Health

Spring Cleaning: How to let go of anything holding you back

Winter is a great time to turn inwards and do some deep self-reflecting, but now that it’s spring it’s time to bloom! But how can you do that with so much heaviness still weighing you down from winter?

This is where the idea of spring cleaning comes in.  

Our physical environment has a huge impact on our mindset, attitudes, and happiness levels. So as the world and ourselves start to blossom, it’s important to tidy up and clean out. This allows us to make space for what’s coming and let go of anything holding us down.

Do you ever feel like your head is just so full of thoughts? You can’t seem to calm your mind down, you become really forgetful, and you feel like you need a reset button?

Well, take a look at your environment. Is your room messy? Your workspace cluttered? Are you running from event to event without taking time in between? This is all a reflection of what’s going on inside your head.

As you being to declutter your environment and get organized, you’ll also noticed your mind feels more at ease too. That’s because you come home to a clean, neat, inviting space. There is room to breath, room to be. So, let’s dive in a little deeper

What is Spring Cleaning?

I’m sure most of you have heard this term before. It simply refers to the big, deep clean people tend to do when it hits spring time. They are cleaning up from the winter, the holidays, and everything they accumulated the previous year.

Why should I spring clean?

It’s a great way to get organized, and get rid of items that no longer serve you. It allows you to declutter, take inventory of what you have, and organize your living space.

Creating a clean, minimalist, organized living space can help you feel more relaxed and at-ease. If you’ve ever noticed yourself struggling because of overthinking, anxiousness or forgetfulness that can partly be a reflection of your environment. If you come home everyday to a messy space, are always looking for something, and have piles of to-do’s that creates more unnecessary stress in your life.  

Remember: A simple environment, is not a stressful one.

How do I spring clean?

If you haven’t read Marie Kondo's book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up I highly suggest you do that. In this book she gives great advice on how to declutter.

First, she tells us to tackle categories not spaces. For example instead of organizing your closet, focus on shoes. Instead of organizing your desk, focus on books. This is because many of us scatter the same item throughout the house. So it is important to collect them all into one area and go from there.

Second, discard items before organizing them. Get rid of everything you no longer want, before you start to organize and place. This makes it easier, because you know exactly what you’re working with.

I can already hear you, "I have the hardest time getting rid of things! What if I need it?"

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Trust me, I’ve been there too! I’ll hold to that one special dress just in case I get invited to that one special event. And guess what, I never end up wearing it!

Marie Kondo has a great answer to that problem as well. When deciding if you should keep an item ask yourself two questions:

  1. Is this useful? Is it rare? 

  2. Does this bring me joy?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions then keep the item, otherwise it has to go. Eventually you’ll find you’re only surrounded by items that serve you.

As we start to organize, clean and let go. You’ll notice huge shifts in attitude, because emotionally and mentally you’re letting go as well. Physically and emotionally tidying up makes you feel lighter, and opens up space for what the universe has in store.

Happy Spring! 

Gut Health 101: Everything you need to know about a healthy gut

As some of you may have read on instagram, I have been having mysterious stomach problems for the past year and a half. After so much trial + error of cutting out certain foods, testing specific diets, and seeing no results, I finally went back to my doctor.

This is where I first learned about our gut health, the good + bad bacteria we all have, and how that might be the cause of my stomach issues. My doctor told me to start taking a pro- and prebiotic, and fiber.

This news sparked my interest. I never realized how much of an impact our gut has on our overall health + wellbeing.

So I started doing loads of research on gut health and all of the negative implications of having too much bad bacteria in your gut can have on our bodies, mood + energy levels.

Now I’m going to break it down for you, as simply as I can, what I learned about our gut.

Gut Health 101

Our “gut” consists of everything from our stomach + intestines to our colon — basically everything that helps us with digestion.

Inside of our gut we all have good and bad bacteria. Our gut and these bacteria receive information about our environment through the foods we eat. So our nutrients + food consumption help us regulate hormone production, balance mood + energy levels, and control our gene expression.

Have you ever heard that our gut is our second brain? Well that’s because it is. It sends signals to our glands and our brain about the world we are living in. In fact, 95% of our serotonin is produced in our gut! What?! (I would site this but I learned it at a yoga + gut health workshop so I’m not sure how, but look it up).   

