Breathing. Day in, day out – you’re breathing. An automatic function your body performs without you even consciously thinking about it. Unfortunately, as time has passed, we have changed how we breathe. And though you may not think so, how you breathe can affect many things in your body and…Read More
Reading is powerful. Reading can transport you to other worlds, different times and magical adventures. It can open your mind, expand your consciousness and inspire change.Read More
Let's be honest. When life gets busy, whether this is your regular life or it's a once in a while occurrence, your healthy lifestyle can get tossed aside. You don't have time for hour-long yoga classes or extravagant dinners so how can you stay on top of your health and mental wellness? Check out these 5 Tips for Healthy Living When Your Schedule Gets Busy.Read More
Oh summer is here and that calls for BBQ's! Vegan's can BBQ just as good as a meat eater, and to prove it, try these Pulled Mushroom Burgers. Topped with tangy vegan coleslaw and a side of roasted potatoes - hang on, just started drooling.Read More
The journey to your true, authentic self is not an easy one. it involves getting really REAL with yourself, calling yourself out on habits that are keeping you unhealthy, stuck and sad. I've been on this journey for several years now, and I have to say it doesn't really get easier. You just learn how to navigate it, you learn how to accept yourself and let go of anything holding you down.
The downs get shorter. Less deep. More manageable. Then something you thought you'd healed comes back around on a deeper level and you're sitting there wondering "hey, didn't I deal with this already?!
That's the journey, beautiful soul. Growth isn't a straight line. It's a spiral. Every time you up-level to that next version of you, getting closer and closer to your highest self, the same issues surrounding self worth, self love and authenticity come around. But in a bigger way. Because you're getting to the core of it. And sometimes those limiting thoughts and beliefs run deep.
But enough about where I am now. I thought I'd get a little vulnerable with you about where I started... Here's my story.
2015 was probably one of the darkest years of my life. It was my rock bottom. After struggling with low self worth, depression, anxiety among other issues for close to 15 years, this was the year I called myself out on my own bullshit. Easy? Fuck no. Necessary. 100%.
Nothing changes until you reach this point of being so OVER where you're at. That you are ready to do whatever it takes, no matter how awkward, difficult or downright uncomfortable it is. This point comes sooner to some than others. It's a point when you finally start listening to that whisper in your soul.
Telling you that there's more to life. That there's happiness to be created. That there's passion to feel. That there's life to live.
This little voice whispered to me for years, I ignored her.
I wasn't ready to face myself. I wasn't ready to take the responsibility for my situation. Because my situation was my responsibility.
I may not have actively chosen that path, but my actions chose it.
I didn't care what went into my body. Crappy foods, lots of alcohol and zero exercise laid my foundation. Negative thoughts, overthinking and judging of myself and others built upon it. Not following a passion, working jobs I hated and not learning anything new was the cherry on top.
Mind, body, soul - all being neglected and abused.
— What I Believed
I'll be 100% honest, I never went to the doctor for my depression and mental health issues. I was never diagnosed. But I knew what I dealt with. I didn't need a doctor to confirm my suicidal thoughts meant depression. That my fear to leave the house was anxiety.
I also felt a lot of resistance to go to a doctor for any of this. I knew even in my darkest moments that I wanted nothing to do with "traditional" mental health treatment. I didn't want medications. I didn't want doctor's visits.
Though I didn't know the word at the time, I wanted a holistic way to heal. I wanted a natural way.
I am so sincere when I say I wish I had known about health coaches or mentors at the time, because it would've made me feel so much less alone.
It would have confirmed that everything I believed was possible. That what I ate, if I moved, what I thought and believed, and how I nourished my soul could actually heal depression.
Not many doctors tell you that.
But this is my journey. And being alone through this was what I needed to go through to get to where I am.
— And Now
The reason I say that I had to experience what I did to be where I am is because I would not have gone to The Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a Health Coach had I not realized how much I needed someone like that then.
I went to school so that I could help "me" from back then.
I have no regrets, no ill feelings, no wishes that my life had been different. Because my life, my struggles and challenges are the literal reason that I am currently building a business doing something I love and am extremely passionate about. I never would have found this had I not seen the other side.
So the point of me sharing my story is this.
You are not alone.
What you believe IS possible.
You CAN heal holistically and naturally.
I'm here to help - reach out (email@example.com) with any questions about coaching you may have.
