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Awaken Your Sensory Awareness for Better Mental Health

awaken Feb 06, 2020
 

You likely have a basic understanding of how diet and movement habits impact mental health. However, you may be less familiar with the concept of awakening, even though it is equally crucial to wellbeing. So what do we mean by "awakening?" In this article, we'll focus on helping you develop an enhanced awareness of how it feels to breathe calmly and fully and be fully present in your body.

Awakening practices can sharpen your senses, promote mindfulness, and help you listen to your inner voice. Essentially, "awakening" means coming alive--not just going through the motions of healthy habits, but truly being present in them. In other words, while the Nourish and Move foundational practices are about doing, the Awaken practices are about being.

Breath and Body Awareness Practice

The Resilient Breath and Body Awareness Practice is a valuable tool to help you feel more comfort in your body, settle down your mind, and awaken your being. Watch the...

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Move Your Body for Better Mental Health

foundations move Jan 23, 2020

Resilient Movement Plans

You may find yourself saying one of the following statements:

  • "I know that I should exercise, but I just don't have time."
  • "Running on a treadmill is so boring."
  • "I can't afford a gym membership."
  • "I just can't seem to stick to a regular exercise routine."

Does this sound like you? If you find yourself saying any of the statements above, you're not alone. Many people struggle to exercise regularly, even though they know it will improve their physical health. The fact is, scientific research has shown again and again that moving our bodies more frequently has a significant positive impact on our mental health as well. Regular movement can: 

  • Effectively treat depression1
  • Normalize cortisol levels
  • Protect against oxidation
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Normalize blood sugar
  • Improve learning ability2
  • Promote the survival of new brain cells3
  • Help you grow a bigger, healthier, better-connected brain4

Focus on movement, not exercise.

Good news! You...

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Basic Concepts of Supplementation

foundations Jan 16, 2020

Basic Concepts of Supplementation

We believe folks need more skills and fewer pills when it comes to supporting a more resilient body, mind, and heart. We like to start with three basic skill-based concepts before recommending supplements to the individuals we work with.

Concept 1: What you feed your body today will become your brain of tomorrow. In other words, start with diet. Consider these facts: 

  • Brain cells, like every other cell in the body, need constant fuel (energy) from clean proteins and complex carbohydrates to properly carry out their functions.
  • Neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine depend upon receiving key nutrients (like magnesium, zinc, B-vitamins) from diet.
  • The speed at which brain cells can communicate depends upon an insulating covering around the nerve cells (the “myelin sheath”). It is also made from nutrients in your diet.
  • Building a healthy infrastructure for brain cells requires brain-friendly fats such as...
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Enhance Your Resilient Diet

digest foundations nourish Jan 09, 2020

Enhance Your Mind-Body Health Through Nutrition

Once you've incorporated the six principles of the Resilient Diet into your daily habits, you may be ready for these more in-depth practices to further enhance your mind-body health through nutrition. There's no need to adopt these suggestions all at once--you can pick and choose the ones that work for you.

Practice 1: Eat more frequent meals and keep portions small.

  • Always eat breakfast—after fasting overnight, your brain needs fresh fuel.
  • Eat every 4-5 hours throughout the day to keep blood sugar steady.
  • Ideal: Eat three meals of 400-600 calories each, along with 2-3 snacks of 100-200 calories each.  Have a snack in the late morning and mid-afternoon.  You may also want to add a small snack just before bedtime if you eat dinner early or wake at night feeling hungry. 

Practice 2: Have a modest amount of protein with each meal and snack. 

  • Note that some folks may want to avoid protein at...
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The Resilient Diet

digest foundations nourish Dec 30, 2019

 

Adjusting your eating habits is one of the simplest ways to naturally improve your mental health. Because you are already eating and drinking things every day to fuel your body and mind, you don't need to add anything new to your routine. Instead, focus on making changes and adjustments to your diet to ensure you are nourishing your system with foods that promote mental health.

We have created the Resilient Diet to integrate seamlessly into your daily life. It is not a set of restrictive rules or detailed recipes. Instead, the Resilient Diet is made up of six broad guidelines or principles. These principles can guide your nutrition whether you cook for yourself, cook for a family, or don't cook much at all.

The Resilient Diet

PRINCIPLE 1 | Eat whole, natural foods.

Buy unprocessed organic food as much as possible.

PRINCIPLE 2 | Eat a wider variety of foods.

Eat more seasonal and local foods. Discover new kinds of vegetables, grains, meats, nuts, and...

