Your One True Love – Your Heart

Valentines Day and Heart Month bring to mind chocolate, candies, champagne, romance, right ventricle, left atrium…huh? February is also Heart Month, a chance to reexamine how we treat our hearts and know how important they are.

There are multiple ways to help our heart health which add up to wholeness.

Diet

Try a Meatless Monday or a Vegan Weekend or Vegend which incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet by taking away animal products. Avoid trans fats and hydrogenated oils which have a negative impact on our heart’s function. These are prominent in processed foods. Check labels for the most wholesome ingredients which are easy to pronounce and come from nature not a lab. Quick Fix – Eat oily fish like salmon or cod 2-3 times per week. Replace a handful of chips with nuts or berries.

Reduce Stress

Ha, easy to say – harder to do. While we cannot control other people’s behavior, we can control how we interact and react. Limit or cut your time with toxic people who don’t serve your greater good. Also, make peace with saying no to things you don’t want to do and overcommitting your schedule which will free up time to enjoy the things you like. Quick Fix – Try a deep breathing technique when you feel overwhelmed. Take 5-10 deep breaths while you count to 5 on the inhale and exhale to slow your breathing down. This does wonders for stress which puts strain on your heart.

Exercise

We know it by now that moving on a daily basis is good. Recent research says that moderate exercise for 10-20 minutes twice per day is just as good as a 30+ minute daily workout. As long as you are raising your heart rate, it works. Try to do something you enjoy like walking, biking, yoga, swimming or dancing to your fave tune. Then it doesn’t feel like a chore. Quick Fix – Do one minute of each of any of these for ten mins: skip, dance, march in place, lunge in place, squat in place, arm circles, sit ups, twist in place, fake hula hoop, jumping jacks or mountain climbers.

Love and Social Circle

Having a sense of community makes you live longer and feel more fulfilled.

Own a pet. Studies show pets reduce blood pressure and cat owners had a 30% reduction in heart attacks according to a Minnesota study.

Live with purpose. Having something to look forward to or helping another person is extremely rewarding. Plan a post COVID trip to see a friend or visit another place. Volunteer or donate money to help a stranger or a homeless pet. Repaint a room in your house a fresh, vibrant or relaxing color. What did you love as a child? Do that! Quick Fix – Forgive. Forgiveness results in empathy and compassion which reduces anger and puts us on path to heart health.

Rock Star Supplements

Most diets are deficient in some type of nutrient. Plus mass production farming reduces soil nutrients so adding a few vitamins is beneficial. What’s good for the heart? Fish oils are proven winners for coronary benefits reducing stroke and lowering triglycerides. L-carnitine transports fats into the mitochondria for energy production and heart function. Magnesium helps cardiovascular function. Low magnesium is related to hardening of arteries and high blood pressure. CoQ10 is in every cell of our body and as we age we make less. Statins reduce CoQ10 as well. Garlic is delicious but has medicinal benefits too. Studies show promising results in treating high blood pressure and heart disease. Quick Fix – Drink green tea which is packed with antioxidants and theanine which helps promote calm.

Chocolate

Since it’s almost Valentines Day, I need to mention this little gem loaded with antioxidants and heart healthy flavanols which increase circulation. Eating a small amount of dark chocolate per day has cardiovascular benefits so enjoy!

Check with your healthcare professional about diet, exercise and supplements.

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What I learned in 2020

The past year has been a master class in sociology. By definition sociology is the systematic study of the development, structure, interaction, and collective behavior of organized groups of human beings. Behavior stands out to me in the definition. We can learn a lot about ourselves in how we behaved during this pandemic. Under stressful times, we learn who we are, what we are capable of and of course a lot about others in our lives. The collective behavior of organized groups of human beings being the last and one of the most important aspects of the pandemic – the essential workers. There is no doubt this group pulled together into subgroups and made all our lives better. We have much to be thankful for.

In my log of early 2020, my friend in California sent me messages about a virus going around China and I should prepare for this; I wasn’t sure what to think. She’s not a whacko, paranoid or a conspiracy theorist. But she was working in hospitals and researching what was going on around the world. I paid attention and soon after the reports were flooding the news. Looking back, it seems like ages but also just yesterday. How is that even possible? The ship set sailed and we lost sight of the horizon so quickly.