Love & Light
Ever heard the phrase "sleep when you're dead"? Living in a fast paced, go-go-go society leads to this mentality that sleep is for the weak and there's no time for it. The fact of the matter is, quality sleep will affect both your physical and mental health, so it's pretty important to get those hours of rest!
— The Importance of Quality Sleep
Sleep issues have long been associated with mental health issues, but it was always as a side effect of them. Now more is known about how sleep is actually affecting your mental health, not the other way around. A consistent lack of quality sleep affects the part of your brain that regulates emotions. Due to fatigue, you can struggle with your ability to control your emotions which leads to stronger feelings of negativity which can further impact your sleep patterns. And the cycle goes on.Sleep deprivation not only leads to more negative emotions but also mood swings and more erratic behaviour.
— Sleep Quality and Depression
When it comes to depression, sleep is a funny thing. You can feel like you're sleeping all the time when you're feeling depressed. You experience a lack of energy and motivation that leads to lethargy and sleeping more than usual. But this sleep isn't a good quality sleep hence why you end up feeling consistently tired. Sleeping too much can be just as detrimental as sleeping too little.
— How to Improve Sleep Quality
Here are a few tips I love that ensure sleep is restful and deep:
- Stop the use of screens at least 30 minutes before bed to allow your mind to wind down.
- Spend 5-10 minutes doing slow and gentle holding stretches which will loosen your body.
- Meditate or spend 5 minutes deep breathing to calm both your body and mind.
- Reduce sugar intake throughout your day but especially in the afternoon and evening as this can disrupt your sleep.
- Create a bedroom oasis. Calm colours, quiet space, curtains or blinds to ensure darkness.
- Don't work in bed. Make sure your body and mind know that your bed is for sleeping!
- When you wake up in the morning or when you're alarm goes off, get up! Hitting snooze or dozing can actually make you feel more tired than if you get up a bit earlier.
Do you feel you get at least 8 hours of deep and restful sleep? What are some tips you can try to improve your sleep quality?
Love & LightWhitney
The term self care covers many different activities, mindsets and habits that are all centered around, you guessed it, caring for yourself. But there's a lot more that goes into self care than you might think. Hint, it's more than bubble baths and pedicures. Here's what self care really means.
— Self Acceptance
Part of caring for yourself is accepting yourself. As you are, right now in this moment. Flaws, mistakes, insecurities and all. Easier said than done, right? There can and will always be growth, changes and shifts to explore, but the real key to self care and a balanced mental state is accepting yourself, wherever you may be, right now. Moving forward through growth from a place of self acceptance actually sets the foundation for more sustainable and healthy change.
— Self Love
Another big, trendy term right now. But it's important and again, it builds a strong foundation for any form of growth. Millions of women struggle with truly loving themselves. I know I struggled with this for many years. Self love really just means being kind, gentle and patient with yourself. You don't need to do, have or be anything other than your unique, authentic self and realizing this is self love.
— Remembering Your Own Needs
The only activities that need to fall under self care are these. Your own needs. These can vary week to week or day to day. These will vary from person to person. But true self care, is ensuring all your needs are met. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. Taking a rest when you're tired, choosing a healthy meal when you need energy, taking a bath if you need alone time, asking for help or guidance when you're struggling with something. Take time each day to ask yourself what needs you need to take care of.
— Remembering Your Worth
This one is simple. Definitely not easy. But simple. You are worthy. Right now. You are worthy just by your very existence.
— Self Forgiveness
We all make mistakes. We all say something we may later wish we hadn't. But, we cannot change the past. What's done is done. The only control you have is to choose differently in the present moment. Release regrets and understand that every "mistake" or "failure" you'e experienced is something you can learn from. You wouldn't be where you are today without each and every experience you've had. Practice gratitude and forgiveness for your past. And choose differently in the present.
— Asking For Help
Last but not least. Self care can sometimes mean asking for help. I believe everyone has the power within themselves to heal, change and grow. But I also believe that having guidance through counselling, a coach, mentor or friend is extremely powerful. Don't feel shame in asking for help if you need it. Looking after yourself and your needs sometimes requires outside support.What area can you spend more time exploring in your self care? Where can you show yourself more kindness and release shame surrounding how you show up for yourself?
Love & LightWhitney
One of the simplest things that you can do to improve your mindset and your mood is to have more fun. Bring out the child in you. Be silly. Laugh. Play. It can be the last thing on your mind when you're depressed but engaging in activities that are just plain silly or fun are huge mood boosters. Here are 5 ways to create more joy in your daily life.
