Saying N-O is O-K

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Most of us find it difficult to say no when asked to do a favor by a friend or colleague, or to take on something that we would really rather not.  

We may not want to disappoint the person doing the asking, or we may even be flattered that they are asking us to do something for them. 

However, when your daily schedule is already full, you need to prioritize and manage your time and energy.  Especially when dealing with the added stress and fatigue of peri-menopause and menopause.

Now is the time for self-care and de-stressing.

By saying NO to non-essential requests for your time and energy, you are saying YES to yourself.  

Certainly some requests are necessary to take on, but those that are not, are best politely declined.

Here are some phrases to try:

* Unfortunately, I won’t be able to get to that today.

* My schedule is just too full for that right now.

* I’ll consider it and get back to you.

* What a great idea, perhaps you could ask … to do that.

* That is not my area of expertise.

* Perhaps I could do that for you at another time.

* I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to help you this time.

* Thank you for thinking of me, but I have to decline.

You may think it’s just easier to say yes and then deal with the overload you put yourself under.  However, taking on more than you are comfortable with or even capable of can damage your health and wellbeing. 

It is well known that stress breaks the body down and weakens the immune system, leaving you vulnerable to everything from the common cold to cancer.  So, when you find your schedule overwhelming you, say no to others and yes to yourself.

What does that look like?

* Put your needs at the front of your list, not the end.

* Make sure you get enough sleep—7-8 hrs.

* Include joyful movement into your daily routine.

* Find what feeds your soul and do it as often as possible.

* Hang out with your friends.

* Play in the garden, get sun on your skin and dirt on your hands.

* Hug someone everyday.

* Honor your body by eating real, whole food.

* Walk barefoot in the grass.

* Take a moment to close your eyes, breathe deeply and visualize a loved one.

You should welcome every opportunity to reduce the stress and time commitments you put yourself under.  It’s time to lighten up.  Lighten up your schedule, your diet, your stress, your responsibilities, your overload.

For guidance and support on your journey to “lighten up” contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.

 

Nourish Your Whole Colorful Self

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Color effects our everyday lives by influencing our mood and health.  I’m sure you can think of colors that fill you with energy and lighten your mood, while others make you feel heavy and down.

More than just a preference, we may be drawn to a color’s specific vibration.  Colors vibrate at frequencies which in turn correlate to body organs, emotions, and of course foods.

We can harness the healing power of color by surrounding ourselves in the full spectrum of the rainbow with the clothes we wear, the surroundings we choose, and the foods we eat.

Eating a variety of colorful foods ensures that we provide our body with an array of phytonutrients to protect our organs, antioxidants to lower inflammation, fiber to feed our microbiome and flush toxins, and an increased diversity of nutrients for longevity.

Food and Spirit’s Seven Systems of Health integrates the benefits of colorful eating with colorful living.  The seven “aspects” relate to the seven major chakras, or energy centers of the body.  Each aspect encompasses a specific color, endocrine gland, physiological activity, core issue, and food. 

The Root aspect’s color is red and relates to the adrenal glands.  It deals with core issues of safety, survival and tribe.  If for instance, if you are feeling ungrounded or stressed, you may want to eat some red meat, beets or other root vegetables and red colored foods, preferably in the company of your “tribe”.  The vitamin C in red colored foods support the adrenal glands to help you deal with stress.  Also, wearing something red, or adding red accents to your work space could help balance this aspect with the vibration of the color red.

The Flow aspect’s color is orange and the issues here are creativity, emotions and relationships.  To help bring energy into this aspect, which involves the reproductive organs, kidney and bladder, you would eat orange colored foods, fish and seafood, dietary fats and oils, nuts and seeds, and water to keep everything “flowing”.  Here, orange is the color to surround yourself with.  Playfulness and creativity in its many forms will feed this aspect, along with healthy relationships and emotional balance.

The Fire aspect’s color is yellow.  The pancreas is the gland involved, as well as other organs of digestion—stomach, liver, gallbladder and small intestine.  Here we are dealing with the core issues of energy, balance and power.  Those who struggle with balancing their energy, holding on to their personal power, or managing their work/life balance need to address their Fire aspect.  Eating yellow foods, soluble fiber, whole grains and healthy sweetness like stevia or raw honey, while keeping sugar consumption down and staying away from refined processed carbohydrates will help.  Wearing something yellow will allow its vibration to bring balance to this aspect as well.  

The Love aspect’s color is green, and as the name suggests it involves the heart as well as the thymus gland.  The breasts and lungs are also included in the Love aspect. Its issues are compassion, expansion and service.  Often those who over care for others without adequate self-love can find this aspect out of balance.  Leafy green vegetables, micro-greens, and other green vegetables will benefit the Love aspect.  Also, wearing green, bringing a plant to work, or ideally, walking in a forest while deep breathing, will lovingly surround you in the vibration of green.  

The Truth aspect’s color is aquamarine blue and its associated gland is the thyroid.  This aspect represents the issues of authenticity, choice and voice.  To strengthen this aspect and your thyroid, you may want to wear a beautiful aquamarine scarf to bathe your thyroid in the vibration of this amazing color.  Or wear turquoise or lapis lazuli jewelry.  Soups, sauces, sea plants, teas and juices all support this aspect.  Being in touch with your authentic truth, and choosing to speak it with confidence, will both empower you and help balance this aspect. 

The Insight aspect’s color is indigo and involves the pituitary gland and the brain itself.  The issues here are intuition, reflection and visualization.  To heighten these abilities wear indigo jewelry or clothing, or visualize images of an indigo night sky, bringing the vibration of that color into your energy realm.  Foods that nourish the Insight aspect include caffeine, chocolate, spices and blue-purple foods like wild blueberries.  Strengthening this aspect will help with alertness, cognitive functioning and restorative sleep. 

The final aspect of Spirit is represented by white, which is actually all of the colors of the spectrum and encompasses the light energy of the universe.  Chi, Prana, Source, God, whatever name you put to it, this aspect reflects our connection to spirit.  The gland of the Spirit aspect is the pineal gland.  This gland distinguishes light and dark, and regulates our sleep/wake cycles.   The core issues here are connection, purpose and soul.  Detoxing and fasting are beneficial for this aspect.  Also eating healthy white foods like cauliflower, coconut products, onions and garlic, and choosing purifying foods like organic foods and lemons.

The vibration of white light has been shown to improve conditions associated with depression.  One could argue that depression could stem form a disconnection from spirit, or life.  When we experience awe, wonder, gratitude and joy we are connecting to spirit. 

Reducing electromagnetic frequencies, getting in touch with your purpose, meditation, Qi gong, staring at the star filled night sky, swimming in the ocean, or just getting out in the bright sunlight everyday will all help balance the Spirit aspect.

Carrying these seven aspects into how we live our lives will make for a more integrated, FULL life experience.  More ColorFULL, PlayFULL, PowerFULL, MeaningFULL, TruthFULL, ThoughtFUL, and SoulFULL.