Now at the end of 2020 and on the threshold of global vaccination, I’m trying to process all the waves of change during this time; politically, financially, socially and of course personally.

My feeling is that we are on the brink of great change. Historically there has been substantial pain during times of evolution. My hope is that when historians of the future look back to this time, they will see a modern renaissance in life and how we began to really move forward toward equality and unity. That all the events, bad and good, that occurred in 2020 were catalysts for change and toward equity. We are setting the course.

Personally, I learned a lot about myself. I conclude that I miss dining out and traveling yet I can also appreciate my home and my blessings there. I read more, watched some awesome TV, cooked delicious meals, did A LOT of dishes and balanced work and downtime. I learned how to publish a book, use social media better and unleashed pent-up creativity that was aching to swan dive from a cliff. It’s what happens when you slow down. Life ends with a breath but also begins with one.

I witnessed some relationships appreciate; yet some depreciated. The year 2020 forced off shore stormy emotions to finally erupt. Spending or not spending time with another forced us to peer into the looking glass and behold the lore.

I learned that I can get pretty creative with meals, workouts and at-home lounge wear. I also learned it’s all about eyes and brows in a masked up world and You Tube has great tutorials for that and just about anything.

I learned that you can be alone and still feel connected to your friends, family and the world through social media, apps and Zoom. But I also learned that people need people. We are social and thrive best when we are together building something meaningful, helping others and having fun collectively. When this is over, I will never take that for granted again. To see another, hug another, dance with another, cry with another and share with another will be the best gift of 2021.

Who will I be when I emerge after 2020? I will be part of the biggest sociological experiment the likes of which civilization has never recorded before. I hope we leave an imprint, a brochure, a playbook of how to be a better person; a kinder human. A future page in a study of collective human behavior that will astound even the most skeptical of humanity. The Captains log 2020 is filled with unchartered experience and is the page in history waiting to be read, scrutinized and astonished.

Bon voyage 2020.

Sleep Better!

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I used to hate to go to bed when I was little. We used to have family game nights where we played Sorry, Clue and Monopoly. Since I was the youngest, I always had to hit the hay the earliest. I wasn’t having it so I would either have fake coughing fits, whine or sneak into the hallway where I would try and steer my way back into the game. I don’t remember it ever working. These days I value my sleep. I aim for eight hours per night otherwise I’m not able to keep my energy level up. Anything less than seven, I’m shot. There are several ways to help achieve falling asleep and staying asleep.

Don’t drink caffeine after 4pm. This includes coffee, soda, hot chocolate or black tea. A cup of green tea before 7pm may be ok but you should test that out.

Complete any strenuous workouts before 8pm. Exercise gets your energy revved up and stimulates the body and mind.

Eliminate anxiety inducing activity. For most of us, scary movies, social media and confrontations with family and friends will keep you up and worrying. Try watching an old classic movie, a comedy or reading which calm the mind and hence the body.

Dim your lights 2-3 hours before bedtime. This will help induce melatonin production, a brain chemical which helps us sleep. Get plenty of sunshine and fresh air during the day.

Supplements may help. Melatonin is available in supplement form. I like the gummies because you can keep them on your nightstand and no water is necessary. 2-4 mg is ideal depending on age and body weight. CBD can help with sleep as well. It comes from hemp and acts as an adaptogen; it creates stabilization of the physiological processes in our body. Check with your healthcare pro.

Bye-bye blue light. Devices which emit blue light are known to bother our eyes and may keep us up. Avoid these or try blue light blocking eye glasses.

Drink calming or sleep inducing teas which contain natural ingredients like chamomile or valerian which are excellent to promote restfulness. Some teas contain lavender and lemon balm which reduce stress and anxiety as well.

Don’t nap more than 20-30 minutes per day. Too much napping or late day naps hinder your sleep later at night.

Watch your food intake. Don’t eat too late or too much spice or sugar. Too much alcohol can cause sleep disruptions and awaken you in the middle of the night. And avoid going to bed hungry that won’t help matters either.

Finding balance in life can be a challenge. Choosing the right mix of what works for you will help achieve falling asleep and staying asleep. Nighty-night.

