Changing your thoughts and putting together your vision board to increase your energy!

Enjoying the crisp air, deep blue of the sky, and the sunshine on my face during a morning walk, I listened to one of Dave Asprey’s podcasts with guest Wesley Chapman, co-founder of A Human Project, a mission to create a community of empowered youth. Wesley Chapman was incredibly inspiring to me. He has overcome so much abuse and neglect and is now in a place to help youth live out their desired lives. He discussed how we get stuck in our stories and think we can’t be in a certain state or do something we want to do because of our past, lack of resources, and our limitations. How many times have you found yourself saying I can’t do this because or I want to do this BUT

My big desire for the last decade has always been more energy. For a big chunk of January, my energy plummeted and I felt completely flat. Nothing excited me. I just wanted to sleep and hide at home. While listening to Wesley, I realized that although I had been doing everything I could think of to increase my energy and drive (more sleep, gentle yoga, green smoothies, chicken broth, and supplements to support energy), I had not paid attention to the continuous loop of my thoughts: I have no energy. What is the matter with you? Get it together!

Crow Pose

It’s a two way street. The state of your physical body affects your thoughts and emotions, but your thoughts also affect your physical well being. So that evening I put together an energy/vitality Pinterest board. It was very therapeutic, and I even included some yoga poses that I have never been able to do…with the intention that I have a strong enough body to do those yoga poses this year! I looked at my energy board the next morning and changed my thoughts: My body is vital and will support me with all the energy I need today. And yes, I did feel an increase in my energy that day and a much more positive state of mind! I look at my energy board everyday now and align my thoughts with my board. And my energy has stayed elevated! I would love to hear if you have created your own vision boards and how they have impacted you!

And to support the two way street, I continue to eat nourishing foods, take my favorite adrenal support formula and stay dedicated to my yoga practice and early
morning walks!

Part II: Brain Boosters!

As I mentioned in Part I of this blog series on brain health, you certainly cannot separate the brain from the rest of your body! Adequate sleep, blood sugar control, exercise, eating nutrient dense foods, managing stress levels, and staying away from excess sugar, caffeine and alcohol all positively impact your brain health. And the health of your gut also plays a big role in your brain health! I emphasize this again because we often forget to start with the basics, which more often than not make a dramatic difference!

Assuming that you have the basics down, and are still looking for additional brain power, let’s start with your brain’s massive requirement for energy! Mitochondria are often called the powerhouses in our cells that generate energy. Unfortunately, mitochondria are very susceptible to oxidative stress caused by poor diet, lifestyle, and toxins of all types. This oxidative stress can cause inflammation, including neuro-inflammation, which produces an unstable environment in our brains.

How do we support mitochondrial metabolism so that our brain feels energized? The B vitamins are closely involved in overall brain health. In fact, low levels of Vitamin B1 can result in poor concentration and attention. B1 is essential for energy production in the brain. Deficiencies of Vitamins B5 and B6 may lead to poor memory and increased feelings of stress. It is well known that B12 deficiency leads to impaired mental function and even depression. Most of the B vitamins are found in vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts/seeds. B12 is found in liver, meat, fish, and dairy. Supplementing with a B vitamin complex can be extremely helpful, especially if you are under a lot of stress like studying for finals, completing a major work project, or making a major life transition.

The brain is partly composed of billions of nerve cells, known as neurons. Neurons allow the brain to communicate within itself and throughout the rest of the nervous system. Messages, called neurotransmitters, are passed back and forth. Neurotransmitters are made from amino acids, which often must be derived directly from the diet. For example, the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is involved in feelings of contentment, is made from the amino acid tryptophan. Adrenaline and dopamine, neurotransmitters that are involved in helping us feel motivated, are made from phenylalanine. Acetylcholine, another neurotransmitter, is very involved in memory and cognitive function. And guess what, B vitamins are very important in the process that converts amino acids to neurotransmitters. In fact, B6 is involved in the manufacture of all amino acid neurotransmitters! Vitamin C and Magnesium are also involved in helping amino acids convert to neurotransmitters. I personally take Magnesium and Vitamin C supplementation on a daily basis. It is important to note that magnesium and Vitamin C are easily depleted by stress!

