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Releasing Your Wounded Inner Child

love-inner-child-burning-man-sculpture-1

‘What comes to mind when someone talks about “your inner child”?  I used to think of  the inner child as that innocent, carefree, hopeful, silly person deep inside that we somehow lost track of as life progressed, and the responsibilities of life began to weigh us down. I allowed myself to believe that we all used to be innocent and carefree as children and somehow we needed to find our way back to that “inner child” in order to live life to the fullest.  While this can be true, for many of us, myself included, I did some reflecting and realized  something  life changing,  I realized I don’t ever remember being  a carefree, innocent, secure, hopeful child.  For me, and like many others, my childhood was riddled with trauma and dysfunction.  My parents, whom I loved very much, were wounded warriors themselves. They also carried inside of them a wounded inner child .

“I am talking about the whining little brat that lives in the back room of our mind, that unhappy victim who always can be relied upon to blame everyone else for our unhappiness.”  Sound familiar? The wounded inner child does not want us to look at the pain and suffering we have endured, it can’t! It is not capable of processing such deeply disturbing emotions, so it holds onto the pain like a tattered teddy bear, refusing to let go of the old, worn out, broken companion. The wounded inner child never allows for something new that could bring comfort and joy to it’s life. That tattered teddy bear may look like a useless toy to anyone else, but for the wounded inner child, it’s the only comfort it knows.

“Our spiritual evolution depends heavily upon our recovery from the worst addiction, our addiction to the victim archetype, which traps us in the past and saps our life energy. The inner child represents nothing but a metaphor for our wounded, cutesy form of victim consciousness”

wounded

 

It always seems to go back to our childhood.  What is the infamous line you hear every shrink use? “Tell me about your childhood”.  It makes perfect sense.  We form our opinions of the world around us by what we observe from our earliest caregivers, usually our parents, but not always (which could be a traumatic event in itself).

Holding onto your inner child only holds you back, because that child represents your past wounds. While you want to move on with your life, you may be surprised to find that your inner child may want to move on too! How is this possible? There is a lot of tools out there to help one release their painful pasts.  There is therapy and medication,  (which we know does not release the pain, it only masks it).  Often times we self-medicate, setting ourselves up to become addicted to anything that numbs the pain and further stunts our ability to “grow up” and live the life we always dreamed of. What is holding you back from releasing your “wounded inner child”?

We are now grown up, it is time to let go, We must be willing to do the work if we are to “grow up”.  Being a Certified Life Coach and Certified Hypnotherapist, I believe in the power of Holistic Healing. I would like to suggest a meditation that could be life changing.  It is a meditation script in which we can come face to face with this wounded child and set it free. Are you ready to let go?

Sit comfortably, and take three deep breaths allow your body to relax. . Notice any areas of your body that remain tight. Consciously relax them, knowing that during this meditation your body will continue to relax with every breath you take, and soon you will be profoundly relaxed from head to toe. Now look inside yourself and find the room in which sits the young person who has willingly carried your pain. Find the inner child who holds your memories of being abused, ignored, betrayed, abandoned, unaccepted, unloved. As you come upon this little person in that room, notice that he or she is surrounded by ledgers and score lists. The walls of the room are covered with people’s names, what they did to you and what punishment they deserve. In the ledgers, the child keeps a careful tally of all the times someone victimized you and what it cost you. Notice the joylessness of this room. As you look at this young child, realize how sad he or she really feels locked down there alone with the pain, mired down in victim consciousness. Realizing that it is time for a change, you walk across the room and throw open the windows to let in the light. As the sun floods into the room, the ink on the wall charts starts to fade and the books start to crumble and become dust. The lists on the wall also fall to the ground and crumble. Look at the little person who has lived in this room for all those years, a prisoner of sorts. It has been keeping resentment scores day by day. See his/her broad smile and joyous expression, knowing you have come to set him/her FREE! “Now I am free to go,” the child says. “Go where?” You ask. “I’m free to go to the next place. I should have left years ago, but I’ve been waiting for you to release me from this job.” Suddenly you notice that this person, who was young and childlike such a short while ago, is growing old and becoming wizened and grey-haired right before your eyes. Yet, a great peace has replaced his or her sadness. “Thank you for letting me go,” he/she whispers in gratitude. Please unlock the door and let me go. You look into your hand, and suddenly you are holding a large key, you know what you are to do with it.  You say, “I’m sorry it’s taken so long to bring light into this room. I’m sorry I’ve held you back.” “That’s quite alright,” comes the quiet reply. “It really is okay. Time is just an illusion anyway. ” With that, the little person walks towards you, you see that there is has a keyhole over his/her heart. You gently insert the key and turn the lock. A little door above his/her heart opens and a rush of stale, heavy wind rushes out and is released from the soul of the wounded child. The physical body is released from all the pain, suffering, resentments, hurts and sorrow, he/she is free! As you notice the room feels stale and heavy with the negative air/energy that has been released, suddenly a gush of wind rushes into the light filled room and sweeps away all the dark, heavy air that filled the room only  a moment ago. He/she is free from the life that has held it prisoner to all the pain. He/She looks peaceful and serene. Lovingly, you wrap your arms around this inner child. You embrace him/her and you are both filled with an energy so powerful, so beautiful, a surge of hope, love, peace and happiness wash over you both. You take the key and realize you must unlock the door to let your inner child free to live the life it has wanted to live. You unlock the door and she/he goes upstairs and out into the light. There waits a horse and buggy, and angels hover nearby. A choir of angels sings softly. All the people who have ever been in your life are waiting to pay their respects and shower you both with love. All past hurts are forgiven. Love is everywhere. The bells on the horse and buggy ring softly as the entourage slowly begins its journey to the hill where celebration has been prepared. At the celebration site, everyone sings and great joy envelops the group. Your angels are with you and support you as you say your last farewell. See the little person slowly being carried away by the angels, the celestial choir sings. As the child grows smaller and smaller with the distance, you feel a new sense of freedom and love moving through you. You walk to the bottom of the hill where you find a fast running stream. You wash your hands and your face in the water and see your reflection in the water. You feel the cleansing water of the stream running through your being, taking with it all the dust and debris from the room where the little person once dwelt. Hear the sound of the water babbling over the rocks. See the sun sparkling on the water, and feel the warmth of the sun on your body. Notice the green of the surrounding fields and the many bright flowers around. All is well. Open your eyes whenever you feel ready to do so.