Drug-Free Stress Relief

When I was twenty years old, I decided to teach exercise classes. I had been going to a local Lucille Roberts gym and was a dedicated class member. The manager there would try and recruit me once per week, “Come on Kristin, you’d be a great instructor.” The truth of it was that I couldn’t envision myself leading and motivating other sweaty people especially wearing body-hugging attire. Fear kept me from moving forward and trying something that I felt I’d be good at so I began mirroring the instructor in class and practicing at home. After a while, I “auditioned” for the manager and got the job. The gym was part savior and part teacher, providing me an outlet for stress and a platform to combat stage fright. It introduced me to my body and brain chemistry and how the two are interconnected and react accordingly to what they are being given. 

Over the years, I realized that a collective effort to combat stress, anxiety and the winter blues from natural sources was the path that I found effective and well suited to me. Like most natural remedies, they take a little longer to work and there is usually not one magic thing. But an adjustment in lifestyle along with a few supplements can work wonders.

Along with any type of exercise, here are my top picks for drug-free stress relief.

CBD. The oil was all the rage two years ago. It has slowed a bit because not everyone got the effects they wanted.  CBD in liquid form doesn’t always work on people with certain saliva chemistry. That’s where pills or emulsified CBD can work wonders. If you didn’t feel relief from CBD for its intended purpose, that could be the reason. Try pills or a liquid emulsified option. Barleans has a lemon or chocolate mint one that is delicious and priced well. CBD oil is from cannabis but lacks the THC so you don’t get the “stoned” feeling. CBD acts as an adaptogen and creates stabilization of the physiological processes in our body. It calms, alleviates inflammation, is good for minor to moderate pain and has an overall balancing effect. 

Omega-3 Fish oil contains EPA and DHA which nourish the brain. These naturally occurring acids help the brain with memory, depression and anxiety. It works best when taken daily or a few times per week. Carlson brand is mercury tested and high quality.

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), an amino acid and a key inhibitory neurotransmitter, may help support a calm mind as well as muscle relaxation. It comes in pill form. Great in stressful situations to promote calm and feelings of well being.

L-Theanine is an amino acid found to have calming effects. You can buy it in supplement form or it’s naturally found in green tea. This leads me to urge you to not have more than 2 caffeinated drinks per day (tea, soda, coffee). Excessive caffeine makes us jittery and anxious.  Swap out a coffee or soda for green tea daily and see the results.

Herbal teas are soothing and have medicinal properties. There are calming blends to help with nerves or sleeplessness. Chamomile is great for stress and anxious feelings. Sleepy time tea is good for a restful night sleep.

Meditation. I know, here comes the eye roll. But science shows it’s effective and so do humans all over the planet. Ten minutes per day brings peace and calm. Use an APP and just work your way up to ten minutes. No one is judging how long that takes. 

Deep Breathing has calming effects on our bodies. When you feel stressed, take 5-10 long breaths in and out, pausing in between your inhale and exhale. Feel it?

In my book The Butterfly Promise I write of walking meditation. Instead of being plugged in and powered up on your walk or run, unplug once or twice per week and just pay attention to the world which surrounds you. Take notice of the color of the sky, the clouds, trees or a bird in flight. Feel the ground, smell the air and just be present. This type of meditation is great for beginners and those who just want to be present in life and feel calm and connected. Who knows what or who you will connect to.

Life is challenging. Stress is cyclical. Great health is a collective effort. Nothing is impossible with the information and tools. Consult your healthcare professional. Shop your local health food store. Now take 5 deep breaths….

The Sunday Drive

Life seemed so much simpler way back when. Maybe I sound old, like I never thought I would. Or maybe it’s that life has just gotten more complicated over the years with age, technology and the quest for more. 

When I was little, we went for Sunday drives. My parents would say, “let’s go for a ride.” We hopped in the Ford, Lincoln or Mercury and went nowhere in particular. There was no plan, no chore to do, no one special to visit – just a leisurely drive. We waved at people we didn’t know, stopped for a Friendly’s ice cream cone, honked at neighbors and laughed at each other’s jokes and observations.

One January Sunday, my dad took me and my brother out after a fresh snowfall. I was sitting in the middle of the two of them in our yellow Gremlin and could barely see over the dashboard. We drove down the road, hit a patch of ice and spun in two or three circles. The Earth whirled past me as I watched the trees in the sky rotate around me. My mouth dropped open but nothing came out as my dad tried to regain control. It was the most exciting thing that had happened to me yet in my short little life. We screeched to a halt and my dad cleared his throat and said, “whoah.” He wasn’t a man of many words. Then we just continued on to no place special. 