— 5 Ways to Create More Joy in Your Daily Life
Emotions are part of the human experience and I believe we all need to connect with our emotions and truly feel them. Let them move through you and then try some of these activities to release any heavy feelings that linger.
Crank your favourite upbeat tunes and dance. Be silly and be free. Let loose and release all that tension. You'll be smiling in no time.
Another amazing way to release tension and let go. This is one of my favourite things to do when I'm driving. Cue power ballad.
Not for the sake of exercise. Run like a child. Run free. When was the last time you ran as fast as you could for no reason other than it felt fun?
Colouring books aren't just for kids. These are great for boosting your mood and getting your creative juices flowing. Colouring is extremely soothing when your struggling with anxiety.
5.Get Into Nature
I will suggest this for any ailment or mental health issue you're dealing with. Nature heals. Get yourself onto grass, dirt, under the trees and breathe deep.
Find ways to bring your inner child to the surface. These activities are best done when you're alone and you can be silly and weird without thinking of anyone else watching. Just have fun.
Love & Light
Have I shared with you how much I LOVE Caesar Salads? I think I have. Needless to say, when I first went vegan I had a hard time. I missed Caesar salad, a lot. A little while ago, I shared the recipe for my epic Vegan Caesar Salad Dressing which you will need for this recipe. This one has a little twist. Try this Kale Caesar Salad with Spiced Chickpeas. You won't regret it.
Kale gets a bad rep these days. But maybe people are so hard on it because they haven't had it in a way that is freakin' delicious? That's my theory anyways. I love kale. It is incredibly nutrient dense so try it again, alright?
Kale offers Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium. Plus more. It's high in antioxidants. It has cancer fighting properties.
The list goes on.
I'm of the mindset that if a food is really good for me, I'll keep trying it in different recipes until I really enjoy it. Kale is one of those. And this Kale Caesar Salad is the recipe that will change your mind about kale.
Now I know some foods just aren't for everybody. And that's 100% okay! Eat what you enjoy and what feels good to your body. For example, I can't seem to get around to liking beets. Or olives. I've tried. Some things just aren't for everyone.
Kale Caesar Salad with Spiced Chickpeas
A new take on an old favourite. Vegan, nutrient dense with a delicious garlic, creamy dressing.
- chickpeas (rinsed and dried)
- vegan Caesar dressing
- squeeze of lemon juice
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Rinse and dry the chickpeas.
Toss chickpeas in olive oil and spices until all coated.
Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes. Flip, shake about halfway through.
While the chickpeas are roasting, make your Caesar Dressing.
Now you can prepare the kale. Rip into bite sized pieces, removing the inner stem.
Wash and dry, then add to a bowl with a squeeze of fresh lemon, salt and pepper.
Massage your kale for about 5 minutes.
Once the chickpeas are done add to kale.
Pour over dressing - personal preference on how much dressing you like!
Toss until everything evenly coated.
Hope you enjoy!!
Food is medicine.
Love & Light
A large part of the journey to fulfillment in life lies in your career path. Do what you love, love what you do. We spend the majority of our lives "at work" so if it's something you don't enjoy, doesn't align with you as a spiritual being or isn't fulfilling then those feelings spill over into the rest of your life. Leading to anxiety, stress and feeling unsatisfied or hopeless.
— Find Work You Love
- Make a list of all your strengths, interests and passions. At the moment don't worry what career these can translate into. Just focus on writing everything down that you truly enjoy.
- Now spend some time looking into career paths that may include what you listed above. Don't be afraid to think outside the box - there are thousands of ways to earn an income out there and so many that we have no idea about!
- When researching careers, keep in mind your desired lifestyle. Do you desire to work for yourself or someone else? What are the hours you would be happy working? Do you desire more freedom in your work life than a 9-5 might provide?
- Reach out to professionals who are established in the field you're interested in. These people can offer guidance and information.
- Start down the path. Is there schooling or courses involved? How can you learn more about your desired profession?
- Learn and establish yourself as an expert in this field. Reach out to companies you'd like to work for, begin building your own business etc.
- Most importantly - be patient! Finding work that you love and enjoy will take time and maybe some trial and error. But stick with it, it's worth it.
— Love The Work You Do
- Request to work on projects that interest you. Express the areas you’re passionate about to your employer or supervisor so that you can potentially focus on those areas more.
- Surround yourself with colleagues and others who support your work.
- Always be open to constructive feedback and work to improve your weaker areas.
- Celebrate your wins and goal accomplishments at work with primary foods (non-food sources). Ex. Long walks, a massage.