For support and guidance on your journey to nourishing your whole colorful self, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.

 

Learn To Love Your Cholesterol

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Cholesterol has been given a bad rap.  This essential substance is vital for:

*healthy cells

*reducing inflammation and repairing tissue damage

*hormone production

*stress adaptation

*proper digestion

*vitamin D synthesis

*memory and brain health

Every cell in our body maintains its integrity due to the cholesterol that makes up its cell wall.  The cholesterol component helps keep the cell wall fluid and permeable for the effective exchange of nutrients and wastes.  Without cholesterol our cells would not function properly.  This could result in poor cellular energy production and greater systemic fatigue. 

Because cells make up tissues which make up organs which make up us, unhealthy cells will lead to unhealthy us.

Cholesterol also acts as the body’s bandaid to minimize tissue damage caused by inflammation, high blood glucose and trans fats from vegetable oils and damaged fats.  

The damage to arteries from these oxidative insults results in the body producing more cholesterol to act as an antioxidant, lining the arteries in an attempt to quell the inflammation and protect the arteries from further damage.  

The problem arises from continued high blood sugar and damaged fats that then cause the protective cholesterol to oxidize and become sticky, leading to clogged arteries. 

Hence, the rescue team becomes the bad guy.

The precursor to hormones is cholesterol, and we certainly all need and want adequate hormone production to keep us young, vital and sexy. 

Not only is cholesterol needed for the production of our precious estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, but also for cortisol which allows us to deal with everyday stressors.

Bile is needed for the digestion of fats.  The liver synthesizes bile from cholesterol.  Inadequate cholesterol will lead to low bile production, sluggish bile, poor fat digestion, and typically gallbladder problems.

We need the healthy fat digestion that bile provides for absorption and utilization of the fat soluble vitamins D, K, A, and E.

Speaking of vitamin D, our bodies have the ability to produce this vitamin when the sun hits our bare skin (without sunscreen).  As the sun meets the cholesterol, present in our every cell, the two perform a biochemical dance to produce vitamin D.

Our brains contain the highest concentration of the cholesterol in our bodies.  It is vital 

for a healthy brain and nervous system.  Cholesterol is a vital part of the wiring that allows for learning and memory.

Studies show that older adults with higher cholesterol, better maintain their cognitive function.  

Lack of sleep has been correlated with poor memory.  One reason may be because sleep allows the brain to replenish its level of cholesterol.

Low levels of cholesterol have also been associated with mood disorders such as depression and mood swings.

Now that you know how important cholesterol is in maintaining good health, how do you insure that your liver is functioning optimally to produce the cholesterol you need?

  1. Keep your diet low in sugar, and add fiber like flaxseeds, chia seeds, nuts and seeds.
  2. include lots of fibrous vegetables like dark leafy greens.  The more bitter the better for your liver, like arugula, brussels sprouts, swiss chard and dandelion greens.
  3. Add local raw honey to lower inflammation and nourish your liver and gut.
  4. Try a shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning to help alkalize the body’s PH and nourish the digestive tract.
  5. Warm water with lemon will thin the bile and aid in liver function.
  6. Milk thistle is a powerful herb that gives the liver a boost.
  7. Go easy on alcohol and reduce toxins to unburden the livers job of detoxifying.
  8. Practice de-stressing techniques so your liver does not need to be constantly pumping out cholesterol to provide you with the stress hormone cortisol.
  9. Move your body everyday.  
  10. Let go of anger which we hold in the liver.  Practice forgiveness of self and others.

I for one embrace organic free range eggs, and avocados are my favorite food.  A ketogenic diet may not be for everyone, but many people have improved their health by eating higher amounts of healthy fats and cutting way back on carbohydrates.

As usual, a personalized diet and lifestyle plan is best…but don’t be afraid to eat an avocado.

Unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies are cashing in on statin drug sales, and many conventional doctors are right there with them advocating for lowering cholesterol levels in their patients by using these highly damaging drugs.  Studies show statin side effects include muscle damage, (including the heart muscle), increased risk of diabetes, liver damage and memory loss.   

Not to mention lower hormone production, thereby reducing your ability to handle stress, adding insult to injury for those managing menopause.

For guidance and support on your journey to better health and vitality, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com or call me at 301-332-5732.

 

Lift Your Spirits With A Vision Board

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A vision board is a college of pictures and words that you create to help you visualize your goals, dreams and desires for your life.

It is virtually impossible to reach a goal that you cannot first visualize.  Visualizing your goals gives them power.

While envisioning your desires pay attention to how it looks, feels, smells and tastes to incorporate all of your senses.

Where are you?  Really look around, take it all in.

Who are you with?  Are you alone?  With a loved one?  In a supportive group?

How are your feeling?  Relaxed?  Excited?  Motivated?  Loved?  Joyful?

What are the scents you are smelling?  Flowers?  Food?  Perfume?  The ocean? The forest?

What are you tasting?  Delicious food?  Passion?  Success?

In making a vision board you are putting images to your desires, thus helping you to visualize and validate them.

You want to focus your desires in a positive way, so select images that portray positivity.  Vision boards should elicit positive emotions and vibrations to cement those positive thoughts and belief into your subconscious, which as we know runs the show.

The beauty of a vision board is that it is individualized and personalized to reflect who you really are and what you desire, empowering you and your dreams.

Use this as an opportunity to connect with your roots, your creativity, your gut, your heart, your authenticity, your inspiration, and your soul.

In doing so you are bringing energy into: 

  1. Your center of stability, or 1st chakra (Root)
  2. Your center of creativity, or 2nd chakra (Sacral)
  3. Your center of motivation and energy, or 3rd chakra (Solar Plexus)
  4. Your center of love, or 4th chakra (Heart)
  5. Your center of truth, or 5th chakra (Throat) 
  6. Your center of inspiration and visualization, or 6th chakra (Third Eye)
  7. Your center of soul connection, or 7th chakra (Crown)

With all of these energy centers activated, (your third eye will be on fire!) you are sure to produce a truly inspired vision board.

Putting together your motivational images and words keeps your desires and dreams in focus, helping to bring clarity to your choices and goals.

Keep your vision board somewhere you will see it often as a reminder of your life goals, and a motivator to act on your dreams.

You may want to make a vision board once a year to fine tune and adjust your images to better focus your desires and keep you moving forward on your life journey.

Let a vision board help you to envision the life you want to create for yourself, then go live it!

For support and guidance on your journey of life and inspiration, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732

 

Overcoming Weight Loss Resistance

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It comes as no surprise to menopausal women (no matter where you fall in the spectrum of pre to post), that once your hormones loose their balance you pack on the pounds, and they don’t want to budge.

Weight loss resistance can be a attributed to a number of factors that interfere with the body’s ability to maintain a healthy metabolism, or to drop body fat.

Here are some common causes of weight loss resistance:

Female Hormone imbalance  

Stress

Inflammation

Toxins

Damaged Metabolism

* Female Hormone imbalance can occur at any age, but in peri-menopause when progesterone levels drop, women find themselves on that slippery slope of hormone imbalance.  Initially progesterone drops more quickly and to a greater degree than estrogen, which sets you up for estrogen dominance. 