Sometimes I miss the simplicity of life. I don’t know where it went. Is it because I got older or the world got faster? I used to disconnect from the phone and computer over the weekend but with a newly launched book and my newness to social media, can I even skip a day? I have a lot going on and a lot of catching up to do. 

The Sunday drive was reconnection for many families. Trapped in one car, far from home, parents captured their kids and their attention with a new neighborhood, a car game or a promise of ice cream along the way. For many city families, it was an escape from the hustle-bustle of city life. For some in suburbia, the Sunday drive meant going to the city and seeing something exotic and interesting. I guess even though we don’t love change, we crave newness and excitement. 

During COVID many of us have had to make minor or major adjustments in how we live, the things we do and who we see. It’s brought us back to simpler times and like me in the car doing a 360, maybe it’s all coming full circle. We are playing more games, appreciating seeing our family and friends and realizing we don’t need that much to be happy. The basic necessities seem like the most important things to us now. 

Maybe next Sunday I will turn off my phone, go see an old friend and we will grab an ice cream cone.

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Why is Vitamin D so crucial now more than ever?

Photo taken in Thailand. Me, soaking up some rays.

The days are getting shorter, the sun is casting shadows in different spots in my yard and the nights require another blanket on the bed. September is here.

Fall is lovely and there is much to be grateful for: pumpkin spice everything, warm fires, a brisk walk, fall TV shows and cozying up with a good book and hot tea. One of the downsides to fall is our beginning downward slide in Vitamin D production. When the shadows begin, it’s a good sign that the sun is hitting us at a different angle and therefore we aren’t producing the D we so need for our health.

Vitamin D or the “sunshine vitamin” is made in our body when the ultraviolet rays hit our skin. The reduction or lack of sunshine makes our D levels decline over time therefore it is essential if you live someplace other than the tropics, you take a D supplement.

The best defense is to sit outside for 15-20 minutes per day in the sun and supplement with D3, the natural form of vitamin D. It comes from sheep’s wool lanolin or fish liver like in cod liver oil. You can find both forms in liquid or pills online or at your local health store or natural market. I take 2000-5000 iu per day depending on the time of year. Like many, I seem to have a hard time absorbing it. I get a blood test once per year to check my levels with my doctor. I try and maintain levels from 50+. Studies have shown women with 70+ or higher have little incidence of breast cancer. Most multi vitamin supplements only contain 400 iu so check the label of your multi to make sure. If it’s that low, take extra.

If you are an outdoor person and think your D level is high now because of this summer, ask yourself – did you slather the sunblock on? If yes, then of course you did right by protecting your skin but of course in the process you hinder your D production so you must supplement. If you got your tan on with little art no sunscreen then keep in mind, D levels will continue to drop as the days go by, making it essential to supplement.

There are so many things to learn and know about health but vitamin D is really important because it’s related to our physical and mental well being.

MOOD – Proper D levels combat depression which can also relieve anxiety. In these anxious times, vitamin D can help us. Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is when people develop depression, anxiety or the “winter blues.” Proper D levels can help with SAD.

OVERALL – Sufficient D levels keep our hormones and bone health in check. Low D levels can cause sleep disorders and disruptions and more serious illnesses such as cancer, auto-immune disease and bone injuries. And now early studies are suggesting vitamin D protects against COVID-19 infection and against serious complications and fatalities. I’m sure more details will follow as we study the virus but in the meantime, there is nothing to lose by taking D because of all the other heath benefits and no downside. As always, consult your doctor or practitioner for proper care.

The “sunshine vitamin” is calling out to you this fall.

Is Kombucha Good for You?

I won’t lie, for some, Kombucha is an acquired taste. It has a slightly tangy taste, similar to Apple Cider Vinegar. But most people start drinking it for the health benefits rather than pure enjoyment. After a while, you’ll actually like the taste and it does have many flavors to choose from as well.

What is it? Kombucha is fermented black or green tea. It’s made from steeped tea leaves mixed with sugar and then culture or SCOBY is added. The tea is covered and left to ferment for up to two weeks. The result is fermented fizzy liquid. Commercial brands are usually mixed with natural flavors like lemon, ginger, berry, mango and other fruits then bottled and sold in refrigerated beverage sections in stores.

