Time for a Break

OR what I like to call Boundaries.

 

As much as I enjoy sharing knowledge and research with all of you on a monthly basis, I am ready to shift my focus to writing my book! It’s been a goal of mine for quite some time, and I’ve even had lots of requests for a book from my very own trusted practitioners. This is not only super flattering (as I’ve always looked to them for expertise) but helps me recognize that the knowledge I’ve gained over the years has value and needs to be shared.

 

That said, I realize I have to say yes to some things and no to others in order to make this goal a reality. I’m not certain how long I’ll be stepping away from blogging, but, in the meantime, follow @thevitalbeet on Instagram and/or connect on Facebook. I am hoping to also share guest blogs from time to time.

 

The intention behind this long-awaited goal is to assist, educate, and empower people to take control of their health and find a way to work through chronic illnesses to live their best possible life, free from symptoms.

 

In the book I hope to include some insight into my journey in health and wellness sprinkled with a few of my favorite recipes and some lifestyle hacks, however it will be an evolving work in progress.

 

I wish you peace and good health!

-Merrit

5 Ways to Address Your “SAD”-ness

Do you feel the pull of wintertime blues as the days are becoming shorter? This is a time of year where many can be affected by mood changes due to the changing of the seasons and lack of sunlight; some people suffer from a disorder called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. The tell tail symptoms of SAD include fatigue, depression, hopelessness, and social withdrawal. These are symptoms that typically show up at the same time each year and can begin in the fall and last through winter. SO, even if you have these symptoms to a small degree, yet you don’t have SAD, the ways in which you can ease and improve the symptoms are the same.

Here is a 5-pronged approach to address SAD or your depression during fall / winter months. Taking a comprehensive approach is more effective than only addressing this with one solution.

 

Diet –

This time of year brings lots of holiday celebration. You may be tempted to fill up on sugary items, candy, cookies, pastries, breads, chips and essentially non-nutrient value processed carbohydrate, which may have an initial affect of euphoria, but truth be told the resulting crash will actually make you feel worse than prior to eating these type of carbohydrates.

Filling your diet with real unprocessed foods will be an important part of reducing symptoms of sad. Real veggies, fruit, protein and healthy fats are where improvement will begin. Healthy fats are especially important for the brain and for neurotransmitters. Fats such as Avocados, Olives, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, grass-fed butter are all very good options for feeding your brain.

 

Supplements –

You may need to boost your nutrients as our soils are depleted and even if your eating a healthy diet, your body may need some extra support. A good B-complex will be helpful with so many processes in the body and will also help with mood and energy. While we have less exposure to sunlight at this time of year, and because it is a main source of vitamin D, chances are that you’ll need a boost here too, but it is a good idea to have your vitamin D levels tested before adding additional vitamin D. Mushrooms and eggs are also good sources of vitamin D. Visit the Vitamin D Council for more information on testing and ideal levels of vitamin D: Click Here

 

Exercise –

Choose a type of exercise that feels right for you. It could be talking walks, yoga, Pilates, running, hiking, whatever feels enjoyable and you can commit to doing on a regular basis, the point is movement is important and will also help improve symptoms. If there is something you can choose to do outside, even better because you’ll also get that exposure to the sun even if it is a cloudy day.

 

Light Therapy –

This is an important one and acts like a supplement. Sunlight is a precursor to melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates sleep / wake cycles. Light therapy is a good way to assist with the lack of sunlight during the winter months. Its as easy as getting a light box that will run you about $30 or replacing a light bulb in a lamp. Here’s an option called a “Blues Buster” is simply a bulb that you can put in a lamp: Click Here

Talk Therapy –

Talk therapy in my opinion is important for everyone, not just those that are depressed. With all the stressors we are dealing with in today’s day and age, talk therapy is an essential. Its part of regular self-care, just like a visit to the doctor, getting a regular massage, brushing your teeth and taking a shower. Talk therapy fits into the category of self-care and it’s about time we get over the stigma associated with talk therapy. This is an essential and there is nothing wrong with talking to an objective party who will support you in your personal growth and who will also support you during tough times, whether that is depression from seasonal changes or any other stressful situation you are dealing with, a therapist is your partner in helping you work through your difficult and stressful times in life.

 

Here’s to a healthy and happy winter!

 

What Do Your Heart and Anti-Aging Have To Do With Each Other?

Let’s face it, whether you’re 20, 30, 40 or 50, you are aging, but the closer you get to the latter, the more important it is to help our bodies do what they are supposed to naturally do.

 

As we age, we may need to consider additional or different means of support depending on our individual nutritional status. In most cases we all need connective tissue support, additional immune support and other dietary supplements. Collagen is key, but it may not be the only necessary addition. In order for collagen to get into the cells and to be utilized to the fullest often additional vitamin C is necessary, usually in clinical doses.

Both of these are a good place to start in order to keep skin, hair and nails looking healthy, but what you can’t see is that it also helps muscle and connective tissue, including keeping your heart healthy. Heart health may not be what we typically think of when adding collagen to the diet, but it is an important one and the same goes for vitamin C.

 

So, you may be wondering where to start. It is important to keep in mind there are several types of collagen and the most important types for anti—aging purposes are key. There is a great post regarding how to choose the right collagen supplement for your purposes at Positive Health and Wellness. Click here to learn more.