Add to that the chemicals that mimic estrogen found in plastics, pesticides, cosmetics, the environment and hormones in animal products and you will soon be feeling the effects of estrogen dominance.   

This includes weight gain around the middle and lower body, fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, bloating, headaches and weight loss resistance.

Further, excess sugar, refined carbohydrates and alcohol all elevate estrogen levels, suppress thyroid function and lower serotonin levels.  Hello tired, sad and chubby.

Adding insult to injury, those extra fat cells you are carrying around make their own estrogen, compounding the problem.

* Stress causes an increase in the hormone cortisol, which signals the body to raise blood sugar levels resulting in elevated insulin.  

Prolonged stress and high cortisol results in adrenal exhaustion, a slower metabolism, elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol, while simultaneously causing you to put on fat around the belly. 

As insulin is constantly being secreted to deal with the elevated blood sugar brought on by stress (cortisol), your cells become insulin resistant, which leads to metabolic syndrome and diabetes.  

High levels of insulin, (also caused by high levels of estrogen) will also promote fat storage, and can damage the brain, heart and gut.

Remember, stress can be real or imagined, your body reacts to it with the same cascade of hormones.

* Inflammation is often hidden in the form of a damaged gut, which could be caused by a poor diet of processed foods full of sugar and trans fats.  Gluten has also been found to damage the lining of the gut.

Food intolerances or sensitivities also drive inflammation as the body mounts an immune response to what it perceives as a foreign object.  Toxins, chronic infections, or over-exercise also cause inflammation.  

No matter what the cause, in an attempt to quell the inflammation, the adrenal glands react to this physical stress the same way they react to emotional and mental stress, by secreting cortisol, which causes elevated blood sugar, which leads to high insulin, which can lead to further inflammation.  Quite a weight loss resistance cycle.

* Toxins in general are a real block to dropping body fat.  We are exposed to toxins everyday from our foods, the environment, cosmetics, municipal water, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, plastics, household cleaners and heavy metals, (as a short list).

To keep such toxins from circulating in our blood stream, they are trapped in our fat cells.  Thus the body resists burning fat because that would release the toxins into the blood stream, causing damage to the tissues.

Also, fat cells produce the hormone leptin, which signals the brain when we have taken in enough calories and are “satiated”.  The more fat, the more leptin, which leads to leptin resistance in the brain, so you never get the signal that you are full and to stop eating.  

Believing that you are starving, the brain actually sends signals to take in more food, and to slow the metabolism to maintain the fat stores you have.

As well as your body fat, heavy metals like mercury and lead can hide in your bones, brain and kidneys, damaging these organs.

* A damaged metabolism  occurs when your metabolism is breaking down more than it is building up.

All of the conditions above contribute to a damaged metabolism.  You are basically burning yourself out without doing what is necessary to recover and rebuild.

A poor diet of excess sugars, refined and processed foods, along with stress be it mental, physical or imagined,  over-exercise, food intolerances and toxins will all cause inflammation, and damage your metabolism.

How do you heal your metabolism, gently detox, lower inflammation, reduce stress, and balance your hormones?

  1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet of whole foods, heavy on the plants.  The high mineral content and fiber of plants keep the gut healthy and aid in the elimination of toxins.  Include a clean protein, animals raised to range free and are not given growth hormones, antibiotics or fed grain laden with toxins. Add some healthy fats, and you have a balanced meal providing you with the nutrients you need to build a healthy metabolism.
  2. Cut down on your toxic load by eating organic when possible, choosing organic personal care products and cleaning products, and filter your water.
  3. Add green drinks to your daily routine to help with detoxification and supercharge with valuable nutrients.
  4. Add probiotics to our daily regime to help build a healthy gut.
  5. Exercise appropriately for your level of fitness and stress.  Do not over-exercise.  (Start easy and build slowly).
  6. De-stress throughout the day.  Deep breathing, visualizations, meditations, yoga, qi gong, or taking a nap will all help reduce inflammation.
  7. Include supplements like a multi-vitamin, B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin C, and omega 3 essential fatty acids, as a very short list to provide your body with missing nutrients and anti-inflammatory properties.
  8. Get your beauty sleep.  Aim for 7-8 hours.
  9. Turn negative self-talk into positive affirmations.
  10. Don’t rule out bioidentical hormones to replenish what your body is no longer producing on its own.

As always, it is best to have a personalized program designed for your specific needs based on your specific metabolism.

For guidance and support on your journey to hormone balance, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.

 

Meno…pause Does Not Mean A Pause From MEN

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Menopause may mean the end of monthly bleeding and child bearing, but it certainly does not mean that we stop wanting or needing men.

Our intimate relations with men actually become less complicated when we don’t have to worry about pregnancies or messy surprises once a month.

As our children grow and find their own paths, our time and energy is freed up to fuel our own personal passions and interests.

For many of us, that would include the company of a man.  Whether it is our current partner, or if we are single, a new partner.

The emotional and endorphin high of love and infatuation never gets old, no mater how old WE get.  The pleasure of being around someone we love actually keeps us young.

Not to mention the joys of sex and physical intimacy, which is a part of romantic relationships before AND after menopause.  Yes, there is sex after menopause, thank goodness.

If you are feeling less than amorous due to the hormonal shifts that accompany menopause, you can address hormonal imbalance naturally by managing your stress, getting adequate sleep, enjoying moderate exercise, eating a colorful diet with healthy fats to feed your hormones, and using bioidentical hormones if needed.

With balanced hormones, our whole system runs as it should, and we are able to feel  and be our best selves.  It is from this place of balance that our personal relationships can thrive. 

Of course, our beliefs about ourselves as we meander through peri-menopause and menopause affect our behavior toward others as well as ourselves.

Unfortunately, many women have taken on perceptions about themselves around peri-menopause and menopause that reflect societal views of aging and lack of vitality.

With peri-menopause starting as early as 35, the idea that it is the beginning of the end is extremely out dated.  Now a days even post-menopausal women are celebrating themselves, feeling alive and vibrant, and fully enjoying the company of men.

Here is my suggestion; see yourself as: 

Experienced…not old 

Curvy…not fat 

Passionate…not complacent

Creative…not infertile

Confident…not doubtful

Calm…not stressed

Liberated…not trapped

Involved….not excluded

Independent…not needy

Successful…not a failure

Determined…not timid

Empowered…not helpless

And finally, see yourself as attractive and desirable.  Those qualities, as well as all of the above, come as much from the inside as the out, and men of worth can recognize them at any age.

For guidance and support in your journey through menopause, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.

 

Loving Relationships Promote Longevity

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I can personally attest to the power of a loving relationship through the marriage of my parents who recently celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary.  Their love and respect for each other is steadfast, tender and inspiring.  