What are the health benefits? Kombucha contains B vitamins and probiotics. Probiotics are known in health circles to aid in digestion and inflammation. There is also the same health benefit as drinking regular tea; both contain polyphenols which have powerful antioxidant benefits. Kombucha made with green tea is especially beneficial because green tea is associated with L-theanine which promotes relaxation and focus, both great during stress.

Choices! There are many brands to choose from. Coastal Craft (pictured above) is a NY brand that has great flavors, really cute packaging and is made in small batches. GT’s is a popular brand with dozens of flavors and available in many stores throughout the country.

It took me a few tries but once I found the flavors I liked, I became a regular Kombucha drinker and think it’s a great alternative to other drinks with no healthy benefits.

5 Summer Upgrades

When I think of summer, I think bountiful, colorful produce…fireflies and other critters. I envision slathering on sunscreen and getting my tan on…A vibrant green lawn hosting birds, bunnies and butterflies. Summer is also a great time to make a positive change in our usual habits. We are in charge of our destiny and health so why not make smart and healthy choices now? 

Local Produce ~ Support your local farmer’s markets or create your own garden. There are amazing markets across the country selling everything from homemade cheeses, pickles, breads and soaps to freshly picked berries and lettuce. By buying locally you are a part of the environmental solution reducing your carbon footprint and supporting local communities and families who farm. What’s in season now? Find out at www.pickyourown.org. Planting a garden is both therapeutic and functional. Create a space in your yard to grow your favorite produce. You can even grow vertical gardens inside your house or apartment. They are sold online and they are great for herbs or small things like cherry tomatoes. Fresh herbs are a game changer in any recipe.

Choose a Mineral Sunscreen over a Chemical One ~ Mineral based sunscreens are found mostly in health food stores and are made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, both protective against UVA and UVB rays. Both are minerals found in nature known to be safe for your body and stable in sunlight. Mineral sunscreens are great because they begin working right away and stay on in the water although reapplication is advised. They are also reef safe unlike chemical sunscreens which are destroying coral and fish populations. Don’t forget to protect your lips. Sunscreen balms with a mineral SPF are readily available and have great scents and flavors.

Use eco friendly cleansers ~ Plant based surfactants kill 99.99% of bacteria. They create better air quality within your home and don’t expose us to common chemicals like phosphates, triclosan, coal tar dyes, ammonia, dioxane, DEA and chlorine which pollute our waters too. Seventh Generation and Earth Friendly Products make great household solutions.

Go Green with your Lawn ~ Cleaner water is better for all of us. Excess nitrogen is polluting our ground water and bays. This stems from lawn fertilizers, septic systems and sewage plants. Ditch the chemical lawn fertilizers and weed killers. Choose pesticide free, organic lawn fertilizers that will keep your family and your pets healthier and your rivers, lakes and streams cleaner. Roundup is a common weed killer that has multiple law suits and too much controversy. Is a little weed or a dandelion worth a compromise in our health? Absolutely not.

No More Bug Sprays ~ Insecticides are polluting the Earth one bug at a time. Whether you are spraying it on yourself, setting ant traps or spraying it into the air to kill flies or bees, it’s doing more harm than good. The circle of life has purpose and those little bugs feed birds and other animals and insects. Yes, they are annoying but citronella nd herbal repellant candles and sprays keep away flying insects. Try sprinkling corn starch where you have ants. Both are effective and safer.

Live in the moment but act for the future. Every decision we make will impact us and future generations. 

Is Your Sunscreen Safe?

There was a time when sunbathers slathered on baby oil and cooked until beet red thinking, “It’ll turn into a tan by tomorrow.”

Times have changed. People still like a nice base coat but rarely does one spend hours in the sun without sunscreen and our skin looks better because of that.  However there are still questions and concerns about sunscreen that need clarification.

FDA Regulations on Sunscreens

In 2012 the FDA updated sunscreen regulations with restrictions on labeling.  Products with “broad spectrum” coverage need to be protective against UVA and UVB rays which cause skin damage such as sunburn, skin cancer and premature aging plus have an SPF value of 15 or higher. If manufacturers do not meet this criteria labels will come with a cancer warning on it. No labels can claim “sweat proof”, “waterproof” or “sunblock.” In 2019, the FDA began further research and testing on specific ingredients to make sunscreens overall safer for consumers. Studies showed six commonly used sunscreen ingredients were known to absorb through the skin and maybe hazardous including oxybenzone, a common chemical ingredient.