Being without your wounded inner child will feel strange for a while, but you also will begin to notice some positive changes. You will feel lighter, less burdened, more in the moment. Your life energy will increase as you retrieve the energy that previously was spent holding onto the wounds of the inner child. Be prepared to encounter problems with close friends with whom you previously spent time sharing wounds. They will not like the change in you, for they will see that you no longer give your wounds power. Since they remain committed to their wounds, they may be uncomfortable with you; they may even begin feeling as if you have betrayed them. If you are member of a support group that thrives on the sharing of wounds, be prepared to disconnect yourself from the group. You probably will find your need to attend group meetings diminishing . Stick to your guns, and do not take personally other people’s attempts to disconnect from you or talk of betrayal. These people will come around eventually and probably will want some of what they see you have gained.  You now see limitless potential. You no longer carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. You no longer carry around the shame and guilt that was a part of your woundedness. YOU ARE FREE!

happychild

This meditation is a example of one of many wonderful guided imagery or hypnotherapy scripts that can be used to help you transcend.  You may try it by yourself. It might be helpful to read the script and record the story so that you are free to visualize the powerful images.

I would highly recommend that you work with a skilled Certified Hypnotherapist and Life Coach like myself to work through releasing your Wounded Inner Child.  What have you got to lose? That’s right, pain, depression, anxiety, shame and fear.  You have the rest of your life waiting for you to live.  And like me, the struggles you overcome will become a great source of strength. Your “MESS” can become your “MESSage”!

Blessings

 

 

WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE?

I AM

As human beings, we get to CHOOSE. We get to choose to live the way we want.  We can choose health, happiness and gratitude, or we can choose to make unhealthy choices, ruminate on painful pasts and live in a victim mentality. That is a small example of choices we encounter every moment. We have the beautiful gift of CHOICE, What will you choose?

The path to being Holistically Healthy means choosing actions that will enhance our well being, paying attention to the Trinity of Health, The Mind, Body and Spirit. When you hear, “you are what you eat” it does not necessarily apply only to food, it can be anything you feed yourself, your thoughts, your actions, your choice of entertainment, and the friends you choose to spend time with. Are these choices enhancing your life, or holding you back? What is keeping you from fulfilling your greater destiny?

The Universal law of attraction tells us we will attract the things into our life that we think about and focus on. If this is true, what are you attracting? What do you want to attract? Being in gratitude and focusing on our blessings will  attract more of what we want, we attract more abundance.  This is not to say we don’t encounter challenges, but we learn from those challenges and we Thank The Universe for this lesson and  move on.

GRATITUDE

TODAY I CHOOSE…

  • TO BE GRATEFUL.
  • TO LOVE MYSELF AND OTHERS.
  • TO NOURISH MY BODY WITH HEALTHY WHOLE FOODS
  • TO FEED MY SPIRIT WITH LOVING THOUGHTS ABOUT MYSELF AND THE WORLD AROUND ME.
  • TO FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE ASPECT OF EVERY SITUATION I ENCOUNTER.
  • TO STAY CONNECTED TO MY HIGHER POWER.
  • TO BE OF SERVICE.

WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE?

I CHOOSE POSITIVITY!

Negative or positive, opposite signs

I think every person struggles with negative thoughts and behaviors at one time or another, some more than others.  I would be lying if I said that I didn’t.  I actually have to work pretty hard at keeping negativity at bay and choosing to look at the positive in any given situation.

I have fallen victim to self-defeating habits in my life.  I made a decision 3 years ago to stop drinking alcohol. I have just over 3 years of sobriety.  It sure took me a long time to realize my coping tool wasn’t working for me the way I believed it was. I fooled myself for many years into thinking I was “managing” my stress when I drank! I wasn’t an everyday drinker, I didn’t have to become a rock bottom drunk to realize I needed to stop, but that didn’t mean my drinking wasn’t destructive.

The sad truth is, alcoholism runs in my family. EVERYONE in my family drank, so in growing up I learned that drinking is how you cope with life. If you’re stressed, DRINK! If you’re happy, DRINK! I used alcohol to cope. In doing so, I didn’t learn how to deal with my emotions very well.  In a sense, I stopped growing emotionally once I started drinking.  But, what I believe now, is that I was still learning, just learning what didn’t work in my life.  I have learned to make peace with my past.  It is work in progress. I MADE A CHOICE, I CHOSE POSITIVITY. Alcohol was my way of dealing with negative emotions, it may be different for you.  Perhaps it’s gambling, shopping, food, sex or drugs.  The truth is there are MANY ways to alter your perception and avoid negative feelings.  The good news is, there is a different way to live! We can CHOOSE POSITIVITY, we can reframe those negative feelings and learn from the emotions that are meant to tell us something important.

reframe

Since I am relatively new at managing emotions, sometimes I let negativity creep in and I want to nurture it, let it fester.  In the past, that would be an excuse to drink, so I would find something to be upset about and feel like I was entitled to a few drinks! And that helped me avoid coping with those wretched feelings.  I liked to live in the victim mentality. NOT ANYMORE! I have learned to see that most of my miseries were a direct result of my actions.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t been a victim at certain times in my life. Yes, I have been hurt by people I loved and trusted. I had no control over some things that happened to me as a child,  it is what it is.  As we know, we cannot change the past, but we can change the way we view it!

I am so grateful for the turn my life has taken.  In the last few years, I have felt such a sense of peace about all the struggles of my past. Failed marriage, troubled children, losing my parents, abuse, neglect, etc.  When I made a decision to face my fears and learn how to process them, it brought me to an amazing place of growth and acceptance! What a great training ground my life has been!

Sometimes though, I have negative thoughts, and I have to make a decision to acknowledge them, find out what the truth is about the present feelings and work through them. What do I have to learn from this? I may need to talk it out with someone, pray, meditate or just wait for those feelings to pass, they always do.  I found that REFRAMING is a great way to turn that negative self-talk into positivity.  I then release it.  Those thoughts can look something like this;

  • I am too old to start a new career.
  • My health is going to make it impossible to do all I need to do to be successful.
  • My Son (who is an addict) is going to die, and then my life will be ruined, I will die of a broken heart.
  • My Autoimmune disorder is going to progress, I hate being in pain all the time, LIFE IS SUCH A STRUGGLE!

The negative thoughts could go on and on! They are usually exaggerated.  With the power of reframing, I can see the reality, and that looks something like this;

  • I am not old, I am experienced! You can get a restart at any time in your life, up until you leave this earthly existence (and then really, that is just another restart!)
  • I am healing! I am learning to heal my body through Holistic Measures, and that is a gift, I am now able to help others to heal!
  • My Son is alive, and I have no way to know what will happen. He may get sober! He may die. I have no control over what he does. I will survive this. I refuse to dwell on that.  I will live in the NOW. I will not bury him in my mind one more time.
  • My health is improving, yes I have some pain, but it could be worse, it is getting better, and everyone struggles with one thing or another.