I can recall how every Valentine’s Day my father would make dozens of hearts and little notes and post them all around the house.  Even now, every year he makes my Mom a birthday card celebrating a new year with his bride.

They have been together since the age of 15, which makes 80 years, as my Mother turns 95 in September.  That’s correct, 95, and my Father is only months behind her.  Happily, they are both still physically strong and mentally sharp.

My parent’s have shared many adventures in their lives, including living in an Artist’s Colony in Mexico City before starting a family, world traveling, raising 3 kids, my Mom receiving her PhD in Art Education, my Dad and brother building a 32 ft. sailboat and then my parents sailing and living on it for 10 years throughout their 60’s, not to mention that both of them have written novels that are currently for sale on Amazon.  

But above all, they have shared a partnership that has spanned 80 years and is rooted in Love, Trust and Respect.  Having love and companionship in our life as we age has been shown to promote longevity and good health.  

This is in part because loving relationships foster feelings of love, trust, respect, gratitude and positivity. These emotions elicit the release of “feel good” hormones and neurotransmitters like endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.  These chemicals boot our mood, help us focus, ward off the negative effects of stress, anxiety and depression, and improve sleep.

Furthermore, these de-stressing biochemicals and emotions put us in the parasympathetic (rest and recovery) branch of the nervous system, which strengthens the immune system, and slows the aging process.

Loving relationships have also been shown to improve heart health both physically and energetically.  Even some nursing homes bring in pets to help improve the mood and health of their residents.  Bonding between humans and animals alike feeds our heart energy center and helps balance the energy flow throughout the body.

Not only is a positive attitude healthy for a loving couple, but it also benefits those around them.  Family and friends are influenced by, and learn loving behaviors by being around loving relationships.  

I know that the love my sons shower on their daughters is a direct reflection of the flow of love that still comes from my parents to me, on to them, and through them to their children.  

Loving relationships, whether it be with a romantic partner, a dear friend, or a pet, will keep us young and healthy as we age.  

Conversely, unhappy relationships foster feelings of depression and loneliness.  The damage those feelings cause, affect us physically, mentally and spiritually.

It may be true that misery loves company, but happiness also loves company, and it is much better company.  

For guidance and support on your journey to well being, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.  

 

Managing Menopause

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As women experience the hormonal changes of peri-menopause and menopause, they may find themselves dealing with fatigue, brain fog, bloating, tender breasts, weight gain around the middle and hips, headaches, insomnia, and mood swings.  That’s a long list.

Lowering levels of progesterone, can cause these symptoms as early as a woman’s 30’s.  

Then as estrogen levels drop down the road, our symptoms can become more severe with hot flashes, night sweats and even depression as lower estrogen drags serotonin levels down as well.

The hormonal rollercoaster gets into full swing with estrogen dominance as stress, high blood sugar, extra body fat, and xenoestrogens (chemicals that mimic estrogens in the body) from plastics, pesticides and even cosmetics, all drive estrogen levels up with too little progesterone to keep it in check.

I work with women in the following five major areas to help them manage the physical, emotional and mental challenges of peri-menopause and menopause.

Nutrition 

Stress Reduction

Adequate Sleep 

Appropriate Exercise 

Emotional Clearing

Replacing processed, refined packaged foods with real, organic, colorful whole foods is a first step to a gentle detox while providing the body with the nutrients needed to build, repair and detoxify.  

A good rule of thumb is to include (3-4 ounces) of a clean protein, along with a healthy fat and a real carbohydrate at each meal.

Real carbohydrates can be planted and harvested and should be eaten in their whole (not processed) form. There are no pasta, bread or doughnut trees that I know of.

Clean protein comes from livestock and poultry that are allowed to range free, with no antibiotics or growth hormone.  Or fish that are wild caught, not farmed.

Examples of healthy fats are, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, flax oil, organic nuts and seeds, avocados, flax seeds, and of course the essential fatty acids of omega 3 in fish oil and omega 6 in grass fed meats and in borage and primrose oils.

Damaged fats would be vegetable oils and canola oil.  These oils become trans fats during their high heat processing in preparation for the marketplace.  Trans fats damage arteries, and the gut, while causing inflammation.  Please steer clear.

These are very basic guidelines.  A personalized eating plan is the best way to provide the proper nutrition, and metabolic healing for YOUR specific system.  

Stress reduction is paramount in balancing hormones.  When cortisol (the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands) is high, your estrogen and progesterone as well as thyroid hormones are suppressed.  

While high cortisol from stress drives up blood sugar, it also drives down serotonin (the happy neurotransmitter), which causes you to crave sweets.  

As the adrenal glands also produce 40% of the estrogen and progesterone in your system (from the precursors they provide) before menopause, and as much as 90% after menopause, it is a good idea to manage your stress so they are not exhausted by the time peri-menopause and menopause rolls around.

De-stressing can be as easy as closing your eyes, visualizing your “happy place” and taking long deep breaths.  Grounding is also a powerful way to calm the nervous system.  Grounding, or earthing is simply standing on the earth (grass or sand, not concrete) bare footed and connecting to the energy of the earth.  

Adequate sleep, being between 7 to 9 hours a night, also helps regulate hormones and allows for regeneration of the brain and body.

  • Beauty sleep suggestions include:
  • Get to bed by 10 pm.
  • Unplug from electronics 30 min before bed.
  • Make your room as dark as a cave, no ambient light.
  • Keep your room cool.
  • Enjoy a calming ritual before bed—soak in a tub, listen to relaxing music, read something spiritual or enjoyable, (please not the news).
  • Try meditation, visualization, gratitude or simply deep breathing.

Over-exercising can be a detriment to your very goal of health and fitness.  Over-exercise stresses and breaks down your system, aging you in fast forward.  

Moderate exercise in a form that you enjoy, will do you more good than pushing yourself to exhaustion.  If you find you have over done it, be sure to allow for more rest for a full recovery.  It is in the recovery that we get stronger, not in the work.

As women, we process information through our limbic system, the emotional brain.  It’s no wonder we attach emotions to “everything”.  

Emotions should be energy in motion.  When that energy gets stuck or blocked, it can cause physical, emotional or mental pain that keeps us stuck and unable to achieve our goals.

I use muscle testing with clients to bypass the conscious mind and free up the energy flow to clear stuck emotions and beliefs.  This allows for a more positive approach to challenges and unburdens the soul.

Along with incorporating the above Transformational Life Choices (TLC), finding an integrative medicine doctor who can help you with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, BHRT, may be just what you need to manage your menopause with grace and ease.

As women of wisdom and experience, menopause should be a time of liberation and re-birth.  

The area of our body where we once created life is the center of all our creativity.  

If we tap into that area of creativity through art, dance, music, writing, whatever brings us joy and passion, we are bringing life once again to that most sacred center of female essence.

For guidance and support in managing menopause, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.

 

Tap, Breathe, Reduce Stress

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We all seem to be running on stress these days.  Stress not only throws us out of balance, but it also leads to everything from headaches to insomnia to cancer.  Stress shifts the body into the sympathetic “fight or flight” branch of the autonomic nervous system, triggering a release of hormones and chemical messengers that break the body down, and age us in fast motion.