- Make your office environment for attractive, pleasing and peaceful. Ex. Invest in a comfortable chair, add flowers or plants, hang motivating quotes.
- Keep learning. Though you may have been in this career path for a long time, make sure you take time to expand your knowledge and learn something new. This will keep your work interesting and engaging.
It's important to spend time with your interests and passions and develop career aspirations out of them. And if you truly want to stay in the career you're already in - it's important to make that as fulfilling for you as possible.
Love & Light
I think it's safe to say that you know how sugar affects you. You know that if you consume something sweet and sugary you'll experience a boost of energy and a sugar high and probably a lull or crash soon after leaving you craving another boost. But do you know how sugar impacts your mental health? And are you aware of the damage that this continual cycle with sugar is causing your gut? How the heck do you break the cycle when sugar is everywhere and you're kind of addicted to it?
— How Sugar Could Be Harming Your Mental Health
The ups and downs of a sugar high and the crash can exaggerate mood symptoms. Research has even tied high amounts of sugar consumption to an increased risk for depression. There are a few theories of how sugar can impact depression, one of them being that sugar is a cause of inflammation in the gut and brain. And this inflammation can disrupt your gut flora and the production of important chemicals/neurotransmitters needed to maintain a healthy mood balance.
A diet high in refined sugar can worsen anxiety and impair your body's ability to cope with stress. Symptoms such as shaking, tension, nervousness and even panic attacks can be caused by (or made worse by) sugar consumption.
— 8 Ways to Reduce Sugar Consumption
Sugar is a highly addictive substance that is added to almost all processed and pre-packaged foods. Cutting down your consumption can be tricky, but here are some tips to help you overcome sugar addiction.
1.Reduce or Eliminate Caffeine
The ups and downs that come with caffeine can include dehydration and blood sugar swings, causing sweet cravings.
Sweet cravings can sometimes be caused by dehydration. When you're experiencing a craving, have a glass of water and see if that helps.
3.Eat Naturally Sweet Foods
Consuming more fruit and naturally sweet vegetables will help curb the unhealthy sugar cravings.
4.Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Switch to gentle and natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, dried fruit or stevia. Though these should still be consumed in moderation.
5.Move Your Body
Start with simple activities such as yoga or walking for 10 minutes a day then increase. Being physically active balances blood sugar levels, boosts energy and reduces tension.
6.Get More Sleep
Sugar is a quick energy source when your body and mind are exhausted. Increase your sleep quantity or quality to help reduce cravings caused by being tired.
7.Eliminate Fat Free Snacks
Healthy fats can actually help balance blood sugar. And fat free or low fat snacks are usually loaded up with sugar.
8.Experiment With Spices
Spices such as coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves can naturally sweeten foods and will reduce your sugar cravings.
Kick refined sugar out with some of these tips from above and feel the balance that can come to your mental health.
Love & Light
Self care is an important pillar behind health, and it goes far beyond mani-pedi's and massages. Self care is an activity that nurtures and refuels you at a deep level. Self care rituals are habits that support you and all aspects of your life. There are 6 areas of your life to consider when it comes to self care and I will dive into those today, offering some easy rituals you can begin adding in to your routine.
— The 6 Aspects of Self Care
Physical Self CareTaking care of your body is a large component of self care but it doesn't have to be complicated or overwhelming. The key to physical self care is consistency. Here are some great examples:
- healthy diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables
- regular exercise and some form of daily movement
- ample quality sleep
- daily outdoor time
Emotional and Mental Self CareThis area of self care focuses on becoming more attuned to your emotional and mental state. Habits here help you process emotions in a healthy way. Activities such as:
- journal practice
- morning and evening routines
Spiritual Self CareThis doesn't refer to religion. Spiritual self care nourishes your soul and spirit, deepens feelings of inner peace and encourages you to find purpose and meaning in life. Try some of these activities:
- nature walks
Relationship to SelfRituals that fall into this category are meant to deepen and nurture the relationship you have with yourself. This involves getting to know yourself more, shifting how you speak to yourself and more. A few rituals you can try:
- daily journal
- vision boards
- alone time
- goal setting
- celebrating your own successes
— Self Care With Others
Relationship to OthersHow you interact with others is actually an important part of self care as well. Surrounding yourself with others with similar visions and who inspire you is an important part of life. These are some helpful tips:
- joining a group or club with similar interests
- time with friends
- time with family
- communicating your wants and needs
Work Self CareWork is a necessary part of life and it's important to pursue work that you are passionate about and truly enjoy. Whether you work with others or not, implement a few of these habits to deepen your self care surrounding work:
- boundary setting
- taking time off
- goal setting
- learning new skills
The more you place importance on self care rituals, the more aligned and connected you will feel with yourself. You are a multi-faceted, unique being so it's important to customize and practice activities that feel right to you.