When I am really struggling with my emotions, it is usually due to lack of sleep or lack of structure. My routines that have been put into place for my betterment may be out of balance. It is important to eat  Healthy Foods, Sleep, Pray, Meditate, Exercise, Socialize and to get out of SELF, I reach out and help others.

Through my training as a Certified Life Coach and Hypnotherapist, I have developed some amazing tools to help me when it gets a little too heavy.  I have found hypnotherapy to be an amazing tool!  I can do self-hypnosis, it’s all about calming my mind, releasing my fears. My head can spin out of control if I let it. I am a (mild) type A personality, I like to be in control of things and when things get out of control, I get very uncomfortable.

poswall

It has taken me a long time to learn how to CHOOSE POSITIVITY, I am learning to Let go and Let God…It takes practice EVERY DAY! But it is worth it! I am so grateful to be where I am today.  I am able to be happy most of the time because I choose to be. I choose to do the work that is necessary to be HAPPY, JOYOUS AND FREE!

OUR WEDDING DAY-OUR TRAINING GROUND

wedding day OurWedding Ceremony – Performed by Native American Medicine Man Mario Blackwolf,

What do a Man and Woman do when they are in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together? Well, some couples choose to marry, and that is what Dave and I did this last weekend, April 22, 2017, in Sedona, Arizona. We are now joined together spiritually, and legally as  “Man and Woman” or in western terms “Man and Wife”.  What a huge blessing.

What does this have to do with being Holistically Healthy?  Everything! Being healthy holistically means you are seeking wellness in every area of your life, Mind, Body and Spirit.  Of course, you don’t have to get married to have a healthy loving relationship. This was a personal choice between my Husband and me.

Relationships are an integral part of living a healthy life.  In the “Blue Zones”,  places that have the highest concentration of centurions, there are a few common factors in each area.  When the lifestyle of people in “Blue Zone” communities were studied, there were some common threads.  Diet is a huge factor,  eating whole, organic, local, seasonal foods were key.  Physical activity also plays a huge role.  Not going to the gym and “working out”, physical activity was integrated into their daily lives. Nature walks, farming, cooking, gardening, walking vs driving and playing!  But one of the factors many people don’t think about in association with longevity is our human relationships. People who isolate do not live as long and are not as happy.  People who have strong relationships live longer, happier lives.  Imagine that! Think about how our western society has changed.  We often don’t even know who our neighbors are! We have social media to stay in touch with our “friends”.  We text, we don’t talk we “like” posts and Snapchat.  I think we all agree there are benefits to modern technology, but we are losing that human connection that is so important.

MYGIRLS  FAMILY IS VERY IMPORTANT

I love something I heard from my life coach teacher,  Richard Seaman.  He said, “relationships are the training ground of the Holy Spirit”.  I believe this to be true. Relationships of every kind, family,  friends, children, and spouses, especially spouses.  In a romantic love relationship, it is a relationship you CHOOSE to be in.  As much as we may love our family, you don’t get to choose them, but you do choose who you share your life with.  When it comes to a life partnership, a relationship where two people promise to live together, stand by each other through thick and thin, you have to be willing to let the Holy Spirit work on you both, teaching you things you could never know about yourself left to your own selfish ways.

WEDDINGME      WE ARE NOT DESIGNED TO LIVE ALONE

In a love relationship, two people meet, and there is an attraction.  In the beginning, you have EVERYTHING IN COMMON! You form your relationship on an attraction, and all the commonalities you share.  As time passes, that “chemical” in your brain that makes you float on clouds starts to dissipate and you come back to reality.  Pretty soon you realize how different you are from your partner.  This is where the rubber hits the road.  You may decide that you don’t want to change to “fit” into this person’s life, or, should you choose to proceed, something amazing can happen.  This is when the “training” begins”.

Society today teaches us we should be INDEPENDENT and STRONG.  We should not let anyone change WHO WE ARE!  It’s common to hear people say things like, “I don’t NEED a man (or woman), I am confident in myself, I don’t NEED anyone to make me happy.  Or, “I won’t sacrifice myself to make someone else happy”. All this may be true, but the truth is we live in a self-absorbed culture.  It is much easier to live our life our own way.  But, do we really grow when we stay in our comfort zone and do life OUR WAY?  I don’t believe we can grow to our fullest potential when we live life only for ourselves. God created us to be relational, he created us to desire love and companionship.

PRAYER

This does not mean if we are not “married” or in a committed relationship we cannot be happy or grow, I just think that if we are someone who decides to participate in a committed relationship, there are unique lessons to be learned that we cannot learn any other way.

Dave and I are very different people.  We share commonalities, our core principle values are the same.  It is essential for two people to share core values.  We all agree there are different lifestyles.  For two people to be successful in a relationship,  they must possess similar values and lifestyles to be compatible.  Dave and I have that, but beyond that, we are two very different people.  I guess I would be pegged as Type A, Dave is not.  I want things clean, orderly and planned.  Dave is laid back, could care less if the bed is not made or if the future is not perfectly clear.  He has a strong faith and believes everything will be ok, I lack faith, in that if I don’t have a plan, chaos is sure to ensue.  Neither one of us is right or wrong, but a healthier place for both of us to be is somewhere in the middle.  In the process of being in a relationship with each other, the Holy Spirit is teaching us both a new way to look at things.  Life is not black and white, we certainly can plan, but we cannot control everything (as I like to think I am able to do, yea, doesn’t work so well).  We are IN TRAINING! We are teaching each other love and tolerance, and how to live happily through chaos and order because both things can be present on any given day.  I love learning from this man I love with all of my heart.

Granted, relationships are not always easy.  You do have to be willing to compromise certain things.  I am not talking about compromising your core values, that would not be healthy.  Relationships take work.  You must be willing NOT to GIVE and TAKE, but to GIVE and GIVE, and then give some more.  You see, when both are GIVING, we are both RECEIVING, That is how that works.   It is work, but the rewards of navigating through the joys and challenges of a relationship are so rewarding.  You truly learn more about yourself than you could ever learn through a solo journey.