Being in this agitated state also disrupts our electric energy system.  Just like a magnet has a positive and negative side, our cells also have a positive and negative charge to them, creating a polarity that must stay in balance for clear thinking and optimal health. 

Because we gather positive ions through the right nostril and negative ions through the left nostril, breathing is one way we balance our polarity.  When under stress we tend to fall into shallow breathing, or even hold our breath, which can result in reverse polarity.  

Common symptoms you may feel when experiencing reverse polarity include: headaches, foggy thinking, blurred vision, insomnia, anxiety and depression. When in this reverse polarity state, everyday life becomes a challenge.

A simple technique of recalibrating your breathing patterns and coming out of fight or flight, is called Collar Bone Breathing.  Here is how it’s done, beginning with your RIGHT hand:

1. Place two fingers of your right hand on your right collarbone, using two fingers of your left hand, tap on a point on your right hand that is between the ring and baby finger knuckles, about 1 inch down toward the wrist.  You will tap and breathe in the following pattern:

* Breathe half way in and hold it for 7 taps

* Breathe all the way in and hold it for 7 taps

* Breathe half way out and hold it for 7 taps

* Breathe all the way out and hold it for 7 taps

* Breathe normally for 7 taps.  

2.  Place two fingers of your right hand on your LEFT collarbone and repeat breathing and tapping sequence.

3.  Place knuckles of your right hand on your RIGHT collarbone and repeat breathing and tapping sequence.

4.  Place knuckles of your right hand on your LEFT collarbone and repeat breathing and tapping sequence.

REPEAT ENTIRE PROCEDURE USING FINGERS AND KNUCKLES OF LEFT HAND.

Two fingers of left hand on LEFT collarbone, tapping on left hand…etc.  

This procedure can be used when you are feeling any of the above-mentioned symptoms, or when you are noticeably agitated.  

I use collarbone breathing with clients when I see their polarity is reversed.  This technique brings them back into balance.  

If you know anyone prone to panic attacks, this is a great way to ward off an attack before it takes hold.

We could all use help dealing with stress during these challenging times. Find more de-stressing techniques on my website www.zenofmenopause.com.  

Contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.

Don’t Believe Everything You Tell Yourself

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When was the last time you were told that you were loved…by you?

Unfortunately, self talk is not usually that sweet.  

It’s probably more like this…”I am so fat”, “I look terrible in this outfit”, “I am not as smart as my coworkers”, “I am the ONLY woman my age without a husband”.  Or the biggest lies that we may have been telling ourselves since childhood… “I’m not worthy”, “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t deserve…” (fill in the blank).  

Those are all lies, don’t believe any of them.

For most of us our negative self talk begins in childhood.  It could stem from an incident on the playground where we weren’t chosen for some game, or a kid might have called us a name.  Worse yet, parents may be the ones who plant the seeds of self doubt that blossom into negative beliefs about ourselves.

It really doesn’t take much for our feelings to get hurt, and it’s that emotional hit that embeds the negative thought or belief deeply into our subconscious where it gets reinforced with negative self talk.

We have bought in to what others have said about us, or even what we perceive others think about us.

The danger of negative self talk is that when we hear words spoken in our own voice, our subconscious accepts them as absolute truth.  That’s why it’s important to say affirmations out loud, to hear them in our own voice.

Even when spoken in our minds, we will take on the energy of those words and their subsequent thoughts, and we will behave accordingly.  Self defeating self image leads to self defeating behavior, which leads to self defeating results.  

Self sabotage comes from negative self talk, and is a common energetic block to success that I often see in my clients.

Here are some ways to shift the pattern of self doubt and negative self talk, into self care and self love.

  1. Put your thumb and finger pads together on both hands and tap them in a circle around your ears, coming up the front of your ears, over the top and down the back side.  While taping, repeat an affirmation of your choice, or simply say—“I am worthy, deserving and loved”.  While tapping and affirming, look up, down, right and left, with your eyes only, don’t move your head.  Repeat the eye movements with your eyes shut.  This helps lock the affirmation into all areas of the brain.
  2. Put your right hand on your heart, (heart chakra—self love) and your left hand at the base of your ribcage at the site of your third chakra (solar plexus chakra—personal power and self esteem).  This will help connect the two. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and send unconditional love to yourself.  
  3. Think of a time when you were proud of yourself, and give yourself kudos.
  4. Think of all the people who love you.  Allow their love to fill every cell of your body.
  5. Do a service for someone else.  Shift your thoughts and concerns away from yourself.

Let me help you clear self sabotage and limiting beliefs.  Set up a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.

 

The Liberation Of Menopause

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Menopause ushers in an amazing time in a women’s life.  For many of us the kids are grown—good job!—and hopefully out of the house.  There are no more pesky feminine hygiene products in the bathroom, and no more embarrassing accidents around that time of the month.  Yes, our breeding days are over—-Woohoo!  We are liberated!  

That does NOT mean we are no longer women, or feminine.  We are FAR more than our uterus and ovaries.  The precious hormones that those glands produce are still available to us through other means, which include; healthy adrenal glands, bioidentical hormone replacement, homeopathic and naturopathic supplements and lifestyle hacks. We are not without options or choices.

If we throw up our hands and figure “it’s all downhill from here", then most likely it will be.  If however, we embrace the changes and shift our focus back to ourselves with some TLC and compassion, the future holds endless possibilities.

We can look at change with either fear, or anticipation.  I choose the later.

In fact, as women we tend to become more relaxed and confident in our selves as we age.  Not just in our abilities, (with age comes experience, and expertise), but in our physical selves as well.  

Whether we work a bit harder to maintain our shape, or embrace our new softer creased self, feeling comfortable in our bodies and with who we are, is a beautiful place to be, and it shows.

Here are 10 ways to appreciate our amazing selves:

  1. Smile every time we see your reflection.
  2. Make a list of your accomplishments, it will be longer than you think.
  3. Admire your best feature.
  4. Laugh at yourself as often as possible—lightening up your spirit.
  5. Be proud of making it to your age, we have it ALL over the younger gals!
  6. Take a deep breath…exhale and radiate out a loving glow.  What color is it?
  7. Smell a flower.  Inhale its nature and beauty, let it infuse your every cell.
  8. Put your right hand over your heart and your left hand over your uterus and ovaries, send them love and thank them for a job well done.
  9. Look deep into your eyes and see the beauty there.
  10. Men are great, but they can’t come close to being as amazing as women are.  Own it.  If you need to, watch Wonder Woman one more time.

Let me help guide you through your transformation to make the most out of your liberation.   Contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.

 

I Have Bad Genes

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Have you ever felt like you simply have bad genes?  Do certain disorders run in your family?  Well, the good news is that we are not slaves to our genetics.  The science of epigenetics shows us that we can control our gene expression.  Meaning which genes get turned on and which remain dormant.  Thereby bypassing the blueprint of our genetic code, and consciously designing the the environmental “home” our cells live in.