 

Also, vitamin C is critically important in allowing Collagen to enter cells effectively. Many of us are actually chronically low with our vitamin C nutritional status, which may come as a surprise, so clinical doses may be necessary. Cardiovascular disease is actually a disease where improvement can be made with clinical doses of vitamin C. I am talking about 6 grams or above, which is tough to do orally as there can be digestive upset that comes with doses at this level.

 

I.V. therapy may actually be necessary to get nutritional levels to an optimal place for some people. The form of vitamin C that you use is also critical, at least where heart health is concerned. You want pure ascorbic acid, that is not sourced from China or derived from corn and that is not buffered or that does not include minerals, because this in turn can throw your mineral status off at clinical doses.

 

So, if you’re wondering what you can do to help yourself age gracefully, consider adding some collagen and additional vitamin C to your regimen.

 

Cheers!

Top 4 Ways to Ease the Transition into Fall

 

According to Chinese Medicine, Autumn actually begins in August. If you pay attention closely you will notice the subtle changes taking place, such as less daylight and cooler mornings and evenings. This is a time of transition and there are ways to help your body and mind ease into the season and guard against becoming ill.

 

MIND

This is a season for recognizing any sadness and grief. Its best to allow these to surface and work through and feel any sadness or grief that you are experiencing. If you bottle these feelings and bury them, its more likely that you’ll become sick, most likely with some sort of upper respiratory infection or a G.I. infection. Lungs and Large Intestine are most vulnerable at this time of year. So, Feel your sadness and grief and then release them to the universe after they no longer serve you.

 

 

BODY

If you’ve been working out and you feel its not that effective, it may be the perfect time to change up what you are doing, The truth is, this is the time of year our bodies need more rest and relaxation. This is the time of year to slow down and be more deliberate in your actions. Consider a new yoga practice OR Pilates class. This may be the perfect physical activity to shift into or to add to your workouts to make them more effective.

 

 

SOUL

This is the perfect time for introspection to examine and evaluate your life. It is time to investigate what is inside, what makes you tick and what no longer serves you and to quietly listen to your own needs. This is a great time to allow yourself personal space and a place for your mind to rest and be quiet. I love the sauna at this time of year because it gives me just that, a quiet place away from everything and everyone. It’s a place I can allow myself some peace and quiet reflection even if its just for 20 minutes. Its important to find a way to escape our busy lives even if its for a short period of time.

 

 

NOURISHING THE BODY AND WARDING OFF ILLNESS

This is the perfect time of year to move away from raw, cold foods (such as salads) to eating warm, cooked foods (such as soups). Squash, root vegetables, roasted chickens and plenty of herbs, pungent and sour foods are all great choices at this time of year, but certainly not the only choices. Bone broth is an excellent choice as it is very healing and can be preventative prior to getting sick. Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme are great herbs of autumn and all have healing qualities. Onions and garlic are also good additions to meals as they have healing qualities as well. Mushrooms are a good choice as seasons change. If you feel like you’re on your way to becoming ill, it’s a good idea to eliminate all, dairy, gluten and eggs until you’re feeling much better.

 

If you’re struggling to align yourself with the season, contact me… I can help.

Merrit Bachman

Lifestyle Educator

The Vital Beet

merrit@thevitalbeet.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, I’ve been under the weather again. This is 3 times since the beginning of the year, so it’s been a bit of a rough go. At least it wasn’t pneumonia this time, but I’m fairly certain it was the flu. It started a week and a half ago with fever (102), chills, splitting headache, sore through dry productive cough, muscle aches, no appetite and yes, hallucinations. I believe I may have had a stomach bug layered on top of this too, because I had diarrhea most of the time that has finally dissipated. Most of the worst symptoms subsided after about 3 days. I still have a lingering cough and congestion in my chest, but mostly I’m better and anticipate that I will hopefully be 100% by next weekend. It’s been a rough year for a lot of folks and many people have been sick. Sometimes my body just can’t escape it and I think I never fully recovered from the pneumonia, so my immune system was weak and ripe for getting sick again.

choosing a doctor

I’m hoping that this is the last of it for the remainder of this year. It’s tough not to feel as though I’m loosing ground on all the positive work I’ve done over the years when I get acute illnesses like this one right after the other. I haven’t been sick like this in quite a long time, but I do realize that these acute illnesses actually provide good exercise for the immune system. I increased all my supplementation as soon as I knew that I was sick so that I could assist my body to do what it needed to do naturally. Its tough when we’re not feeling well to have the wherewithal to think about supplementation that will assist your body in getting well, but it is good practice.

All this is an important reminded that if you don’t have a good doctor and you suffer from chronic illness in addition to an acute illness that may come about from time to time it is peace of mind to know that you have a good doctor, so I wanted to provide some valuable resources for finding good doctors and practitioners while you are well, so that when you do get sick you know that you have someone you trust you can turn to. I’m not affiliated or paid by any of the following organizations, just feel like these are good first places to turn to when locating a doctor or practitioner. This is not an exhaustive list. If you are looking for specific, specialist or additional resources, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

 

The Institute for Functional Medicine: https://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians

http://www.naturopathic.org/

American Association of Drugless Practitioners

http://aadp.net/resources/