My life has changed so much over the past 3 years.  That is when I started my journey to Wellness.  I have learned how to love myself and care for myself through my holistic practices of nutrition, spirituality and being open to what the Universe brings into my life.  These changes have allowed me to be the best version of myself.  I discovered that even though becoming healthy was the goal, it was not meant to be the destination, it was the start of a life beyond my wildest dreams.  A life filled with Love, Lessons, and Discovery.  I discovered I was not meant to travel this road alone, I have a partner who supports my dreams and aspirations, and I support his.  Dave is my biggest cheerleader!

I am a healer, and I have a purpose on this planet, as does my Husband.  We are so excited to cheer each other on and travel this road together. I cannot wait to learn all the lessons the Holy Spirit has to teach me through this amazing relationship, and all the relationships I have been blessed with in this life.

Blessings

IS THERE A PANACEA?

BRIGIT

In a previous Blog, I asked the question, what does holistic health mean to you? What does it mean to be “Holistically Healthy”?

“ho·lis·tic   hōˈlistik/

adjective

PHILOSOPHY

characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

  1. MEDICINE

characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease.”

To sum it up, Holistic means  “Whole”, in holistic therapies we treat a person as a WHOLE BEING.  We do not believe that illness is just a symptom that can be fixed by addressing ONE ISSUE.  Illness has a root cause that is being fed by a combination of things being out of balance.  Knowing the root cause is key, and every disease is rooted not just in the physical body but is connected to the Mind, Body, and Spirit of a person.

Let’s say, a person suffers from chronic headaches, a holistic approach would not be, ” take these pills and call me in the morning”, that would be treating the symptom, the part of the body that hurts, essentially masking the problem.  A holistic response would be working to identify WHY the person suffers from headaches and work on treating the root cause.  It should be is understood that the treatment of a disease or illness should be looked at in relation to the person’s entire well-being, the person as a whole.

With that being said.  How does this benefit us?  Isn’t it easier to go to the Dr’s office and have him address what is ailing you, prescribe an appropriate medication, and send you on your way? I think not.

Having dealt with an autoimmune disorder for the past 15 years, I have found many things that work, and many that don’t work.  As I have shared, treating my symptoms with pharmaceuticals did not work, a holistic approach did. There is a place for modern medicine, but I think we can all agree it has gotten out of control. There is a pill for every ill.  It is an epidemic.

In my journey of holistic treatments, I found there is not ONE MIRACLE CURE.  Many companies, whether they be pharmaceutical companies or natural supplements companies would like you to believe their product is the answer to all that ails you, this simply is not true, I wish it were, but it is not.

In my journey I like to refer to as “My Zehnderful Journey”, I have fallen prey to many advertisements, books and promises from Doctors and even some naturopathic practitioners that promise  “healing” by simply doing this, or taking that. Excited and hopeful, I dive in 100% and find, much to my dismay, it is not the PANACEA.

PANACEA

Pan · a · it · has
panəseə /
noun
 a solution or remedy for all difficulties or diseases.
  1. “the panacea for all corporate ills”
    synonyms: universal cure, cure-all, cure for all ills, a universal remedy, elixir, wonder drug;

    informal magic bullet
    “a panacea for the country’s economic problems”

If you are seeking better health and well-being holistically, and you understand what holistically means, you would understand that there is no panacea.  In seeking to heal myself, through my education process I found that I had to address all areas of my life in order to feel my best.

I have learned from the process of healing my body. Through education, research and trial and error, I found that I had to address all areas of my life in order to feel my best.

MBS

You see if a person is TRULY a holistic coach or health practitioner they will be the first to tell you that your healing will come from different sources.

Diet is very important. Food is medicine! A (truly) healthy diet is choosing to eat S.O.U.L food, (Sustainable, Organic, Unprocessed, Local) it is ESSENTIAL! That is going to assure your BODY is functioning optimally, allowing your physical system to operate properly with minimal stress to your vital organs, allowing you to heal from disease processes that may be taking place in you BODY.

What if you are eating properly, but you are under chronic stress? Like a stressful job, family issues, depression, money problems, etc.  Well, when we are under stress, it is damaging to our BODIES, making us more susceptible to disease. However, the issue (our thoughts) is centered in our MIND, it makes sense we need to address how we think. How do we learn to deal with stress? Some helpful practices are prayer,  meditation, exercise, practicing mindfulness and living in an attitude of gratitude.  Our thoughts are very powerful, if we don’t take steps to make our minds healthy, we are setting ourselves up for illness and disease.

What about our spiritual connection?  Is it necessary to be spiritual to be healthy? I think so. Science has proven that people with faith are healthier, they recover faster from illness than those without faith.  I am not saying you need to prescribe to a specific religion, but we are spiritual beings whether we like it or not. Yes, we are physical bodies, but we have a spiritual aspect that cannot be ignored.  What I am saying is that there is what I like to refer to as the “Trinity” of health, the MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT. They are all connected and we cannot be truly healthy if any of these aspects are out of balance, they affect each other.

MINDBODY

In my journey, my dietary changes have made a tremendous difference in my health, there is no denying a proper diet is key.  But even when I am eating perfectly (as possible) if I allow my stress levels to go up and do not manage my emotions, I get flare ups of my illness.  Stress will make me just as ill as eating a poor diet.  How do I manage my stress? Through spiritual practices.

As a Mind, Body and Wellness practitioner I personally offer different modalities in helping you achieve optimal wellness.  I offer hypnotherapy, life coaching, and holistic nutrition coaching.  They all work together to achieve that balance necessary for helping our bodies heal.  I also believe in many other modalities and do not hesitate to recommend other treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, reiki, polarity, massage, supplements, etc.

We have to start somewhere, the road to wellness is a journey.  We are individuals and what works for one person may not work for another.  We have to take responsibility for our health and not be afraid to take the time necessary to find the right combination of “tools” that bring about the greatest changes for better health.

Be open minded, curious and responsible.  Don’t let anyone tell you they have “THE” answer, there is not ONE answer that fits ALL.  Believe me, I know, I have been on this journey and I AM finding what works for me,  I am healing, through a process, and I know you can too!

Blessings

HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE

hurt

When someone hurts you, it is easy to want to retaliate. But remember, “Hurt people hurt people”.  Everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about. “Love is the weapon of the future”. Fight hate with Love.

lightunited

WHAT IS HOLISTIC HEALTH?

HOLISTTIC

Hello!  I hope this QUICK blog finds you well.  I have had a lot on my plate lately, and I apologize that I have not had a chance to write lately.  I am getting married in less than two weeks!  It is a very exciting time for us, but very busy.