How do we do this, turn our genes on or off?  Simply speaking, by the choices we make every day about how we eat, exercise, sleep, and think.  (The toxic level of our physical environment also plays a role, but we have less influence over that).

Perhaps the most important piece to the puzzle of gene expression is how we think…our belief system.  This is because our thoughts and feelings affect our emotions, which in turn affect our cells, which in turn affect our genes.

The biochemistry of this phenomena is fairly straight forward.  Emotions elicit neurotransmitter and hormonal responses in the body that send chemical signals to the cells directing their behavior, which includes how cells are replicated. These chemical messengers have a direct effect on the gene sequencing of the DNA, and therefore the health of our cells, which make up our tissues, which make up our organs, which make up our body.  Positive emotions lead to healthy new cells, negative emotions can lead to unhealthy new cells.

Feelings like gratitude, compassion, love, joy, contentment, peace, and happiness can help us all enjoy healthier longer lives.  We all have something, or hopefully many things that bring us joy everyday.  Whether that is the love of our partner, children or pet, a great bike ride, a walk in the woods, or just peaceful time to ourselves.  Like the popular saying goes, “whatever makes you happy, do that!”       

If you are at a place in your life where these feelings are not a part of your everyday existence, then take 5 minutes to close your eyes, pull up memories of loving, happy times, put a hand on your heart and breathe deeply.  This simple exercise will flood your body with the chemical messengers of rest, recovery, health and longevity…plus it feels great.  Oh ya, that’s the point.

When we feel better we tend to make healthier choices in general.  We are in control.  So, rather than throwing up our hands and saying, “I have bad genes”, perhaps we could take more responsibility for the choices we make on a daily basis, and actually direct our genes to work FOR us.

As a wellness and lifestyle coach I can guide you to better choices that are in your highest best interest.  Contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.

 

What’s New? You!

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In a recent conversation, catching up with an old friend, I was thrilled to hear her response to my mundane question, “what’s new?”.  Her delightful response was “ME!”

She explained to me that once she quit the noise, quit the emails, quit the classes…she found herself.

She had been on a journey of self-discovery for years.  Like most of us, this involved self-help and spiritual books, yoga classes, healing modalities, spiritual work, and engaging in activities that fed her soul.  All of this was tremendously helpful, and moved her in the right direction.  When she was ready, (which is alway in perfect timing for all of us), she had the clarity to notice that in her “quest”, she had surrounded herself in layers of noise. Not until she was ready willing and able to shed those layers and look inside, could she find what she was looking for.  

And there she was.  She’d been there all along.      

When you can find that quiet space and look inside, you might just discover that you’ve been there all along, just buried under the chaos.  

In discovering herself, she was able to get in touch with how she FELT, and from there could base her actions on what felt GOOD.  This is called following your HEART.  What a beautiful concept.

Her present state of being now enables her to listen to, and trust, her feelings and act accordingly.  She tells me that she is feeling more like her genuine self than ever before in her life.  And guess what?  Yes, she is one of us…a happy healthy sixty something.

No matter your age, we could all use some help clearing out the "clutter", and getting to the "good stuff". 

Contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.

 

The Labyrinth of our Lives

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One of the amazing aspects of existence is our ability to choose.  In each moment and circumstance we are making choices, be they mundane or consequential, that ultimately dictate the course of our lives.

We base these choices, whether subconscious or deliberate, on a very personal and select set of perceptions.  Perceptions of ourselves, perceptions of others, perceptions of our environment, perceptions of our circumstances, perceptions of our ability or inability to choose at all…and on, and on.

These perceptions that we hold create the labyrinth of our lives.  They can either free us, or imprison us.

So, what if we could shift our perceptions so that the choices we make, that ultimately dictate the course of our lives, could actually move us forward and serve us to our highest best good?  The mere thought is liberating.

The first step would be to release limiting beliefs that keep us stuck.  We many not feel like we are deserving, or good enough to reach our goal.  These are common limiting beliefs.

Often times when trying to move forward in life we get stuck by the limiting belief that we really have no choice, and there is nothing worse than feeling trapped. 

If we can change our perception of the situation, and see that we do indeed have choices, everything changes.  The "problem" becomes a challenge, a puzzle in need of a solution.

Then the choices we make work for us and empower us.  Moving us closer to our goal, in an easy healthy way, for our highest best good.

I work with clients using specialized kinesiology to tap into the subconscious and release old patterning, be it beliefs, emotions or blocked energy, making it possible to move beyond circumstances that once felt hopeless.

Contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.

Recharge Your Batteries

We all understand the concept of needing to charge our electrical technology, but when it comes to recharging our body mind and spirit, we don’t want to be bothered.  Sleeping less than 7-8 hours a night, or running all day without any breaks, is like only partially charging your phone or computer’s battery. 

Sleep is our opportunity  to recharge our “batteries”.  When we skimp on sleep we run ourselves into the ground, literally.  What do we say when our phone battery runs out?  “My phone died”, or “my phone just went dead”.  It works pretty much the same for us, it’s just a slower process. 

When your  phone or computer displays the “low battery” warning, do you  plug your device in, or do you hit “dismiss” and keep right on going? 

Unfortunatelyour bodies don’t have a visual “low battery” warning.  Our signals are fatigue, brain fog and illness, which many of us ignore, or worse, think is “normal”.  Feeling “normal” should mean being alert, motivated, energetic and vital.  When was the last time you felt like that? 

When you get enough sleep (7-9 hours, yes that much), your immune system is strong enough to keep you from catching the flu that everyone around you has,  your brain is able to function because your neurotransmitters regenerate and your brain is able to detoxify,  your blood sugar and hormones have a chance to regulate so you are not constantly craving sweets, while biting everyones head off, and that lovely growth hormone that comes out at night can keep you young and vital. 

And what happens when you don’t get enough sleep?  Fat around the belly, aging in fast forward, mood swings, food cravings, fatigue and even insulin resistance. 

The good news is, every night is a new chance to get the sleep your body needs.  Meanwhile, you can take short breaks during the day to recharge and help make up for your lack of sleep the night before.   

Here are five 5 minute recharges, that are well worth making time for. 

  1. Sit quietly, close your eyes, place your hand over your heart, and visualize a loving memory.

  2. Try a little Qi Gong.  Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width, knees relaxed, arms to your sides.  Take a deep slow breath into your belly while slowly raising your arms to shoulder height.  Slowly exhale and shift your weight to your right leg while bringing your left foot in to meet the right (95% of weight on the right foot, 5% on ball of the left foot), while lowering your arms.  Slowly inhale and open the left foot back to where it started, while floating  your arms back up--weight on both feet.  Repeat to the left side.  Inhale arms float up, feet open, exhale arms float down, weight on one foot.  Move as in slow motion, work up to 5 minutes.  This will not only calm your system, it will infuse you with life force energy.

