Will the Gut-Brain Connection Revolutionize Wellness?

Three decades ago, the brain lost its sovereignty as the seat of thinking, feeling, and the operation of intelligence. In fact, those processes began to escape the confines of the nervous system itself. All of this occurred when it was discovered that various “messenger molecules” associated with the brain are in fact circulating throughout the body via the bloodstream. Every cell is eavesdropping on the brain’s activity, sending and receiving messages identical to those that the brain processes.

 

Over the next three decades, the realization that what we dub “intelligence” is a holistic feature of the body, the main difference being that outside the brain, this intelligence is nonverbal. The immune system’s incredible ability to identify and combat invading bacteria and viruses, in fact, has earned it the nickname of the floating brain. Everywhere researchers looked, new avenues were opening in a virtual information superhighway that reaches everywhere, and now it is possible to redefine wellness in terms of a “whole system” approach that has no need to recognize the artificial boundaries between brain and body, neurons and other cells, or even the distinction between human DNA and the countless other microbial genes that reside inside us.

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Mindfulness and Exercise

Most gyms survive on clients who sign up and stop coming after one month. Most people have a great intention but it quickly fades in the reality of the time and effort required to succeed in the area of exercise. The New Year’s resolution to exercise is probably the most un-accomplished resolution people make.

You understand the need for balance in life and exercise is a core factor in living a healthy life. It needs to reflect your body type and temperament. Find what works for you. Exercise can never become an integrated part of your life if it doesn’t resonate with you. Forcing yourself to exercise is simply a form of resistance and suffering. For some going to a gym is an enjoyable respite in their day. For another it is torture. Some can only stay regular if they hire a trainer or go with a friend because they really don’t like what they are doing. Find what resonates with you. What inspires you to feel good? Maybe walks that allow you to feel close to nature and breathe in the air and see the sky inspire you. When you fight against it the whole time you are doing it, you will quit. When you enjoy and resonate with what you are doing, you will continue. Simply knowing it is good for you isn’t enough.

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Recovery Survivors Share How They Found Healing from Anxiety and Addiction

Those who suffer from severe anxiety will tell you that life can be a constant battle. Chronic anxiety has a way of making even the smallest stresses of everyday life overwhelming.

 

Finding ways to cope with anxiety is often a challenge, and some people turn to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to make life feel more manageable. But substance use can quickly turn into substance abuse, and it can worsen the toll anxiety takes on a person’s life.

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End of Summer Raw Heirloom Pasta Sauce

This sauce is the epitome of late summer. Before we head into fall—the season of apples and pumpkins—grab onto those last few tastes of summer with this fresh and vibrant sauce. It’s best made with summer heirloom tomatoes (the more colorful the better!); however, you can also use “regular” tomatoes.

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5 Ways a Regular Yoga Practice Creates Easy Living

Let’s clear the air.

 

First, I’ve never been one to receive messages with an open heart or mind. Accepting things at face value seemed too easy. Secondly, believe me when I say that taking the path of least resistance wasn’t a familiar trail. While others learned life lessons quickly, I seemed to stumble and make the same mistakes over and over again. I continued to spend money I didn’t have. I loved too much or too little. Let’s not talk about forgiveness – myself or others. I found it difficult to accept my shortcomings and I walked around angry so much of the time. This way of living ruled my life from the time I was in my mid-twenties to about two years ago when I started seriously practicing yoga and, even more recently, as I’ve embraced mindful living.

 

The lessons I’ve learned from yoga can be learned anywhere if you’re the sort of person who gets it right away. By “gets it” I refer to figuring out life with relative ease. For some of us though, we need those ah-ha moments. Those rare moments of clarity that seem to catapult you from ignorance to enlightenment in zero to thirty seconds. I found mine on the yoga mat somewhere between down dog and Savasana. In those moments, here is what I came to believe as my truth.

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Mindfulness and Your Diet

To thrive on the level of the body requires the support of an optimal functioning physical system. For that, proper diet is required and that means a diet that is suited to your unique needs, situation and location. If you live in the tropics and do hard labor your diet will be quite different from someone living in a polar region who is sedentary. If you are tall and thin naturally, or if you are short and stout your requirements may be different. The same holds true for age and activity levels. Does eating seasonally feel good to you? And your philosophy will affect your diet; are you a carnivore or vegetarian? Some people tolerate caffeine and alcohol and some don’t. Some people can eat late at night and sleep well and others can’t. You are unique.

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Water Fasting

This week’s vlog is going to be pretty controversial. It’s not a call to action. I’m just sharing my experience. I never, ever would have tried this several years ago, but I’ve been doing something for the past couple of days and I wanted to share it with you. Watch this week’s vlog to learn more.

Living with Anxiety

We all have secrets.

I have a closet full of them. One of which is living with anxiety.


But you would never know by glancing my way.

We hide behind layers and layers of ourselves out of fear. Fear of rejection, judgment, and not being accepted for who we truly are. So, day by day we filter out this or that. Contort and twist. Until we look into the mirror and no longer recognize the person staring back.

I'll never forget the first time it happened or any other times that followed.

 

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Your Best Foot Forward: Ayurvedic Foot Care

If there is one part of your body that works hard for you, it is your feet. Every day, walking and other activities bring the weight of your entire body to bear on your feet. And that workload may come with a cost — your feet are the area of your body most subject to injury.

Yet most of us pay little attention to our feet, unless of course there is an injury or imbalance. Here are a few tips to give your soles some love and avoid hot, tired, overworked feet.