And what about Omega 3 essential fatty acids? A large percent of the fat in our brain is made from the essential fatty acids. They are termed essential as they cannot be made within the body, so must be derived directly from the diet. Each fatty acid performs vital functions in the structuring of brain cells, ensuring that smooth communication is possible within the brain. DHA, one of the Omega 3 essential fatty acids, is an important component of neuronal cell membranes. DHA promotes optimal brain formation and function, vision and psychomotor development in infants. This is why it is a natural component of breast milk! DHA may also improve adult brain function, by improving brain ATP production and mental task performance. The Omega 3’s, including DHA, are found in higher amounts in fatty fish like salmon and halibut. If you are not a fish eater, consider a DHA supplement to give you a brain boost for a specific time period.

One of my favorite brain nutrients is Acetyl-L-Carnitine.  It is one of the most extensively researched brain nutrients with a proven ability to enhance mental energy. Specifically, acetyl-l-carnitine energizes the brain, increases levels of neurotransmitter chemicals needed for memory and focus, and repairs damage done to brain cells by stress and poor nutrition.If you are experiencing mental fatigue or short attention span, acetyl l-carnitine may be very helpful for you.

I referred to neuro-inflammation earlier in this post. Antioxidants are very important to combat inflammation. You can find antioxidants in large quantities in fruits and vegetables. Spices are also a good source of antioxidants. Curcumin is one of my favorites, found in the Indian spice turmeric. It has been shown to tame neuro inflammation, thus having a protective effect on the brain. Tumeric is a fun spice to experiment with in cooking your meals. You can also take it in supplemental form.

Here’s to optimal brain health!!


Boost Brain Power without Adderall

Several months ago, while driving to a meeting, I was listening to a NPR radio segment about college students and their off label use of the prescription drug Adderall, also known as Addy. This medication is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), on the premise that it may help to increase ability to pay attention, concentrate, and stop fidgeting.

Adderall is a combination of stimulants (amphetamine and dextroamphetamine) and is thought to work by restoring the balance of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Dosage is based on the recipient’s medical condition and response to treatment.

According to, this medication may cause withdrawal reactions, especially if it has been used regularly for a long time or in high doses. Withdrawal symptoms include severe tiredness, sleep problems, and mental/mood changes such as depression. Adderall, in rare cases, may cause addiction. Symptoms while taking Adderall include loss of appetite, weight loss, dry mouth, stomach upset/pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, diarrhea, fever, nervousness, and trouble sleeping. It can also raise your blood pressure. Not a pleasant list of side effects!

Adderall has been adopted as a cognitive enhancer at college campuses. Students who want to perform better, get better grades, and also have a social life during their college years can get Addy from their friends or buy it very easily on college campuses. The New Yorker published an article back in 2009 that reported that anywhere from 4.1 % to 25% of American undergraduates had taken prescription stimulants for off-label use.

And of course, stimulant drugs like Adderall have also made their way into competitive work environments where crazy long hours are encouraged. The pressure to use these off label stimulants is high in certain environments. What does one do to stay competitive without Addy? How do you support your brain without the use of prescription drugs?

I have a complete fascination with the brain and how it works. There are days when my brain feels like it is powering on all cylinders and days when it feels foggy. Since there is so much we can do to support our brain, this will be a two part article!