Love & LightWhitney
Gut health is one of the most important parts of your body to begin healing when coming from a place of depression. Your gut and your brain are closely connected and I've spoken about this a lot. You can check out a previous blog post I wrote all about the Gut-Depression Connection.But how do you actually go about healing your gut? Read on for 4 steps to healing your gut and in turn beginning to heal your brain.
— How To Heal Your Gut
Step One - Remove FoodsFor the following steps to have more of an effect begin to eliminate all the foods that are wreaking havoc on your gut health. This includes processed foods, dairy products, sugar laden foods, gluten and most vegetable oils.This first step can feel overwhelming, so start by adding more vegetables in, cook a few more meals at home and become aware of some of these gut-harming foods that you may be consuming.Take it slow and do one step at a time. Remove one unhealthy item and replace it with something nourishing. Then tackle another.Step Two - Repair Gut WallNow that you've removed foods that are causing damage, it's time to begin the repair process. Eat more healthy fats such as coconut oil and avocado. Take a fish oil supplement (find my favourite here).L-Glutamine is an amino acid you can purchase at a health food store that will help repair your intestinal wall as well. It can be easily found in powder form and added to smoothies.
— Now to rebuild...
Step Three - Rebuild MicrobiomeThe elimination of harmful foods has taken place and the repair has begun. Now it's time to rebuild your microbiome. Microbiome is a fancy term for all the healthy bacteria living in your gastrointestinal tract. These are responsible for many functions, one of which is the production of several neurotransmitters that balance mood.Take a probiotic supplement (here's my fav - I take it every day), eat fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and miso paste as these all help rebuild your beneficial gut bacteria.Step Four - Reduce StressHealing your gut will actually help you reduce feelings of anxiety and stress but it's important to do your part as well. Stress will negatively impact your gut and slow the healing process. Begin a meditation practice, implement morning and evening routines, take a daily nature walk. All these activities help reduce your stress levels when practiced consistently. Remember that healing your body and your mental health takes time. Don't rush, don't get overwhelmed and just take things one step, one day at a time. Invest in seeing a naturopath, a coach or talk about things with your doctor when you feel unsure about your journey.
Love & LightWhitney
Although we're heading into Spring, there's still time for some warming soups. And this one is yummy and probably one of the easiest soups I've ever made. I'm a big sushi fan and every time I go, I make sure to get a miso soup. Well, turns out it's pretty easy to make it at home too! So today I'm sharing my recipe for Homemade Miso Soup.
Miso soup is nourishing, it's warming, it's soothing and it is really beneficial to your gut.
I think so.
Plus, it's way easier than you might think (definitely easier than I thought) to make at home.
I'm not sure why I thought it would be complicated. There aren't very many ingredients and miso paste is pretty easy to find at any grocery store.
Miso is a fermented food so it adds more beneficial bacteria to your gut. I really love this soup as it supports my mental health, this is because it's incredibly gut-nourishing.
It's also rich in essential minerals and a good source of some B vitamins, vitamin E, K and folic acid. Miso is very protein rich and with the addition of the brown rice ramen and tofu, we've got the protein covered in this recipe.
Read on for the recipe for Homemade Miso Soup!
Homemade Miso Soup
A gut nourishing, simple Miso Soup to warm you from the inside out.
- 1-2 cloves garlic (grated)
- 3-4 green onion (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 block extra firm tofu (cubed)
- brown rice ramen noodles
- 1 tbsp ginger (grated)
- 10 button mushrooms (thinly sliced)
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 4 tbsp miso paste
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- splash of soy sauce
In large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute garlic, ginger, green onions and mushrooms for 1-2 minutes.
Add in broth and water and stir, bring to low boil.
Add in ramen noodles and tofu and turn down to simmer for 10 minutes or just until noodles are cooked.
Remove roughly 1 cup of liquid and whisk miso paste into this off the heat.
Remove soup from heat and stir in miso liquid.
Season with pepper and splash of soy sauce if needed.
Serve with garnish of fresh green onion.