I was thinking how I am so very grateful that I am following this “Zehnderful Journey” of becoming “Holistically Healthy”, it has allowed me to keep up with all the blessings in my life. With school, wedding planning, homework, and all the regular stuff that life comes with.  Following my holistic practices has given me the gift of health so that I can sustain all of my activities. While my health has improved TREMENDOUSLY,  I am not 100%, I do have to pace myself and be sure to eat properly, hydrate and get plenty of rest, which I’m sure you know can be a challenge when you are on the go a lot.

The name of my business is “Holistically Healthy”.  It refers to Holistic Health.  What it means to me is being/becoming HEALTHY by holistic measures.  What does that mean?

We had to write an essay on that subject in school.  I had to think about it for a bit before I could properly answer, I would like you to think about what that means to you. So, for this blog, I would like to engage YOU, the reader by posing a question.  Instead of ME telling YOU what it means I would love to hear what holistic health means to you. I hope you will all participate. So, here it goes;

WHAT DOES HOLISTIC HEALTH MEAN TO YOU?

Cannot wait to read your responses!

Blessings

Living With Fibromyalgia

Fibro

Do you or someone you know suffer from Fibromyalgia?  Do you understand what this condition is?  Given the fact that Fibromyalgia affects over 12 million people in the United States alone, you probably do know someone who suffers from this chronic condition.  It is very misunderstood.  Here are a few facts:

  • Fibromyalgia affects more women than men.
  • This condition usually affects people ages 35 and up, but it is becoming increasingly more common in younger people.
  • There is no known medical test to confirm this diagnosis.
  • Most Medical Doctors do not understand this condition. They rely on traditional medication and pain management techniques to treat patients.
  • There is no known cure.
  • Fibromyalgia is often confused with many other ailments that cause widespread pain and fatigue.
  • Because it is essentially  “invisible” (you cannot see the disease, physically or in tests, the patient “looks fine”) it is very misunderstood.
  • Many people believe  “it is all in your head”.  The person who suffers from Fibromyalgia often feels guilt,  depression, and isolation.

fibrodebilitating

WHAT CAUSES FIBROMYALGIA?

While the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, recent studies suggest that changes in the central nervous system may be responsible for fibromyalgia pain.  Fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of overactive nerves. These nerves may be responsible for the chronic widespread pain and tenderness many people feel. But what causes this to happen?  There are some common beliefs on what could trigger the onset of Fibromyalgia.

  • AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE:  People with disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to develop Fibromyalgia.
  • INFECTIONS:   There is some evidence to suggest that certain illnesses can act as a trigger.
  • FAMILY HISTORY:  Genetics can influence your likelihood as to whether or not you will develop Fibromyalgia.
  • TRAUMA: Physical and emotional trauma have been linked to Fibromyalgia.

Regardless of the cause, it is important to know you can find relief from Fibromyalgia.

WHAT IT FEELS LIKE

fibrofeelslike

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue over 15 years ago.  The symptoms have been debilitating at times.  There was a period of time when it took all I had to make it through a work day.  At the end of the week, It took me all weekend to try and recover. The best way I can describe it is, when I am in a flare up, I feel like I have the flu, without the vomiting or congestion.  I hurt ALL OVER.  Fibromyalgia pain is different from the pain you may experience from a headache or sprained ankle. Your bones ache, your joints hurt, your skin is sensitive to touch.  You feel you need to rest, but you cannot truly rest because the pain makes it difficult to get comfortable.

If you suffer from Fibromyalgia, you have NO ENERGY, not the type of fatigue you feel when you are simply, naturally tired.  The fatigue associated with Fibromyalgia (and Chronic Fatigue) is so overwhelming, you feel as though your blood is made of cement. You feel a heaviness all over,  you can barely breathe. It takes tremendous energy to try to get up and do something, like take a shower.  I can assure you it is not “all in your head”, NOBODY wants to feel this way.

Like many patients, we have many things we LOVE  to do.  We have a passion for life. Personally, I am not a depressed or lazy person,  but when I am in a flare up I do feel guilt and sadness because I  cannot do the things that I want and need to do.

You are afraid to commit to plans with family and friends because when the time comes you may not feel well enough to go, you may be in a flare up and have to cancel, eventually, you just don’t make plans.

Sleep?  Impossible.  You feel exhausted all the time, but at bed time you are wide awake.  If you happen to feel great one day,  you are so excited to feel “normal” you attack every task you can with vigor, only to pay the price for days after activity with a flare up

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WHAT HELPS AND WHAT HURTS?

This is a very personal question.  What works for one person may not work for another. Some people with Fibromyalgia are completely debilitated, while others may be able to function in a semi-normal fashion.  Many patients are sick all of the time, while others may feel good for periods of time and have occasional flare ups.

Through my journey in dealing with this chronic condition, I have found relief from Fibromyalgia.  There was a time when I was sick all of the time, no relief.  Now, I am well 90% of the time.  When I do get a flare up,  I usually know what caused it, though sometimes I don’t.  Some common triggers are:

  • Stress
  • Poor diet
  • Not enough sleep
  • Getting sick. If you catch a cold or flu, it takes a long time to recover.
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Rigorous exercise

I am not going to suggest you stop or start any medications.  I am not a Doctor, and my purpose is to help people find Optimal Health and Wellness through Holistic Measures. That is what helped me, and I know it can help you!

Initially, I turned to my Doctors for answers.   I was given medications and Vitamin B12 shots.  These treatments did not help me.  My Doctor told me it was something I will have to live with.  It may go away in time, or I may suffer from it forever.  I went from Doctor to Doctor and found no answers that helped.  I had multiple tests performed,  saw multiple specialists and only got worse over time.

I finally took matters into my own hands. Through trial and error, I found the number one thing that gave me relief, it was my diet.  What I ate or didn’t eat had the biggest effect on my health.  I found relief by providing proper nutrition to my body and taking specific supplements.

When I told my Doctor that my dietary changes were making a big difference in my symptoms, he was not all that interested, he said, “Well that’s good, whatever helps you”. I brought in information for him hoping he might be able to offer this information to help other patients, but he did not embrace my new-found knowledge.  It’s not that my Doctor didn’t care, it is just not the way Doctors are medically trained.  Doctors are not nutritionists, their job is to treat patients through medication, surgery or therapy.  It is truly important to be an advocate for yourself.

Let me ask you something.  Don’t you find it interesting that Fibromyalgia and MANY other inflammatory diseases are on the rise? Why?  The key issue here is INFLAMMATION. Inflammation is at the root of all disease processes.  Everything from heart disease to Alzheimer’s have a common denominator, inflammation.