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Where Does Wellbeing Come From? A Better Answer

It is much easier to understand what makes people unhappy than to understand what makes them happy. Happiness is undermined or destroyed by violence, poverty, illness, and other external factors, leading to the inner states of depression, anxiety, and misery. Here, the link between inner and outer poses no mystery. It seems common-sensical that by reversing the causes of unhappiness, happiness will result.

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Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Are you riding the Transition Train? If so, welcome aboard! It seems as though nearly everyone I know is moving, ending a relationship, leaving a job, or embarking on a new venture. Change can be scary, overwhelming, frustrating, exhausting, and even paralyzing. But, it can also be exciting, reinvigorating, and inspiring.

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You Probably Drink Chlorine in Your Water Every Day — But Is It Harmful?

Every day, millions of people drink chlorinated tap water.

Chlorine is used to keep our water clean by disinfecting it and killing germs. And it does a marvelous job at eliminating most pathogens from the water we drink.


But the use of this powerful chemical has a downside. According to a report from the U.S. Council of Environmental Quality, the cancer risk for people who drink chlorinated water is 93% higher than those whose water does not contain chlorine.

 

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Ending the Dread of Cancer

We will most certainly have entered a new era in medicine when the dread of cancer has abated. For decades this dread has been well founded. Both the disease itself and its treatments created anxiety, which is the worst of both worlds. Emotional attitudes tend to shift slowly. What would it take to turn the corner on cancer?

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Superfood Tie Dye Pops

Paloma’s been taking an active interest in cooking and working on fun food projects with me in the kitchen. This newfound fascination may have something to do with the fact that she’s on summer break and cannot stand being at home with nothing to do for more than a few hours at a time. Instead, she’ll wake up with wild ideas about what she’d like to cook that day. I try to carve out time for those little projects whenever possible, since I obviously support this type of hobby :) In all seriousness though, cooking with kids creates such a great awareness about the importance and power of ingredients, and teaches them all about our connection to food and nourishment. So we’ll cook colorful things like berry-filled ravioli with a green, spirulina-dyed dough and our raw chocolate with a ton of different flavorings, and the kid’s always happy to partake in the fruits of her labor.

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This Is An Astonishingly Easy, Affordable, and Effective Way to Treat Depression Naturally

Around the world, 350 million people report suffering from depression. And by the year 2020, depression may be the second leading cause of healthy years of life lost (behind only to heart disease). But a new study gives hope to sufferers of this devastating condition.

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Optimistic Thoughts About Cancer - For Real

It's hard to get people to feel optimistic about cancer, with good reason. It remains the most feared diagnosis in medicine, and fear is a powerful force, all the more so when it contains irrationality. If you ask women, for example, which disorder they are more anxious about, breast cancer or heart disease, there's little doubt what the answer would be. But fear is a very bad guide to reality. Out of total deaths among American women each year, breast cancer accounts for 1 in 31, while deaths from heart disease are 1 in 3.

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Plant-Based Summer Meal Plan, Part 2

Here comes Part 2 of our Plant-Based Summer meal plan, which we created in hopes of helping some of you get more plants into your life on a day-to-day basis. We aimed for efficiency, but also tried to come up with recipes that are inspired and delicious. Part 2 focuses on dinner and dessert only. There are tacos and fajitas, as well as a juicy fruit crisp. To see the breakfast and lunch recipes, as well as the grocery shopping list for the entire meal plan, head to Part 1.

If you use this meal plan, we would appreciate your feedback a whole lot. Tell us which parts were useful and where we could improve. These meal plans are a ton of fun to come up with, but they are also a ton of work, so we want to make sure that we are putting our energy into something that’s practical to you. Providing that everything goes well, we’ll come out with the next meal plan in the fall. Until then, we are back to our regular schedule of two recipe posts a week :)


Menu

(see Part 1 for breakfast and lunch recipes)

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Canada’s Surprising New Proposed Health Guide Favors Plant-Based Foods and Ignores Industry Input

The Canadian government has released a new draft of their food guide, which has some surprising and exciting recommendations, including favoring whole, plant-based foods and suggesting that dairy and meat products should have a smaller role in our diets. 

With its new recommendations for healthy eating, it seems like the Canadian government is actually listening to what the public wants and focusing on the latest science.

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Plant-Based Summer Meal Plan, Part 1

A few months ago, we asked if you would be interested in seeing semi-regular, seasonal meal plans here and heard a resounding yes. We love coming up with whimsical and creative, plant-based recipes to share here, but we also want this site to be a friendly space for busy people looking to eat more plants. You know, for those of you who might not have the time or brain space for making, say, an experimental aquafaba meringue, like we do. Meal planning is a great practice for saving money on groceries (and impulse takeout orders!), eating homemade meals (which inevitably equal healthier meals), and minimizing those situations of staring blankly into your refrigerator, wondering what to eat for dinner. Do I plan my meals? Sometimes. Ironically, I think that if cooking wasn’t my job, I would plan our family meals much more. But because I’m in the business of dreaming up recipes for this blog and for other publications, I often end up with random, non-coordinated dishes in my fridge, which then become our breakfast, lunch and dinner.


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How Turmeric Can Help You Hack Your Genes And Avoid Disease

Does heart disease run in your family? What about cancer or diabetes? Maybe you think your genetic code is fairly set, and that many of the health problems you’re predisposed to could be unavoidable. If so, you’re not alone. It has been a long-held belief that, for the most part, genes shape destiny. But research is showing us a deeper truth: Your genes are not your fate, and through lifestyle and diet choices, you have more control over your health than most of us ever could have imagined.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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