  3. Stand barefoot on the earth.  Grass, sand or dirt will all help to ground you and literally fill you with healing energy from Mother Earth. 

  4. Drink 8 ounces of clean filtered water with a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan salt to mineralized it and you.

  5. Do something that that you love to do.  Play, laugh and re-charge.  

We all need to recharge on a regular basis.  Let me guide you to better health and energy.  Contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.

Women of Wisdom and Experience

Those of us who are fortunate enough to be in our 6th decade or better, are elite members in a private club of Women of Wisdom and Experience.

We all know them.  They are our mothers, our friends, our mentors and ourselves.  Not necessarily pillars of society or leaders in their field, simply women who possess the collective knowledge that the years impart. That in and of itself is powerful.

20, 30, and 40 year olds may have tighter bodies and fewer wrinkles, (ok, a lot fewer wrinkles), but they do not possess the “ been there done that” ease and confidence that only comes with age.  And that is sexy!

Age is not a dirty word, and as I age I find myself relaxing into it like a cozy sweater. Who knew?

The stresses of raising children, (or now days even trying to conceive),  building a career, constant competition on many levels, and just trying to be all things to all people is greatly reduced and hopefully even nonexistent at this stage of life.  

In my experience, even at sixty, children are grown, careers are in place, competition between women becomes camaraderie, we don’t really care about competing with men anymore, and there is actually time for us to practice self-care as opposed to everyone else-care.

Many women of wisdom and experience are re-discovering themselves by engaging in second careers or activities that are passion driven rather than driven by necessity.  That could be anything from making money by doing what you love, to learning to dance the Tango.  Dr. Christiane Northrup swears by it, and as a fellow Tango dancer, so do I.  Talk about sexy.

Even the physical challenges of Menopause are manageable with some TLC—Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes.  Not to worry, as a Wellness Coach I have navigated Menopause while maintaining my figure and energy, and I can guide you through it in a way that you can enjoy a rainbow of whole foods and even a moderate amount of chocolate and red wine.  I can hear your sigh of relief.

My mission is to empower you amazing creatures to experience the freedom, power and grace that comes from knowing yourself, and being OK with who you are, so that Menopause can be a time of passion, connection, vitality, and even FUN.

Contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.

 

 

 

Four Strategies to Be Great As a Woman--A Guest Blog by Medical Intuitive Catherine Carrigan

Some years ago, my mother needlepointed a slogan in soft forest green yarn, framed it and presented it to me as a gift:

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.”

I thought it was odd that the same woman who had recommended I become a Savannah debutante was also telling me to buck the system.

The picture hung in my office for some time before I decided to look up who would have the nerve to say such a thing.

It was Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, a professor of history at Harvard.

I figured that if a professor of history at Harvard said that well-behaved women don’t make history, it must be true.

Meanwhile, the constant presence of my mother’s hand-made gift made me think.

What is it exactly that makes a woman great.

Here are my current thoughts on the subject:

1. Stop asking permission.

Most women are people pleasers.

The people pleaser aspect of ourselves is part of our cave woman. Cave women need the group to survive. If a cave woman becomes ostracized, survival becomes difficult to impossible.

So our innate nature is to look for ways we can please others, whether it be acting the way we think others expect us to act, which makes us women especially adaptable, to dressing the way we think society demands, looking the way we think others expect and speaking only when it appears to be safe to do so.

This ingrained pattern keeps us surviving but lost in the herd.

To be great as a woman, we need to stop asking permission from others and give ourselves the go ahead to act upon our own inner guidance.

If there is something you want, go after it.

If your soul longs to be or do or see or experience, don’t stop until you get enough which means don’t stop growing until you are actually dead.

2. Stop acting like men.

Fortunately, I had the great blessing years ago to be the student of Kermit Champa, chairman of the art history department at Brown University. Professor Champa and I spoke every week for 27 years before he died. He became de facto the father I always wanted but never had.

One of the best pieces of advice Champa ever gave me was to look to other women.

When I was writing plays, he said to me, “Read the women playwrights. If you only read the men, you will always come off sounding like a second rate man.”

I took Champa’s advice and in every area of my life I have specifically chosen women mentors.

We women hold our energy totally differently than men.

A strong woman attracts.

We can sit silently on the top of a mountain and people will naturally be drawn to us.

This is the opposite of male energy, which pushes.

Yin energy draws from the inner well.

It’s a subtle, qualitative difference but one that will make or break you whatever field you choose.

3. Stop competing with other women.

Recently, I met a woman who every time I see her tells me all about her weight. I don’t bring up the subject. She does.

“I used to be a size 4,” she tells me.

I have yet to have a conversation with her that does not end without her reporting the current status of her weight loss efforts. I groan inside but know that even though she’s 60, she can’t help herself.

This is cave women behavior.

Cave women are driven to get the guy to be secure.

Cave women compete with other women for what they perceive to be scarce resources (and the subconscious message is that there isn’t enough guys, attention or money to go around to keep everybody safe in the manner to which we would all like to be totally secure).

Competition about looks doesn’t end with women of child bearing years but extends for many to their dying day.

The opposite of competition is cooperation, the celebration of the fact that we are all beautiful with our own unique sense of style and the recognition that no such thing as a vacuum actually exists in nature.

There is plenty of men, money and opportunity for everybody, especially if we work together.

You can only stop the pattern of competition by realizing that you are 100 percent secure in and of yourself, by giving yourself permission to be who you are meant to be and taking the steps necessary to live up to your true potential.

4. Love your femininity.

If you are born a woman in this lifetime, you will never be a man so you might as well love everything there is to love about being a woman.

Our softness.

Our intuition.

Our ability to connect so deeply with the world around us.

The way we make everything more beautiful.

The way we nurture.

If you are having trouble with this step, look to the goddesses.

Are you the earth mother, the goddess of victory, the vessel of peace, the messenger of hope?

Notice the noble, uplifting and eternal aspects of your true character.

How can you express these qualities more fully?

Knowing your goddess self allows you to act from your deepest strengths.

As of this writing, my mother, Jane Espy who needlepointed Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s truth for me, is now 78 years of age.

Jane has been president of the Colonial Dames of Georgia and still serves at treasurer of Christ Church in Savannah, Georgia as well as chairman of the Episcopal Youth & Children’s Services.

She previously served as a board member for the Historic Savannah Foundation, the Georgia Historical Society, and the Savannah Science Museum.

Like many women, I have had issues in the past with my mother but now I respectfully observe her selfless example.

What is healing? Healing happens when we look to the lives of others for inspiration to bring out the best in ourselves.

Are Your Everyday Stressors Making You Fat?

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The typical American is chronically stressed in ways that they may not realize. What does it take to trigger your adrenal glands to secrete cortisol, the stress hormone, into your system? 