“The number of people suffering from chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, respiratory diseases, mental disorders, autoimmune diseases and cancers has increased dramatically over the last three decades”. (BioMed Central).

It’s “an emerging field,” says UCLA’s Dr. David Heber. “It’s a new concept for medicine.” Why is it a new concept?  Because modern medicine focuses on treating symptoms, not addressing the root cause of an issue.  Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. Heart disease is inflammation of the arteries. Instead of taking a medication to reduce joint pain or lower cholesterol, we would be better served by reducing inflammation in the body.” (Dr. Axe)

Dr. Tanya Edwards, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine, writes that “inflammation is now recognized as the “underlying basis of a significant number of diseases.”

Research is now pointing to inflammation in our bodies being the root cause of disease. When I started my research in finding how I could Holistically manage my condition, I came across a book called “The Autoimmune Solution” by Dr. Amy Myers, a functional medicine Doctor.  In her book, she pointed out that inflammation was the key factor in Autoimmune diseases.  Her approach to controlling the inflammation was through dietary measures.  She had a very specific eating plan to follow.  I read the book, was convinced it was worth a try and followed it religiously for three months.  I started to feel better! Within the first week, I was amazed!  I had more energy, less pain, I felt I was on to something,  This was the start for me.  Since then I have learned so much and have been able to improve my health in ways I never imagined!

Inflammation is not a bad thing, in moderation.  Our bodies need it to survive.  It is necessary for fighting off viruses, bacteria, etc.  It is what helps our body fight off foreign invaders and heal itself.

There is a difference between chronic Inflammation and acute Inflammation.  Acute inflammation generally comes on quickly and generally goes away in a few days. Chronic inflammation can last for months or years as a result of failure to eliminate the cause and minor, repeated exposure to the agent.  In this instance, I believe Fibromyalgia is worsened by chronic inflammation, and I believe the #1 thing that is causing chronic inflammation is our FOOD.

fibrofoods

A radical diet change can be very difficult for many.  But what is it worth to you to be well? To live the life you want?  I believe that saying, “if you have your health, you have EVERYTHING”. Here are the key components I followed that reduced my inflammation and allowed my body to begin to heal.

  • GRAINS: Grains cause inflammation.  So it will be important to eliminate them, at least in the beginning.  I eliminated them strictly for 3 months, and slowly introduced a few back into my diet. I now eat small portions of Quinoa, Chia, and Acacia. The “grains” mentioned are actually seeds but can be eaten like grains. Start by eliminating all grains and seeds, then after 3 months you can gradually add some back in your diet and see how your body reacts.
  • NIGHTSHADES: Nightshade vegetables are known to increase inflammation, so it is important to eliminate them.  The most common Nightshade vegetables are Tomatoes, White potatoes, Eggplant, Okra, Peppers, Goji berries, Tomatillos, Paprika, Cayenne pepper, and Capsicum.
  •  EAT:   Eat foods that are Whole, and Organic when possible.  You can get delicious Organic Fruits and Vegetables at most grocery stores and your Farmers Market.
  • ELIMINATE: Eliminate processed foods and processed sugar treats.
  • ORGANIC MEAT: Consume only quality, free-range, organic meats. Just like any food labeled organic in the U.S., meat products should meet very specific, federally regulated standards, Meat and poultry labeled organic must come from animals fed organic – which also means non-GMO feed, given fresh air and outdoor access, and raised without antibiotics or added growth hormones.
  • GREEN JUICE:  This has been the biggest factor in my healing process.  While changing my diet helped tremendously, Adding green juice to my daily diet elevated my healing to a whole new level.  Within days of starting my green juice regime, I was virtually free from Fibromyalgia pain and fatigue.  Here is a sample recipe:

INGREDIENTS
3 cups fresh spinach and kale
1 large cucumber
1 knob of turmeric and ginger (about ½ inch each)
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 large apples, cored
½ lemon, with peel (or grapefruit)
1/2 beet

green

  • MODERATE EXERCISE: Walking, swimming, and yoga are great forms of moderate exercise. Many people with Fibromyalgia are not able to recover from rigorous exercise, it is too taxing on the body.  Exercise is really important, but be sure not to overdo it.  Too much will just put you in a flare up.  Moderate, consistent exercise is key.
  • MEDITATION: Meditation is a wonderful tool.  Since stress is one of the biggest triggers for Fibromyalgia. It is important to find ways to manage it.

meditationyes (2)

  • HYPNOTHERAPY:  I am a hypnotherapist, and I believe this is a very effective modality in helping a client achieve pain relief.  Hypnotherapy is being used on cancer patients for pain relief and patients are achieving amazing results. Guided imagery and hypnotherapy are proven to help with so many medical and emotional problems,  I know it has helped me with my pain and my sleep issues.
  • SUPPLEMENTS: Supplements have been a key factor for me.  Finding the right supplements is a process.  What works for me,  may be different for you.  These supplements do many great things for our bodies, but I only listed the benefits as it relates to Fibromyalgia.
  1. Magnesium: Helps Increase Energy, calms nerves & anxiety.
    Helps with digestion, relieves muscle aches and spasms.
  2. Vitamin D: Regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, aids in normal immune system function. Vitamin D improves resistance against certain diseases. It is an anti-inflammatory vitamin.
  3. B Vitamin complex: Increases energy, a mood stabilizer.  Niacin has been shown to help with depression. Vitamin B has anti-inflammatory properties.
  4. Vitamin C:  Vitamin C helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin. Vitamin C helps heal the body, strengthens the immune system and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory vitamin.
  5. Calcium: Calcium is known mostly for its role in building and maintaining strong bones and teeth, but it is also important for proper functioning of the heart, muscles and nervous system.

(each individual may have different dietary needs.  This is not intended as a prescription)

I know this might seem overwhelming.  I didn’t make all these changes overnight and I don’t expect you too.  It is important to make adjustments that are sustainable.  However, if you are like me, I wanted more than anything to feel better. I was highly motivated to do whatever it took to find relief.  The process has been a slow one because I had to do all the research on my own. I didn’t know where to turn.   I did a lot of reading and research.  The information I found has helped me tremendously. These results have led me to my passion, to become a Wellness Practitioner with a focus on Holistic Nutrition.  I know you can get relief from many of the symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.

You don’t have to do it alone. It is my goal at Holistically Healthy,  to help you achieve Optimal Health through Holistic measures.  I am here to answer any questions you may have.  Call today to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Holistically Healthy

vortexme

 Bridgett Zehnder – (916) 412-4671

I LOVE (NATURES) FAST FOOD!