Before I even start with how to support the brain, it is important to note that the brain requires a HUGE amount of energy (as much as your muscles and much more than your heart). One of the top things you can do to support your brain is to get enough sleep. This may be six to seven hours for some people and eight to nine hours for others. Study after study shows improved memory and focus after a good night’s sleep. Although college students and people at very competitive work environments will argue that they cannot possibly get that much sleep due to their work load, one needs to look at how sleep might reduce the amount of hours needed to complete papers or a big project. If a person makes it a priority to get seven hours of sleep per night, they will most likely be more productive in the fewer hours that they are awake, make better decisions and prioritize more effectively, and make less mistakes. Ariana Huffington wrote about this in her book Thrive and studies have certainly demonstrated that people who work less hours are more productive in the hours that they do work. Having problems sleeping? Think about not drinking caffeine after 2:00 pm!

Stay hydrated with water. Even mild dehydration slows down your body’s metabolism, and this includes your brain! Even though it might be useful once in awhile to separate your brain from the rest of your body, it just isn’t going to happen!

Supply your body with the building blocks it needs to support the brain, such as animo acids from protein, slow release carbs to supply glucose, and good fats like the Omega 3 essential fatty acids to reduce inflammation. What does this look like in your diet? Make an attempt to get some protein in each meal; this will help regulate blood sugar levels so you don’t get that crash and burn feeling two hours after you eat. Make it easy and start your day with a quick protein smoothie (recipe below). Avoid the carbs that raise your blood sugar quickly (like bagels, pastries, and candy) and then cause a subsequent crash in your brain energy. Instead, get your carbs from whole fruits, starchy veggies like sweet potatoes or beets, or a higher protein grain like quinoa. (By the way, quinoa is botanically a seed).

Load up on antioxidant rich foods! Oxidative stress in the brain causes an unstable environment! Who wants that when trying to write a paper or meet a work deadline! In fact, I recently learned that oxidative stress and neuro inflammation = new definition of depression. While studying or working late hours, snack on blueberries, a couple squares of 70% or higher chocolate, or a big handful of almonds, walnuts, or pecans. Or blend up a quick protein smoothie with antioxidant rich berries and greens. Or how about a cup of decaffeinated black or green tea, also loaded with antioxidants? Just be sure not to add sugar!

I learned from Brendon Burchard to get up and move around every 45 to 60 minutes to keep focused and on task. Jump up and down, do a few push ups, whatever works for you. This really does make a difference!

In Part II, I will review specific nutrients that you can take to support your brain that you don’t have to buy on the black market!

The Energy Cycle: How to Get Back Your Get-Up-And-Go Part 6—Exercise

This previous five posts in this educational 7-part blog post series have told you about the effects of food sensitivities and allergies, caffeine, stress, toxins and preservatives, and fat storage. Exercise and its effect on your energy is the topic I’m discussing in this post.
Exercise and just moving the body, in general, help you sleep better. And better sleep, in turn, gives you more energy.

But what do you do if you’re simply too tired to exercise? It’s not easy to muster up the willpower to go to the gym or go for a run if you feel completely, utterly exhausted.
Lack of good sleep makes you too tired to exercise. Not exercising makes you feel tired, exhausted, sapped of energy. What do you do?

Over the past several years, I’ve found that a three week cleanse program is an ideal way to start. The reason? A cleanse program immediately promotes deeper sleep. And better sleep helps rid you of that sluggishness. Once you have more energy, you’ll wake up refreshed and ready to exercise.

To learn more about how the 3-week cleanse can help restore your get-up-and-go, CLICK HERE!

Don’t stop now. For still more information, please read the seventh and final blog post in this series, which covers endocrine imbalances.

The Energy Cycle: How to Get Back Your Get-Up-And-Go: Part 4— Toxins and Preservatives

In part one of this 7-part blog series, you read about “Processed Foods, Food Sensitivities and Food Allergies.” In part two, it was “Caffeine and Sleep Quality.” Part three covered “Stress and Fatigue.” Now this post discusses how your get-up-and-go is being stolen from under you every day by “Toxins and Preservatives.”

Certainly, you just can’t ignore common toxins, such as preservatives in foods, chemicals, industrial pollutants, and heavy metals like mercury. These all take a toll on your energy levels, especially if you are not doing a good job of getting rid of these toxins from your body.