The thought of healing depression can be daunting and overwhelming. It's so important to take things in small steps. Which is why I really want to share with you a few ways to nourish your mind, body and soul. These are all small goals that you can slowly begin to incorporate into your days. Remember that small steps lead to massive changes over time so take it slow!
— Nourish the Mind
-Stay Offline One Day Per Week-Let your mind rest and not be constantly online and exposing yourself to other people's energy.-Meditate Every Morning-I get it, meditation can seem super intimidating. But start with just 5 minutes a day. Check out the Insight Timer app to help you get started.-Journal Every Day-I love this one. It get everything going on in your mind out onto a page and can help stop the rumination and overthinking. -Limit Screen Time In The Evenings-We get so much screen time all day long, it's important to give your mind, your energy and your eyes a rest. You'll also sleep better if you turn off the screens a while before bed.-Gratitude Journal-Take 5 minutes each day (I do this in the morning after meditating) to write down a few things you're grateful for in that particular moment. This helps shift your mindset and improve your mental wellness. Download my free Guide to Gratitude here.
— Nourish the Body
-Daily Walk-Begin with just a short 10-15 minute walk each day. Anytime of the day. Just get your body back into some movement. This greatly improves your mood.-Drink Water-Do you reach for pop, juice or another form of liquid when you're thirsty? Choose water instead of sugary pops and juices as sugar is detrimental to mental health.-Exercise-Find some exercise your truly enjoy and incorporate a few times a week. This can be going to the gym, running, yoga. Movement is medicine.-Eat Your Veggies-So much of depression is caused by a lack of nutrients, so ensure you're getting lots of veggies into your diet daily.-Try Meal Prepping-Make a few things ahead of time, or make double batches of things like brown rice or quinoa. That way, when you're having a particularly rough day - you have healthy food choices already ready.
— Nourish the Soul
-Rest-Make sleep a priority because it supports your body, mind AND soul. Give yourself permission to rest and head to bed a little earlier. Check out this post to begin crafting your nightly routine.-Learn Something New-This is so soul-nourishing. Find things you are curious about and learn more about them.-Declutter Your Space-A cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind and soul. So get rid of things that no longer bring joy and create some space.-Switch To Natural Hair And Body Care-You might think this should fall into the body category, but it's actually very soul nourishing because it feels so good to be using chemical free and natural products on your body.-Reach Out To Someone-Having a deep or inspiring conversation is one of my favourite soul supporting things to do.
Love & Light
Okay, by now you've heard me talk about the direct connection between what you're eating and how you're feeling right? If not, let me just say, I strongly believe in the power of food when it comes to healing depression. So here I am today to give you some tasty examples of food that will boost your mood.The outlook on depression is changing, and I am really happy about it. The connection between nutrition and mood are being explored more and more. This is SO important. Instead of automatically being pushed towards medications (which in my opinion is just a band-aid), there are other aspects you can look at to actually heal your mood. So read on, friend, and start adding some of these amazing foods into your diet.
— 10 Foods That Will Boost Your Mood
1.Nuts and SeedsNuts and seeds contain important omega-3 Fatty Acids which are sorely needed for our brains to function optimally. Ensure you're getting adequate amounts by supplementing (I'll link my favourite brand here) but also eating omega-3 rich nuts and seeds. Flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and chia seeds are all excellent sources.2.BananasBananas are high in vitamin B6 and B vitamins are super important when it comes to mood, positivity and energy. They contain healthy carbs and natural sugars and can also aid in serotonin production. Bananas are high in potassium which helps fuel your brain and also magnesium which has calming effects and can help you sleep.3.BerriesBlueberries, strawberries and raspberries can help prevent the release of cortisol which causes stress. These berries are also high in antioxidants which boost brain function and nervous system health.4.Vitamin DFood sources fortified with vitamin D can be very helpful here, but it is important to supplement with this one as well (you can find it here). Soy, almond, hemp and rice milk are usually all fortified with vitamin D so adding these in can be very helpful.5.AvocadosProviding healthy fats and packed with B vitamins, avocados are essential to a balanced and mood friendly diet. I personally try to eat a whole avocado per day.6.BeansBeans are high in iron which supports energy levels and muscle strength among other things. It can also boost your mood and reduce the feeling of fatigue that is common with depression.7.Leafy GreensThese guys contain vitamin C, are high in antioxidants and can increase your energy levels. Spinach, kale, broccoli and parsley are great additions to your diet.8.Sea GreensSea vegetables contain tryptophan which is an essential amino acid for the brain's serotonin creation. Kelp, seaweed and spirulina can help boost energy levels and your mood.9.Dark ChocolateYes! Dark chocolate is commonly known to improve your mood as it contains high levels of antioxidants. Small amounts (about one ounce) consumed each day can reduce cortisol levels and raise your dopamine levels making you feel happier and more focused. Note - adjust your taste buds because milk chocolate doesn't work here, go for at least 70% dark cacao.10.Complex CarbohydratesHealthy carbs provide sustained energy and help production of serotonin. Simple carbs such as white bread, pasta, sugary baked goods cause a sugar spike followed by a crash leading to depression and anxiety. But complex carbs such as sweet potato, brown rice and quinoa provide sustained energy and quality nutrients.Here's a BONUS one for you.11.Fermented FoodsGut health is tightly linked with mental wellness and consuming food or drink that are fermented will provide healthy bacteria to your gut. Kombucha, water kefir and saurkraut are great ones to try out. Also important to supplement with a probiotic (find my favourite here) to support your gut health and ultimately your mental wellness.Experiment with these foods above and feel the difference in your mood and energy. Get into the habit of fueling your body and mind with the nutrients that are needed to function optimally and happily.