Fast Food Collage with Cheeseburger in center

Let’s face it. We live in a society that is fast and furious. We want convenience, we want flavor, we want more time to do the things we enjoy.  You work all day, your tired, hungry, the kids are hungry, what do you do?  Many times that means we forgo preparing healthy meals.  After all, it is so easy to just order out your favorite Chinese food, or have a pizza delivered. You can even DRIVE THRU one of the hundreds of FAST FOOD restaurants out there and pick up a quick meal.  If this sounds familiar,  you are not alone. It is estimated that fast food restaurants serve over 50 BILLION customers a day!! Incredible! Is this the best way to eat? Of course not.  Here are some more statistics for you:

According to an article by North Ohio Heart/Ohio Medical Group:

  1. Fast food restaurants in America serve 50 million customers per day.
  2. In 2015, Trans fats, which is found in most commercial baked goods and fried foods, were officially deemed by the FDA to cause high cholesterol– the leading cause of heart disease in the U.S.( offically deemed by the FDAmed by the FDA)
  3. According to the American Beverage Association, American consumers on average drink more than 54 gallons of carbonated soft drinks each year, making carbonated soft drinks the most popular beverage in the U.S., almost three times more popular than bottled water, milk or coffee.
  4. McDonald’s sells an average of 75 hamburgers every second.
  5. 44 percent of people report eating out at least once a week.
  6. On any given day, 34 percent of children between ages 2 and 19 consume fast food.
  7. McDonald’s has more locations (35,000) than the combined total of Burger King (14,000), Wendy’s (6,500), Taco Bell (6,200) and Arby’s (3,400).
  8. The average American spends an estimated $1,200 on fast food each year.
  9. Children consume an estimated 12 percent of their calories from fast food.
  10. 20 percent of all American meals are eaten in the car.
  11. More than half of the money Ohio residents spend eating out goes to these restaurants.

I LOVE food.  I LOVE convenience. I also LOVE eating healthy.  I have to eat healthily.  I have been working on my health, primarily through nutrition for some time now.  The food I was eating was slowly killing me.  I was very sick.  I was in constant pain,  chronically fatigued, I had brain fog, lethargy, Basically, I felt like I had the flu ALL OF THE TIME.   I didn’t have the time or energy to live the life I wanted because convenience had taken away that choice.

I was forced to make changes in my life or I would probably end up like my Mother, who passed away at 59 years old.  She was a beautiful woman, one of the most loving women I have ever known.  My poor Mother was sick all of the time, and on so many medications. She carried a large tote with her all of the time, it was loaded with medications.  I truly believe her body could not function on its own anymore, so it gave out.  I was frustrated because I didn’t know how to help her.  I thought she was just complacent, she had just accepted she would be forever ill.  I felt so helpless and sad, not knowing how to help her.  She passed away suddenly, at home, alone.  I miss her every day. But the saddest part was that even though she was still physically alive,  the Spirit of my Mom had departed long before her physical body succumbed to her poor health.  She was so unhappy, miserable, sick and ANGRY!  She didn’t know how to heal her body, she followed her Doctors directions, but sadly never got any better, only worse.  I am not saying there are not some good medications out there, there are true life-saving medications available, but the pharmaceutical companies have noticed we want a quick fix, we want it now, no matter the cost and they are happy to oblige.

The blessing out of all this, and I thank my mother for this gift,  I vowed I would not surrender my health to traditional medicine.  I knew that medications were not the answer, as I saw how they slowly killed my Mother. It helped me discover my gift as a healer. It sparked a passion for me to learn all I could about healing the body through Holistic measures. I love what Hippocrates wrote so long ago (and so true still today) “Let food be thy medicine, let medicine be thy food” That is the journey I am on today.

So what does all this mean to you?  Well, I LOVE FAST FOOD!  Not the type of fast food you are thinking of, rather, I love convenient food.  Thankfully, I have discovered that we do not have to sacrifice our health for convenience.  There is an abundance of healthy, LIVE, FAST FOODS out there!  We only need to change our way of thinking.

I like to cook, I love trying new dishes. But like most folks, I don’t have the time to prepare new, creative dishes all the time. I don’t really even like to cook very much.  I admire my friends who are always creating new, delicious meals,  I wish I was more driven to do so, but I’m not.  Like most of us, I am a creature of habit. We create habits in our routine and they become ingrained in our daily lives.  Some habits are good, while some are habits we need to break.  I think one of the best habits you can break, is dependence on traditional fast foods.  So let’s take a look at some ways you can eat deliciously, conveniently and nutritiously.

FAST FOOD FOR ME AND YOU!

fastfood

How much easier does it get?  If you stock your home with fresh fruits and vegetable, you can quickly make a delicious, nutritious BEAUTIFUL meal. I made this breakfast of fresh fruit in minutes, so can you!

FASTFOOD1

Pound for pound, it doesn’t get any better than fast food the way nature intended.  Grab an apple, enjoy the crunchy sweetness of one of the most convenient foods nature has provided.  Apples don’t need refrigeration, they have a long shelf life and are packed with amazing nutrients.  Eating RAW food is the greatest way to nourish our bodies, as all the nutrition stays intact.

nuts

Nuts and seeds are so good and so good for you.  Healthy fats are essential to good health.  I always keep a supply of healthy nuts and seeds available for a quick snack.  They are crunchy,  filling, they also have a long shelf life and do not require refrigeration.  Keep a supply of them in small storage containers to take with you when you are on the go.  They are not messy and will do the trick when you need some FAST FOOD.

I have developed some wonderful “good habits” in exchange for my old “bad habits”.  Preparation is the key.  You need only carve out a little time each week to prepare your kitchen with healthy foods that are quick and accessible.  Here is a list of things I do to assure I can grab a QUICK HEALTHY meal or snack anytime night or day.

  • Make a list when you shop for groceries, remember planning a little goes a long ways.
  • Buy whole, organic foods when possible.
  • Keep your home stocked with fresh fruits and veggies.  Farmers markets are a fun and inexpensive way to shop for your produce.
  • If you are not sure how to shop for healthy food in the grocery store, try shopping on the outer perimeters of the store, that is where you will find the least processed foods.  Most everything you find in a box,  bag, carton or can is processed and you should steer clear of it.
  • Prepare and cook once a week in larger bulk to save time. I cook a couple meat selections and a pot of grains weekly to have handy for salads and other dishes.
  • Quinoa and brown rice are great by themselves, or add some veggies, meat and make a delicious rice/quinoa bowl.
  • Hard boil some eggs while doing your cooking.  You can make your own version of Starbucks “Protein Bistro Box”. You can get these user-friendly boxes on Amazon.com and fill them with your favorites.  They are easy to grab on the go.

mealprep

If your health isn’t reason enough to quit the JUNK FOOD habit.  Take a look at your pocket book. Check your bank account for how much you spend on eating out,  make a commitment to bringing down the expense by buying fresh, whole foods.