Chemical Blockers in Sunscreen

Many of the sunscreens on the market contain the chemical avobenzone which works filtering out UVA rays. But when formulated without a stabilizer such as octocrylene it will actually break down when exposed to sun causing more harm than good. Oxybenzone is found in 80 percent of sunscreen. This is the one to be most cautious about because studies found this ingredient may cause skin allergic reactions and endocrine disruptions. The Environmental Working Group recommends consumers avoid using sunscreens with oxybenzone. On their website they have a listing of sunscreens with safety ratings. Visit http://www.ewg.org for more info.

Mineral Sunscreens

I’ve been using mineral based sunscreens for years. They used to be found mostly in health food stores but are more readily available now in other retail channels. They are made with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, both protective against UVA and UVB rays. Both are minerals found in nature and known to be safe for your body and stable in sunlight. Some brands go on whiter than others…think a lifeguard’s nose. Others go on pretty clear. Mineral sunscreens are great because they begin working right away and stay on in the water although reapplication is advised. They are also reef safe unlike chemical sunscreens which may be destroying coral and fish populations. They come in spray and pump options for both face and body.

The Vitamin D and Sunscreen Relationship

The only real down side in using sunscreen is the body’s inability to produce vitamin D while wearing it.  Deficiency in D can lead to colon, breast and skin cancer as well as auto-immune disease, depression and lower immunity.  Vitamin D is made in our kidneys through the presence of sunlight. When we cover ourselves with sunscreen and avoid the sun we are producing less vitamin D. Supplementation of D3 alleviates this issue.  Liquid form seems to have the best absorption. Try Carlson Labs Liquid D3. http://www.carlsonlabs.com

How Positivity Can Affect Your Health

Outlook on life is an important part of being healthy and happy. Research shows a positive outlook is beneficial. That combined with healthy choices can have a positive impact on your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Try to implement these in daily life.

Change your thoughts – As a negative or fearful thought arises, flip it to a more positive one. For example, “I hate to fly, I’m afraid the plane will crash” can be a crippling thought. Replace that with, “air travel is among the safest ways to travel. I am so lucky to be able to have the opportunity to fly and see…”

Be less critical of others – “Wow, she put on a lot of weight” is a negative thought about another person and puts bad energy into the world. Instead find something positive about another person and offer a compliment, “Wow that blue sweater is really beautiful on you.”

Stop gossiping– Gossip can be malicious and full of lies. Just skip it and talk about the latest movie, recipe or what’s going on in the world, a truly important conversation.

Legitimize your news–24/7 news can be stressful. Much of it is opinion based arguments about a topic to fill time instead of just facts. Small doses from reliable sources like newspapers, apps or the half hour nightly news is all you need to stay informed.

Limit time with negative people –A negative co-worker, friend or family can be a challenge to totally avoid so spend time in small doses. Connect with people who are positive and uplifting.

Practice meditation and yoga– Both can teach patience and tolerance. What you learn “on the mat” can lead to what you do and how you handle stress “off the mat.”

Exercise– Burning off steam and toning your body for every stage in life is beneficial in and out. Cardio and weight lifting 3-4 times per week has health benefits both physically and mentally. Exercise releases endorphins in your brain making you feel vibrant and gives you a natural high.

Drink tea daily– A daily tea ritual can bring comfort and health benefits. Both green and black teas have lower caffeine than most coffees plus loads of antioxidants. Green tea contains L-theanine which calms the mind and improves cognition.

Gratitude– Science and research has shown people who are grateful get through stressful circumstances better than those who do not practice the art of being grateful. Take a few minutes per day and count the blessings you do have, even if they are small. You can either think about them or write them down.

Choose food wisely – Food can definitely impact how we feel about ourselves and our world. Eating too much ice cream and then beating ourselves up after can have negative effects on our mood if we do it often. Avoid preservatives, colorings and high fructose corn syrup.Choose local organic produce which are not sprayed with pesticides, linked to carcinogens. Avoid factory raised meats and dairy. Everyone is entitled to a happy life, including animals. Making positive choices to impact your health will have positive results on brain chemistry.

Take the right supplements– While eating healthy provides the best fuel and nutrients for your body, supplementing can be helpful with the right choices. Omega-3 fish oil and vitamin D are among my daily favorites and can have beneficial impact on the brain.