Love & Light
Mindfulness as a practice has been around for a long, long time but only somewhat recently has it made its way into Western society. With a rapid rise in mental health disorders like anxiety and depression in North America, the need for mindfulness is huge. It's all too easy to get wrapped up in work, commitments, and being overly busy. Living life this way for any length of time leads to stress, disease and mental illness. Let's dive in to some of the benefits a mindfulness practice provides, and also some great tips on how to remain mindful throughout your day.
— Health Benefits of a Mindfulness Practice
♥ Stress Reduction - research shows that a consistent mindfulness practice helps reduce stress and improves emotional well-being. It does this by reducing cortisol levels which is the body's main stress hormone.
♥ Lowers Blood Pressure - studies reveal that meditation and mindfulness can lower your blood pressure. Practiced on a consistent basis, this is extremely beneficial.
♥ Decreased Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke - by lowering your blood pressure, you can reduce your risk of stroke and other heart related ailments.
♥ Better Mental Health - mindfulness has become an integral part of treating mental illness and has great effects on those suffering from anxiety and depression.
— 10 Ways to Remain Mindful Throughout Your Day
Incorporate moments of deep breathing throughout your day. Close your eyes and follow each breath into and out of your belly.
Instead of multi-tasking and becoming unfocused and stressed, learn to focus and complete one task at a time.
♥ Slow Down
Trying to accomplish everything super speedy leads to more mistakes and higher stress levels.
♥ Release Emotions
Emotions are human, suppressing or blocking them leads to disease and mental illness. Learn to recognize an emotion that arises, let yourself feel it, learn what you need to from it, then release it.
♥ Connect With Nature
Nature has serious healing benefits. Step outside at least a few minutes each day and breathe deeply.
♥ Eat Well
Don't eat and work. Don't eat and scroll. Make yourself healthy and nourishing meals and enjoy them slowly and without distraction.
♥ Take Breaks
If need be, schedule in a few breaks during your day, they need only be a few minutes. Take this time to check in with yourself and breathe.
Become aware when judgement crops up, whether of yourself or others and practice releasing it. Judgement helps no one.
♥ Connect With Your Senses
Practice connecting with each sense separately and calmly. It's a practice that grounds you and brings your mind to a calm state.
♥ Just Stop
Sit. No phone. No device. No music. Just be.
Love & Light
What's better than warm, freshly baked muffins? Maybe ones that are whipped together in 10 minutes and take only 20 to bake? These Banana Raspberry Muffins are incredibly easy and quick to make. So easy, you'll be baking these every week. And why not? They're healthy, moist and make a great afternoon snack.
I've experimented with a lot of different vegan muffin recipes over the last little while. And while I do love trying out different recipes, I stick with ones that are easy and require simple ingredients. Sometimes, there's too many different flour options, to many sweeteners and on and on.
But not here. Minimally sweetened. Simple flour. 10 ingredients.
Read on for the recipe for Banana Raspberry Muffins!
Banana Raspberry Muffins
10 ingredients. Minimally sweetened. These easy Banana Raspberry Muffins are the perfect afternoon snack.
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 6 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- sprinkle salt
- 2 ripe bananas
- 3/4 cup plant milk (I used cashew)
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 3/4 cup frozen raspberries
Preheat your oven to 350° and spray muffin tins with a cooking spray.
Mix together dry ingredients.