Going cold turkey is not for the faint of heart.  If that is too much to fathom, try cutting back on your FAST FOOD purchases. It is easier to ADD IN good food choices that will CROWD OUT the undesirable. When you do opt for eating out, try cutting back on the number of times per month you eat and reduce the size of your order. Steer clear of options to up-size and embrace healthier options when they’re available. For instance, opt for grilled over fried chicken and pair your meal with a bottle of water instead of a fountain drink.

Remember, little changes of habit can go a long way.  As you start to reap the benefits of your NEW fast food habit, such as saving money, weight release and more energy, you will be more motivated to continue making changes. Those changes will become habits you will want to keep.

I LOVE FAST FOODS! Fresh, whole, organic fast foods, and I think  you will find that you do too!

DON’T FORGET YOUR PHYTO’S

Phyto what? Phytonutrients or Phytochemicals are an important part of our diet.  We are all familiar with vitamins and minerals.  Most folks know that the food they eat contains vitamins and minerals that are necessary for optimal health.  Alot of people take vitamin and mineral supplements to assure they are not deficient.  Most processed foods are “enriched” with vitamins and minerals (because processing essentially strips the food of any good nutrients, so the manufacturer’s think they can simply add the nutrients back in and all is good, not so, but more about that another time). How familiar are you with Phytonutrients?   Phytonutrients are an essential part of good nutrition. But what are they?

PHYTOFUNCTION

The Greek word PHYTO means Plant,  and Nutrient of course speaks for itself. Basically phytonutrients are a substance found in plants, vegetables and whole grains. They are beneficial to human health and helps prevent various diseases.  They are relatively new to the world of science.  While vitamins and minerals were discovered in 1912, phytonutrients  were not discovered until  sometime in the 1950’s. Scientist kinda put that research on the back burner until the 90’s when a surge of research started.  Once they started digging in they realized the magnitude of this discovery.  Since the 90’s scientist have identified over 40,000 phytonutrients, but they believe there could be as many as 400,00!!  This is incredible!  But what do they do?

PHYTOWHEEL

The list of benefits of phytonutrients is a long one. Some of the ways they help keep our bodies healthy are by these actions:

  • Antioxidant action– Most phytochemicals have antioxidant properties.
  • Anti-bacterial action – The phytochemical allicin from garlic has anti-bacterial properties.
  • Hormonal action – Isoflavones, found in soy, imitate human estrogens.
  • Interference with DNA replication – Saponins found in beans interfere with the replication of cell DNA, thereby preventing the multiplication of cancer cells.
  • Stimulation of enzymes – Indoles, which are found in cabbages, stimulate enzymes that make the estrogen less effective and could reduce the risk of breast and other hormone related cancers.
  • Physical action – Some phytochemicals bind physically to cell walls thereby preventing the adhesion of pathogens to human cell walls.

Phytonutrients are also important to plant health.  They are what protects the plants from germs, fungi, UV radiation, critters (phytonutrients are bitter, but the bitter the better they are for you!) and other threats.  Fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain phytonutrients.

Phytonutrients give food their colors. That is why it is important to eat a variety of different color foods (See my blog “Edible Rainbow”).

RAINBOW

As we discussed there are over 40,000 phytonutrients, but let’s take a  look at just a few phytonutrients and discover a little bit about what their benefits are.

  • Chlorophyll:  Clorophyll is found in green foods such as wheatgrass, algae, seaweeds and green veggies. It increases red blood cells, fights cancer, protects from radiation, kills germs, assists in healing wounds, detoxifies the liver and helps digestion and weight control.
  • Carotenoids:  Cartenoids are usually found in orange, yellow and red fruits and vegetable, such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, canteloupe, plums, apricots and surprisingly kale and spinach. Cartenoids supports eye health, cardiovascular health, possible anti-tumor properties, supports male fertility and enhances skin health.
  • Genistein:  Genistein is found in soy.  Isoflavones belong to the group of flavonoids. Because it is similar to human estrogen it is also called a phytoestrogen. It acts as an estrogen, antioxidant, anti-cancer agent and could possibly help people with metabolic syndrome.
  • Hesperetin:  Hesperetin and other similar bioflavonoids are commonly referred to as vitamin P,  however they are not actually vitamins. They are most commonly found in citrus fruits.  Hesperetin assists in the formation of vitamin C, which we know helps our immune system. It also helps with inflammation and swelling in the veins.
  • Resveratrol:  If your a red wine drinker, you may have heard that it is good for your heart! That’s because it contains resveravatrol.  You don’t have to be a wine drinker to to enjoy the benefits of resveratrol.  It is found in the skins of grapes and other dark red berries. Very dark cholocate/cacao is a great source also!  Resveratrol is a powerful anti-oxidant, protects cardiovascular health, helps protect the brain and cognitive mental health, may help prevent diabetes and helps prevent obesity.
  • Theobromine:  Theobromine is found in the cacao bean, therefore it can be found in very dark chocolate.  Theobromine is similar in chemical structure to caffeine, though not as strong.  It does have stimulant properties, but unlike caffeine, it does not stimulate the central nervous system. It is not toxic to humans, but it can be to pets, such as dogs and horses, hence why you are told not to give your dog chocolate. Besides the benefit of increasing your energy levels, it is helpful in that it can lower blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels and can relax the bronchial muscles in the lungs. Theobromine can be used as cough medicine.

These are just some of the benefits of just a few phytonutrients.  Each phytonutrient plays and essential part in making our bodies strong and healthy.  It’s not all about vitamins and minerals ladies and gentlemen!

The biggest AH HA for me, is that our food is much more complex than we ever imagined. We cannot expect to eat processed, nutrient deficient, yet fortified foods and expect to be healthy. We want to get all the benefits a good healthy diet can provide. God of our Universe knew exactly what He/She was doing when our abundant earth was created. Everything works together, nothing in Gods creation is meaningless,  lets try to eat the way nature intended and I bet you will find your body will thank you!

Blessings