the last year, many women have lived like this for years. I see you. I feel you.

Did you know that chronic stress leads to imbalances in our health? Ongoing stress can lead to issues like adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, blood sugar dys-regulation, and low functioning thyroid.

I work with women every day to bring their body back into balance. I’d love to hear how you’re doing and how you’re digging in when you have more than a few minutes to yourself. I know what practices work for me (dry brushing before my shower, oiling my feet, moving my body daily) but I’m also curious to know what kind of self-care practices work for you. Life isn’t about running on empty. Your tank is refillable. The question is, are you going to refill your tank with practices that help you live thrive or merely survive?

PS: If you’ve ever wanted to run Functional Medicine labs, this week the Big 5 labs are on sale for $999 (normally priced at $1500). These five labs offer a comprehensive deep-dive into your overall health and well-being. I love this kind of testing because the results don’t just answer the question of WHAT is going on in the body but WHY. This is how you get to your root cause. Want to learn more? Get in touch!


This week’s writing prompt:

Write a list of your go-to ways to take care of your frazzled heart/mind/spirit. Pick one to do every single day this. It can be the same one seven times. It can be a different self-care practice every single day. It can be as simple as sitting still long enough to enjoy a cup of coffee in silence.

At the end of your practice, make note of what worked and what didn’t. Were you able to fully be in the moment? How did you feel after? This simple practice can help you learn how to show up for yourself again and again.

54. Wellness + Movement

thoughts on resilience + tools for building it

One thing I wanted to focus on this year was developing resilience. Life is challenging. We all deal with comparison, criticism, despair, discouragement, disappointment, having no ideas, having too many ideas, indecision, perfectionism, procrastination. These are the voices in my head, maybe in yours too although I suspect that for each of us the cacophony of voices taking up space in our head is slightly different. That cruel inner critic knows exactly what your pain points are and how to poke them just so to make you squirm in discomfort.

Our subconscious mind makes up 95% of all of our thoughts. That means most of our actions are predetermined by the unconscious loop we live by. Consider that for a moment.

So how do we change those thought loops? How do we build resilience? These are the tools I’m using:

Practice self-care. Tend to my heath (emotional, mental, and physical).

Have a posse. Find someone you can truly be yourself with. And then find another someone that is in your corner. These are your people you will turn to for a shoulder to cry on, for encouragement, for sharing a laugh. Grow your posse slowly and with care.

Turn to your work. By work, I mean the work that is meaningful to you. It may be what you do at your job. More likely than not, it’s going to be the work you do after hours, on the weekend, the work that lights you up and turns you on.

Find sanctuary. This can be an inner sanctuary. It can also be a physical space. Maybe it’s a room in your house. Maybe, like me, you live in a small house so it’s an out-of-the-way corner in a room. Either way, it is a place for you to do your work (see above), to dream, to be you.

Journal. Put words on a page to get them out of your head. Those looping thoughts that create self-doubt are better on a page than taking up precious real estate in your head. I like journaling as a tool because when the inner voices get loud and I begin to doubt myself, I can turn back through pages and pages to see that I have experienced this before as well as see past successes and wins.

Move your body. One of the most effective ways to stop those looping words in their tracks is to move your body.

What tools do you rely on to build resilience and to hush those critical voices in your head?


This week’s writing prompt:

When you begin cycling through an endless loop of pain points, write them down list style. For each point that you write down, ask yourself, Is this true? If it is, write true next to the word. For each true point, write down how you can change it, how you can use this pain point to build resilience.


It’s almost time for our spring detox — join us!

I plan to start my 7-day Functional Medicine Detox on Saturday, March 20, the first day of spring. What better way to kick off spring cleaning than taking care of health?!?

This 7-day FM Detox is for you if you’re ready to get rid of:

  • Bloating and water retention

  • Low energy

  • Low mood

  • Slow metabolism

  • Inflammation

  • Joint pain

  • Brain fog

Learn more here. Still have questions? Reach out!

Are you ready to feel better and lay the foundation for good health?

JOIN US

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