Say you set the alarm for 6:00 am, (because you can’t wake up without it), that’s your first hit of stress.  Next you stumble to the kitchen and make a cup of coffee, that’s your second hit.  Then you get into your car and proceed to battle traffic to get to work, POW, more cortisol.  Once at work, your boss is on your case about a report he wanted yesterday that you are frantically finishing up.  All of the frustrations, arguments or rushing around at work add to your load of cortisol.  Lunch of McDonalds latest delight eaten at your desk adds nutritional stress to the picture.  Let’s not forget the Red Bull to keep you going at 3:00 pm, which triggers a flood of cortisol.  The drive home adds to your stress, as does whatever “situation” awaits you at home.  The final overdose of cortisol comes as you stay awake under artificial light, (not sunlight), until midnight.

All of that cortisol in your system keeps you from burning fat for energy and also sets you up for metabolic syndrome and diabetes because cortisol causes an increase in blood sugar and therefore insulin to carry the excess sugar out of the blood and into your cells for usable energy. 

Once your cells are full, which happens very quickly, the excess glucose gets stored as fat.  Meanwhile, the more your overworked pancreas pumps out insulin, the more your cells become insulin resistant. 

As your blood sugar lowers from the insulin, your body begins to crave more sugar to come back to a stable level.  Not only that, but cortisol also suppresses leptin, the hormone that signals your brain that you are full, so now you are eating sugary processed carbohydrates because every cell in your body is screaming for them, and you have no shut off valve. 

As the cycle of stress, low blood sugar, then binging on sugary carbohydrates continues you get fatter and fatter, typically around the middle. 

Here are some suggestions to break that cycle of stress=fat:

*  Get to bed as close to 10:00 pm as possible.  As in lights out, not with a computer on your lap.

*  If you need coffee in the morning, make sure it's organic, and stick to one cup.  Better yet switch to green tea for some energy in the morning.

*  Eating some protein in the morning will also help keep your blood sugar level and avoid cortisol spikes.

*  Take some nuts and veggies to work as an alternative to whatever highly processed sweet is in the break room.

*  Give ourself time in the morning so your drive won't be panicked.

*  Take short 5 minute breaks during the day to breathe and smile.

*  If your drive home is in heavy traffic, accept it and listen to a book on tape, classical music, or whatever puts you at ease.

*  Practice patience at the end of the day when dealing with family members.  They've had "a day" as well.  Compassion and gratitude when shared will be returned.

For one-on-one help managing stress and weight gain, contact me for a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call me at 301-332-5732.

Do You Allow Divine Inspiration To Flow Through You? A Guest Post By Medical Intuitive Catherine Carrigan

Last year, I did a very interesting healing with a painter.

She had been depressed for some time.

Although many natural healing remedies had helped her to feel less blue – yoga, nutritional supplements – she was still mildly dissatisfied and unable to break her cycle.

She came to me for a medical intuitive reading and healing.

I asked for guidance and received the information that she needed to paint a minimum of 1 and a half hours every other day to eliminate her depression for good.

Although she had painted in the past, her artistic efforts had been sporadic in a stop-and-go fashion.

“Look at this like your mental health project,” I advised her.

“It doesn’t matter whether you paint or draw, whether you sell your artwork or don’t sell your art. Just do something at least 1 and a half hours every day and then you will feel dramatically better.”

She followed my advice and voila, her depression was gone.

Yesterday, I was doing a healing for a woman who practices energy medicine.

Although she is an accomplished practitioner, she had gotten away from energy work and her life has been out of order in several dimensions – especially financially and mentally.

“You have to allow the healing energy to flow through you,” I advised her. “You need to work with at least three clients a week or you won’t feel right. You are blocking the flow and getting all turned around as a result.”

Many of us receive divine inspiration on a regular basis.

Your soul could want to paint, heal, write or create in some other way –  in business, for example.

If you do not allow this divine inspiration to flow through you, to work through you, to be birthed by you, you may end up feeling not only depressed but the word I would use for this condition is dispirited – out of touch with who you are, not able to put your finger on exactly what is wrong with you, going from one therapist to the other with no result.

You may be coping by drinking too much alcohol, overworking or abusing yourself in many other ways.

Here’s the rub.

If you already know you are a naturally creative person, if you don’t create, if you do not allow divine inspiration to flow through you, you will not feel right no matter if you are taking vitamins, exercising, talking to a therapist about your childhood, receiving acupuncture, taking antidepressants, etc. etc. etc.

You need to be living in harmony with your what your soul is longing to do, so you might as well follow your guidance and allow divine inspiration to flow through you.

I had this experience myself.

After publishing my first book in 1997, I went through a 15-year dry spell.

My soul longed to write more books but nothing was happening, nothing was coming through me until I wrote the rough draft of my second book, What Is Healing? Awaken Your Intuitive Power for Health and Happiness. 

Even though I had been making money, serving others and growing in many ways as a person and even blogging and writing a monthly newsletter, I didn’t feel quite myself until I finally broke down and allowed divine inspiration to flow through me in the form of a book.

Another friend of mine was given the guidance that if she didn’t start teaching again she would become ill.

We all have a special gift – a gift that only YOU can give – that your soul is deeply longing to contribute.

Stop making yourself sick by blocking your soul. Just go do it!

What is healing? Healing happens when we allow divine inspiration to flow through us.

Coconut Oil, Saturated And Proud Of It

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Your body needs saturated fat for healthy cell walls, bone health, (calcium needs it to be absorbed into the bone matrix) a strong immune system and proper functioning of fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. 

Coconut oil is a very healthy saturated fat. It contains lauric acid, which has antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and has antioxidant properties. Because of its chemical structure, coconut oil is easily converted into usable energy by the liver and not readily stored as body fat. 

Furthermore, it boosts your metabolism by increasing thyroid function.  In fact, in the 1940’s farmers fed coconut oil to their pigs in an attempt to fatten them up.  To their surprise the pigs became lean and active!  Of course, once they went back to just grains, the pigs once again fattened up and became lethargic.  Sound familiar?

Coconut oil is a saturated fat that is actually good for the heart.  It raises HDL (good) cholesterol levels, thus improving the cholesterol ratio (LDL/HDL) and reducing your risk of heart disease. 

It also helps prevent strokes by lowering blood pressure and keeping blood platelets from sticking together and forming atherosclerosis.

Your immune system also benefits from a daily dose of coconut oil, (approximately 2 tbs.) and a strong immune system is your best defense against cancer.  

Coconut oil improves digestion and increases the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Diabetics greatly benefit from eating coconut oil because it enhances the body’s use of glucose, and improves insulin secretion and absorption. 

There are a variety of coconut products on the market. Virgin, organic coconut oil is the most pure. 

Coconut milk is a delicious alternative to dairy.  Coconut milk is rich and creamy and can be used in place of cream or half and half in coffee or tea. 

Coconut oil is perfect for cooking, as it can be heated to high temperatures without damage, unlike vegetable oils that become rancid when heated.  It is also great for the skin.  I must admit, when I use coconut oil for cooking, I wipe the extra off the spoon and rub it on my skin.

For more nutritious tips, set up a free 15 minute consultation at nina.lynn@me.com, or call 301-332-5732.