October Update – Healthy Halloween

Can you believe it’s October already??? I can’t!! The year has gone by in the blink of an eye and to tell you the truth, I’m tired!! After a very busy spring and summer, I was looking forward to a quieter fall, but that’s not really happening either.

So, in the spirit of the changing seasons, I’ve got some fun announcements. First, my family and I are moving back to Colorado the first week of October. We’ve been wanting to return to the mountains almost since we moved back to Minnesota (sorry gopher state!). When we moved back to MN in early 2013, we quickly realized that we missed the quality of life in Colorado. We love the outdoors, especially hiking, biking, and snowboarding. We also realized that long winters are difficult when you have little ones…I recall being especially bummed this April when we had to blizzards and my friends in Colorado were taking Easter pictures in the green grass.
While we are really excited to be going back, we’re also under lots of stress and I’m feeling it. As much as I’ve tried to mitigate the effects by deep breathing exercises, meditative walks in nature, and some strategic supplements, I’m still having trouble with sleep and have been feeling fatigued. I’m doing my best right now to keep it together until later in October when things settle down. Once that happens, I plan on doing a 4 week diet reset, as well as some testing on myself. I’m taking the same approach with myself as I would any client that works with us. I’m also enlisting the help of some of my practitioner friends since it’s not always the best idea to treat yourself. There are also a few issues I wanted to address that I never could because I spent the greater part of the last 6 years either pregnant or nursing. I will keep you updated!
If you’re a client in our practice, this next update is for you. I’m excited to announce that Jaclyn will be helping us with customer service and eventually health coaching. She’s just finishing up her coaching certification and will be bringing her skills to us. She’s also an eczema suffer as well so she can relate to the ups and downs of the condition. We’re really excited to have her on the team!
I encourage you to check out this article on how my toddler showed me how to heal my adrenal fatigue. I’ll be revisiting that one too since I’m in serious need of some TLC!!
I hope you all have a wonderful fall and Happy Halloween🍁🎃!

Question of the Month

How do I navigate Halloween with food sensitivities and allergies? Also, how do I just make healthier choices for my children?
This seems to be tough on the surface, but really doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to navigate this dilemma and here are some options.
1. If you still want to let your child have candy, let them go Trick-or-Treating and then openly switch it out for “better” options. Yes, it’s still candy and sugar, but made with higher-quality ingredients. You can find options at Target, Whole Foods, and online from brands like: Annie’s, Yum Earth, Enjoy Life (allergen free chocolate), Wholesome, Unreal, Black Forest Organic, and Equal Exchange Chocolate.
2. You can give out little toys instead. Costco and Target are selling them in bulk at a good price.
3. Sweeten the deal by having the “Switch Witch” come once the treats are collected and your kids are in bed. You can take the bag of candy away (preferably pitch it in the garbage) and replace it with a gift of some sort that they really want.
4. Organic pouches are always a good option for babies and toddlers. We usually get a box at Costco.
5. Know that houses with turquoise/blue pumpkins or door hangings are typically allergen friendly. These houses are interesting because you could get anything from raisins or carrots to pencils or allergen free candy.
In our house we opt not to take all of the fun out of the holiday even though we want to keep the kiddos healthy.  This year will be particularly tough because I just did food sensitivity testing on my 5 year old son and he came back dairy sensitive ☹. Our plan is to let him trick-or-treat, come back and have a couple dairy free treats once we do a very small candy swap. Then he’s going to leave his bag out for the Switch Witch… and she’s going to leave him a small Lego Ninjago set  (for the kid that’s going to be a ninja for Halloween and also wants to dress his baby sister as one).

8 Ways My Toddler Showed Me How to Heal From Adrenal Fatigue

I have always been an observer and an analyzer. The other day I was watching my 33 month old son play and thought to myself, “I wish I had that much energy, joy, and creativity in my life.” As over-stressed, over-worked, and over-thinking adults, our health, especially adrenal function decreases with time as we let the joy of life slip away from us and focus only on being responsible and productive parents, family members, friends, and workers.

As I watched my son I realized that his body works perfectly now, as all of ours should, responding to signals from within and the environment. He (and his body) have yet to become maladapted to the demands of daily life.

We need to tune back in to the cues our body sends us and slow down enough to let it respond and heal.

Here are 8 ways to accomplish this:

  1. Finding laughter, happiness, and joy again. If you watch children, especially toddlers, they are frequently laughing or smiling. Research tells us that laughter increases mood enhancing endorphins, increases oxygen intake, and reduces the stress hormone levels. Engage in activities and surround yourself with people that make you happy daily.
  2. Engage your wonder and curiosity. Children are always exploring and asking questions to make sense of their vast world. As adults, we often shut this out and opt to function in a habitual way since it requires less thought and may be less threatening. Experiencing new things and allowing the brain to wonder produces physiological changes that reduce stress if we look at them the right way. Don’t let new experiences cause you anxiety or stress, embrace them instead.
  3. Be creative and spontaneous. Toddlers are masters of pretend play and fantasy. They can make stick or a plain box into twenty different things within an hour. Their brains integrate new information and operate with a high level of plasticity, or flexibility, allowing them this mental freedom. When adults engage in creative activities such as art, music, writing, or fantasy/pretend play, different areas of the brain are stimulated that increase happiness and plasticity, while disrupting mental patterns of stress and anxiety. Doing a spontaneous activity or an unplanned adventure can have similar effects.
  4. Honor your feelings. Toddlers, for better or worse, are always listening to the cues from their bodies and honoring their feelings which can produce anything from extreme laughter to a massive tantrum. As adults, we are trained to not operate in these extremes, and rightfully so, however, we also have a tendency to disregard what we feel which leads to many issues such as unresolved feelings, resentment, anger, frustration, and sadness. Over time, this drains the adrenal hormone resources producing adrenal fatigue or other chronic health conditions. Take time to acknowledge how you feel, and when appropriate, voice your feeling in a constructive manner.
  5. Let it go. When toddlers are angry or frustrated, this isn’t a state they stay in for very long (usually). They get upset, let it out, and move on. Whatever it is that made them frustrated, angry, or sad is long forgotten. Most adults lost this capability long ago, but it’s something we need to re-learn. Obviously we need to process our emotions, but holding on to negative ones is damaging long term. Acknowledge the source of your frustration or anger, confront the person or situation if necessary, and let it go. If that isn’t an option, writing it out may help release it from your body as well.
  6. Move and exert energy. Toddlers are little balls of energy, constantly on the go running, playing, and having fun. They aren’t camped out in front of the tv, computer, tablet, video games, or phone like older children and adults. Current research suggests that sitting and our general sedentary lifestyles are more harmful to health than smoking. Make time every day to get up and move- walk, run, hike, cycle, dance, skip, ice skate…. just move. Movement is essential to stress management and general health.
  7. Eat only when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Have you ever noticed that children’s appetites fluctuate periodically or that they actually stop eating when they are full? Calorie intake fluctuates as kids’ metabolic demands change such as in times of growth and illness. Most kids inherently respond to the signals from their body and eat accordingly. We need to do the same since too little or too many calories places significant stress on the body.
  8. Breathe with your belly. If you watch a baby or young child breath, their bellies rise much more than their chests do. This is naturally what breathing should look like, but as adults we tend to have shallow, chest breathing because of the chronic activation of the sympathetic, or “fight or flight,” side of our nervous system due to stress. Softening the diaphragm and actively belly breathing reverses this process by activating the parasympathetic, or “rest and digest,” side of the nervous system and consequently decreases the stress response.