In separate bowl, mash bananas.
Add in remaining wet ingredients to bananas.
Combine wet ingredients into dry and mix until combined.
Stir in raspberries.
Portion into muffin tins.
Bake for 22 minutes.
Okay, heading off to make a batch of these bad boys right now. Hope you enjoy!
Meditation has some serious scientifically studied benefits backing it. This powerhouse of a habit is one of the best ways to calm your nervous system and reconnect with your own energy and breath. I want to share about meditation more and more as I believe every single soul on this planet should be meditating - whether you think you "need" to or not. So today I'm sharing my 8 Reasons to Meditate Daily.
— reasons to meditate daily
1. Meditation can result in brain changes that protect against mental health conditions.Starting off strong here, with my number 1 reason to meditate daily. Meditation practiced every day actually has the power to change your brain. This practice protects against many mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. You experience less anxiety in day-to-day life as meditation loosens connections to particular neural pathways. Science shows that people who meditate have more control over how their brain processes negative sensations (like pain) and negative thoughts (such as depression triggers).2. Meditation helps process emotions, even when you aren't actively meditating.I love that this practice continually supports you even when you aren't sitting in meditation. Practicing for 5 minutes daily can be enough to help you process your emotions for the entire day. As a sensitive and emotional person myself, I have become much more balanced and less reactive since I began meditating.3. Meditation is leads to more creativity and new ideas.This one if pretty awesome because we are all creative beings, even if you don't really think you are. Creation comes in many different forms and meditating can encourage this process. It allows periods of stillness and quiet into your life and this is where new ideas really flourish.4. Meditation is linked to feeling less stressed.Chronic stress and anxiety is extremely prevalent in society today and it's leading to disease and depression. Having meditation as a tool to support you, you can reduce the stress you feel on a daily basis and actually lower cortisol levels.
and even more reasons to meditate daily —
5. Memory improvement. What a great way to actually improve your memory. As I mentioned above, meditation has the power to actually change your brain, in more ways than one, as it helps your memory improve. It can also help cut back on distracting thoughts, improving your focus which of course boosts memory.6. Get better sleep.With all the screens we look at today, sleep is suffering. And sleep is an incredibly important part of a healthy mind. Science suggests that meditation before bed can reduce insomnia and help you sleep quality improve.7. Improve eating habits.Distracted and emotional eating are all too common these days. Research actually suggests that meditation can improve eating habits and help you cut back on emotional eating.8. Be nicer.Meditation improves your mood, making it more likely that you'll feel kindness towards others. This practice is linked to more feelings of laughter and empathy and also promotes a more team-oriented mentality. We're all in this together.It isn't always easy to begin a new habit, especially if you have no idea where or how to start. Check out the @insighttimer app to find free, guided, beginner meditations to help you get started.
Love & Light
Do you feel you really know yourself? Have you spent time in reflection considering what it is you truly want out of this one, wild and precious life on Planet Earth? When asked what you desire, how you want to feel, what lights you up - do you answer "I don't know" or become fearful? It's okay! This is all a journey. Living life on auto-pilot, disconnected from your dreams and your true inner self leads to depression and feeling out of alignment. Time spent with a journal is one of the best practices that will pull the truth out of you, guiding you to where you really want to go and want you really want to do. Here are 20 Journal Prompts for a Deeper Connection to Self plus I've included a downloadable PDF for you.
— grab your journal, friends
1. When I wake up in the morning, how do I most want to feel?2. What does my ideal day look like?3. What do I need more of in my life?4. What do I really need to let go of in my life?5. What self limiting beliefs are stopping me from pursuing my dream life?6. What is success to me?7. What brings me joy?8. What am I grateful for right now?9. What do I most need to heal right now?10. What do I love about myself?
get deep, let the words flow —
11. If I could make a living doing anything I wanted, what would that be?12. What do I need to forgive myself for?13. What would I do if I wasn't afraid of failing?14. How can I add more fun into my everyday life?15. How have I been sabotaging myself from reaching my goals?16. What lights me up and makes me feel powerful and alive?17. How can I add more value to the world?18. How can I show myself more love and kindness?19. How can I connect deeper with the Universe?20. What are the three most important feelings I desire to feel everyday?These journal prompts are a fantastic starting point to creating the reality you desire. Spend some time in a quiet space and really let the answers pour out of you. No one else will see these. But the answers will give you an idea of your next steps. Create the life you are aligned with, the life you love, the life that makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning for. It's all up to you.