Photo by Alexander Mils

Photo by Alexander Mils

If we are eating nutrient poor foods, processed foods, foods high in sugar, we are killing the good bacteria our gut, allowing the bad bacteria to flourish, and telling our bodies that we are living in an unhealthy environment.

These “bad” bacteria that begin to takeover can mess with our hormone production + mood especially. So you might see a lot of anxiety, depression, skin issues + inflammation problems on top of stomach issues.

How we can make sure we are eating a gut healthy diet?

Simply, just eat whole, real foods. This will help give your body the nourishment it needs without benefitting the bad bacteria.

Second, we can consume more pro- and prebiotic foods.

Okay, back up. What are pro and prebiotic's?

Probiotics

Probiotics are substances that allow for the growth of microorganisms (bacteria). We can consume probiotic foods that contain high amounts of the good bacteria our bodies need. We find these good bacterias in fermented foods, such as:

  • Yogurt

  • Kefir

  • Kimchi

  • Sauerkraut

  • Kombucha

When we eat these fermented foods, we start to feed our bodies with good bacteria and begin to heal our gut. Each of these probiotic foods contain different bacterias, so eating a variety of them helps us get a full spectrum of good bacteria.

Prebiotic's

Prebiotic's are sort of like fertilizer. They are very fibrous foods that feed the probiotics. So we can keep adding in good bacteria, but if we don’t create an environment in which they thrive, the good bacteria will die off. Adding prebiotic's to your diet help create that healthy environment for the good bacteria to grow + thrive.

Good sources of prebiotic fiber:

  • Steel Cut Oats

  • Green Vegetables

  • Onion

  • Garlic

  • Banana

  • Apple

  • Jicama

  • Legumes

What about taking a pro and prebiotic pill?

It is important to note that pro and prebiotics can be taken through a pill. However, it is more bioavailable when consumed through food (easier to digest, so we get more nutrients). Also, when we consume pre and probiotics through food, we get a larger variety.

However, if you are travelling or just starting this gut health journey, a pre and probiotic pill can be a great place to start.

Once we begin to heal our guts and create a flourishing environment within our bodies, we will see a lot of improvements in our health + well being outside of just the stomach. Some of the benefits of having a healthier gut are improved mood, better sleep, more energy, clearer skin, less brain fog, and the list goes.

25 New Year's Resolutions To Make Your Life Zen AF

New year, new you! Right?

That’s what the goal is, but New Year’s Resolutions tend to be short-lived. That’s because it’s difficult to make big changes overnight.

 

So, here are 25 activities to help you find zen + stay healthy this new year:

Photo by Morgan Sessions

Photo by Morgan Sessions

  1. Drink a glass of water right when you wake up

  2. Meditate once a week

  3. Read 1 book a month

  4. Keep a gratitude log

  5. Eat at a new restaurant once a month

  6. Trade your coffee for tea

  7. Try a new fitness routine

  8. Get outside

  9. Craft something with your hands

  10. Deep clean your closet

  11. Avoid alcohol for 1 week

  12. Cook a nutritious meal with ingredients that are new to you

  13. Go somewhere you haven’t been to since you were a child (zoo, planetarium, swimming pool, etc.)

  14. Take a class on something you’ve always wanted to learn

  15. Spend a weekend night in (ie. movies, hot chocolate, cuddly blankets)

  16. Call a friend from childhood

  17. Put a positive comment on a someone’s post

  18. Instead of watching mindless TV — watch a TED Talk, a documentary or listen to a podcast

  19. Write in a journal everyday for one week

  20. Make a vision board

  21. Go a whole day without electronic devices

  22. Do something productive you’ve been putting off — take on that big project!

  23. Take yourself on a date

  24. Volunteer for a cause you feel passionate about

  25. Don’t take yourself too seriously ;) when we’re always trying to improve our lives, it’s easy to overthink + get too serious. Remember to make time for pure fun and laugh uncontrollably

Happy New Year everyone! Comment on this post and let us know what else you plan on doing for 2018 :)