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7 Yin Yoga Poses to Support Calm, Joy, and Focus

calm move Dec 18, 2019

 

by, Elena Hollenhorst

What is Yin Yoga?

Yin Yoga is a form of yoga that is derived from ancient yoga practices dating back thousands of years that was changed and developed in the west starting in the 1970s. In Yin Yoga practice, postures are typically held for 3-5 minutes, though they may be held one minute or longer. Yin Yoga poses work with gravity to passively place gentle stress on the area around the joints and connective tissues to strengthen said tissues surrounding the joints. Yin Yoga is intended to be practiced in conjunction with more active, or yang, practices.

Yin Yoga Benefits

By creating gentle stress the theory is that a routine Yin Yoga practice will strengthen and healthily mobilize fascia and other connective tissues.

Yin Yoga Sequence

Props Needed

  • Yoga mat
  • 1 Blanket
  • 1-2 blocks or pillows (depends on your needs)
  • Timer

Instructions

  1. In yin yoga practice, work towards gentle...
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6 Tips to Nurture Calm This Holiday Season

calm Dec 12, 2019

Holiday marketing and Hallmark movies will tell you that the season is only full of Joy, laughter, and celebrations. But, for some, the holidays can bring up stress and disrupt calm. Try the six tips below to support your calm this season.

1. Meditate.

Try a daily meditation practice for the few weeks before the holidays and until they wrap up (or continue beyond!). Even just five minutes of meditation can set up your entire day. Try Dr. Culbert's meditation on compassion and tolerance.>>>

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes everyday - unless you're too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” ― Dr. Sukhraj Dhillon

2. Keep up with your regular exercise routine.

Try to make room for your regularly scheduled workouts. If you can't find the time, opt for an active group activity such as a hike or a walk around the neighborhood. 

3. Regulate your sleep schedule.

Do your best to go to bed and rise at the same time every day. Late night...

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A Meditation on Tolerance and Compassion

calm Dec 03, 2019

By Tim Culbert, MD

Meditation on Tolerance and Compassion

Find a comfortable seat or lay down. Take a few slow breaths, then simply repeat each statement below three times.

If possible, begin by writing each statement below on a piece of paper. Then, use your paper to guide you through the meditation (rather than looking at a potentially distracting screen). 

  1. I choose to be balanced, happy, and live my life with tolerance and compassion. (repeat 3 times)
  2. I will take the time to notice my arousal level in mind and body when I'm with others. (repeat 3 times)
  3. Even in difficult situations, I intend to sail along with appreciation, inner-ease, and patience. (repeat 3 times)
  4. I will release unwanted feelings of frustration, anger, and resentment as needed. (repeat 3 times) 
  5. I am grateful to everyone for the lessons they teach me. (repeat 3 times)


The "Window of Tolerance" is the optimal zone of arousal where a person is able to...

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The ATTEND Approach: Natural Support for ADHD

focus kids Nov 23, 2019

 Timothy Culbert, MD, IFMCP

Many families are looking for more natural options to manage ADHD and attention issues (e.g., distractibility, impulsive behavior, disruptive behavior, restlessness, and hyperactivity). ATTEND is a pneumonic device to remember the six key strategies to consider.

ATTEND: Natural Support for ADHD

A | Arousal Management

Some studies suggest that ADHD symptoms may represent a dysregulation of the internal 24-hour clock (aka circadian rhythm), which controls the balance of alertness and drowsiness of our brain throughout the day and night. Over 55% of people with ADHD have sleep disturbances. Sleep is foundational for good attention and emotional regulation. Be sure to receive the appropriate amount of sleep each night. For example, kids and teens need 8-10 hours of sleep each night.

Read this article on ADHD & sleep to learn more.

T | Training the Brain

Mind-body skills can be very...

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The Future of Mental Health

awaken calm focus joy Nov 07, 2019

by Henry Emmons, MD

We are Living with an Epidemic of Mental Health Problems

The numbers are staggering. 

The percentage of people in the US suffering from depression, anxiety, and poor focus/memory are historically high and increasing by more than 10% each decade. The rise is even faster among adolescents. If you are struggling with one of these common mental health problems, you are most definitely not alone!

Currently available treatments often don’t work well over the long term. 

Antidepressant medications still form the mainstay of treatment for depression and anxiety, while stimulants are the primary treatment for ADD. Consumers and professionals alike are realizing the limitations of conventional treatments and desperately looking for more natural, safe yet effective alternatives.

Natural approaches to mental health treatment are too often disorganized and unscientific.

There is no unified theory explaining the epidemic of disorders, either in the...

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