One of the primary organs of detoxification, is the liver. But, if the liver becomes overburdened from years of toxin overload, it is less efficient at doing its job.  This can cause a buildup of toxins in your body, especially in your fat stores. An issue that I will discuss in the next blog post in this 7-part series, which will also cover exercise and endocrine imbalance.

The immediate question is how do you detoxify and help the liver do its job more efficiently?

To help get back your get-up-and-go, a three week cleanse program is an ideal place to start. It can immediately help detoxify your body and get back your get-up-and-go.

To learn more about how a 3-week cleanse can help you, CLICK HERE.

The Energy Cycle: How to Get Back Your Get-Up-And-Go: Part 1—Processed Foods, Food Sensitivities and Food Allergies

Today’s modern lifestyle has certainly taken a toll on everyone’s energy levels, with no get-up-and-go to keep them going. That’s why I’ve decided to do this 7-part blog series dealing with the major fatigue-causing culprits people face these days. Over the span of these seven blog posts, I will be dealing with caffeine, processed foods, food sensitivities, stress, toxins and preservatives, fat storage, exercise, and endocrine imbalances.

But, I won’t just be delivering a litany of causes. I will be providing ideas to help you jump-start your energy levels and get them back up again. So, I urge you to read every one of the revealing posts in this informative blog series.

First, I want to tell you about the energy-sapping foods that you take into your body.

Processed foods certainly are high on the list. These foods provide calories (usually more than you need), but they don’t provide the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to drive your energy pathways and help you sustain steady blood sugar levels.

As you certainly have felt more than once in your lifetime, processed foods often make you feel very sleepy, especially one to two hours after eating them. They’re the foods that actually rob you of the very nutrients you must have sustained energy.

Also sapping energy and making you tired are foods that you’ve become intolerant or sensitive to, because they can cause inflammation. For example, gluten protein, present in grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and oats, is potentially a concern for people that are “gluten sensitive” or “gluten intolerant.” On top of gluten sensitivity, soy, corn, and dairy are common food allergens that can also drain your energy by causing inflammation.

Often food intolerances and sensitivities can be traced backed to poor gut health, which is often the result of poor food and lifestyle choices, lack of stomach acid and enzymes to help digest foods, OTC drugs, certain medications, and stress.

But these foods are only some of the concerns robbing you of your energy. For more, please be sure to read the rest of this blog post series, “The Energy Cycle: How to Get Back Your Get-Up-And-Go.”

For an easy solution to get back your get-up-and-go, I’ve found that a three week cleanse program is an ideal place to start. Why? Because a cleanse program immediately addresses the processed foods and the highly allergenic foods. To learn more about how the 3-week cleanse can help you, CLICK HERE!

Virtual Group Detox

I am so excited to launch my virtual group detoxification program next Wednesday, June 6th.  I have led hundreds of women and men through this program with amazing results!  I just love to be witness to the complete transformation that participants can experience in just three weeks.  It really inspires me!

Why do you want to consider participating in a detoxification program annually?  Or even twice a year?  What are the benefits and why add this practice to your already busy life??

You will experience detoxification differently than your best friend or colleague; after all you are unique!   So you will also experience benefits that are unique to you!   With that being said, these are the most common transformations that I have observed in my detoxification groups over the past five years:

  • Increased and Sustained Energy
  • Improved Body Composition
  • Breaking Weight Loss Plateaus
  • Clearer Thinking
  • Softer Skin and Hair
  • Brighter Eyes
  • Deep Sleep
  • Improved Mood
  • Better Ability to Deal with Life Stressors (including kids!)
  • Increased Productivity at Work
  • Sudden Urge to Organize and Complete Projects!
  • Decreased Stiffness and Pain in Joints

Are you ready to feel a nice, even energy throughout the day?  Are you ready to feel focused, present, and less stressed by your daily work and home load?   Are you ready to have your friends at work ask what you are doing…because you look so good?  Please visit this link to learn more about my upcoming detox program and to register!