Monthly Archives: September 2019

Kundalini Meditation to start the day fresh

Kundalini Meditation Practice
Meditation Practice

Let’s face it. We all live super busy and hectic lives. We are going here there and everywhere. Many of us juggle work, home, children, partners, finances, and everything else in between. How do we all get everything done AND keep our sanity? Simple, Kundalini Meditation, we start the day balanced, focused, and energized. Consider that how we start the day is how the day goes. Simply put, if you start the day stressed, disorganized, and short of breath, consider that is how the day will go. Alternately, if we start the day balanced, relaxed, and focused, we can handle anything that life is throwing at us.

Kundalini Meditation is a tool to help us set the tone for the day. It can help you find yourself and connect with the creator before we launch into a day of business. Even if you have 5 mins a day or have to sneak into the bathroom away from kids, you can create a space of meditation.

Also, recognize there is no perfect kundalini meditation practice. Some days, I feel like I am levitating from my spiritual progress, while other days, I feel like I am just getting by. Some days, my mind is always reminding me of my grocery list while other days, I feel as though I leave my body entirely. The point is that meditation is messy. It is not easy, not clean, and it is going to be a struggle, so expect it. There will be a lot of resistance that the ego presents to throw you off track, your tired, you don’t have time, etc. The ego wants to hold on to the old and the known. Meditation clears out the subconscious mind and clears out the aura of any junk collected in it. It also settles the mind and helps you to become more of an observer of your life instead of a reactor, but it takes consistent practice.

Meditation Outdoors
Portrait of calm woman sitting in pose of lotus in natural environment

Yogi Bhajan, the Founder of American Kundalini Meditation and yoga practice, said that “the greatest art is to sit, and wait, and let it come.” Yogic science states that there are specific times for certain desired effects in meditation.

  • 3 minutes affects the blood and electromagnetic field
  • 11 minutes changes the glandular system and the nerves
  • 22 minutes balances and coordinates the three minds (positive, negative, and neutral)
  • 31 minutes affects all the cells and rhythms of the body and all layers of the mind’s projection
  • 62 minutes changes the gray matter of the brain, integrating the subconscious into the outer projection.
  • 2.5 hours holds a new pattern int he subconscious mind by surrounding the universal mind

Committing to a personal practice of kundalini meditation is a process of transformation, especially when practiced as a daily discipline.

  • 40 days change a habit
  • 90 days confirms the habit
  • 120 days creates YOU as a new habit
  • 1,000 days Masters a new habit
Kundalini Meditations to start the day

I find beginning low and slow until you gain a taste for it is essential. After a while, you will rave the meditation process, but in the beginning, it can be arduous and difficult, especially when you are retraining your mind. I often enjoy Kundalini meditations, partly because I am a Kundalini teacher, but partly because I enjoy adding purpose to my meditations rather than just sitting quietly. I have done meditations on reactivity, anger, vision, prosperity, and more. To find some jet-powered mediation, please review the library of teachings or come check out my monthly kundalini or meditation classes. Here are my kundalini yoga class schedule: http://holisticfamilypractice.eventbrite.com

Healthy Food Items

Healthy school lunch ideas for your kids

Mother and daughter cooking in the kitchen
Mother and daughter cooking at the kitchen

I’ll admit it. Not my favorite activity from my daughter growing up, figuring out healthy school lunch ideas, especially when she would chuck it and charge school lunch instead. Who even knew they would give elementary school kids credit. Sigh! You are not alone if you feel the burden and the struggle of trying to instill healthy eating habits for your children. Here are some tips and options to hopefully make it easier to get food down them. No guarantees they won’t trade it for something else, throw it away, or leave it at home calling you in a panic to bring it to them when you are already late in back to back meetings all day… Haha! Isn’t parenting great.

Family cooking time
Family cooking time : Happy family help cooking meal together in kitchen at home.

First, let’s get some tips:

You will never win as a dictator lunch preparer, having a healthy school lunch means you will need to involve your children in the lunch decisions. Start off by showing them the elements of a healthy lunch to include fruit, veggies, and healthy protein. From here teach them how to navigate the kitchen and perhaps if they are old enough help you prepare the items. Cooking in bulk and making extra of their fav dinner meals really can save you time in the school lunch department big time, but only if they like what’s on the menu. I tend to recommend grabbing food that is convenient such as a cup of fruit, things like packable cherries, grape tomatoes, apple slices, carrots, and hummus, etc. These are quick grab items that are easily packable and stackable with other food items. Also considers that they really do not have a lot of time to eat during lunch as they are busy socializing and meeting with their friends that things that are convenient finger food make it easy for them to grab a bite in the time allowed.

Packing a healthy school lunch should be a no brainer, but just in case, I often have used non-toxic, durable, and dishwasher safe items that are mostly leak proof. I also always had a spare in case I found something growing in one, or just needed to throw one away and start over. Hello Monday! My daughter would often lose her lunch box, regularly, so I always had to have a spare that was sot, durable, and that would not break easily. Now if they offered GPS on the thing, we would be all set.

I would also include a water bottle in her healthy school lunch with filtered water and a small organic juice for her just for variety. I was often appalled that the school never seemed to have filtered water and my daughter easily turns her nose up at non heavily filtered water (even as a teenager) Yay! Parents – 1.

Some combos like Veggies with hummus, protein muffins, Caesar salad, homemade pasta and marina sauce wee common favorites of hers growing up.

I would also include things like crackers, berries, nuts, granola, lots of fresh fruits, and some grain free sandwiches. She always loved peanut butter and jelly, which was s safe option that I could always go to.

If I happen to get adventurous with her healthy school lunch, I will do quinoa salad, lettuce wraps, plantain chips with dip, homemade nachos with salsa and black beans with many tortilla roll-up options.

I found that really quick and safe finger foods were the best and anything too elaborate was often overlooked, disposed of, or returned back home for my mid-afternoon snack (why waste food).

Healthy Food Items fo School Lunches

Lastly, be mindful of these last parting words:

  • Be prepared for trial and errors
  • Be prepared to throw out food
  • Be prepared for loves today, hates tomorrow (I am still waiting for her to like avocado again)
  • Don’t take it personally
  • Throw in some non-health snacks too (I know, cringe)
  • Let them make their own choices (Again, cue the cringe)

I went on a long ride with my daughter in trying to force her to eat healthy to no success. Even still, there is a moment that she makes my heart been as she orders salads and other various healthy foods after a binge of McDonald’s, Burger King, and Five Guys. At this point, she has opted to purchase her own food with her own money that she makes. It is truly impressive; this kid is only 15 years old. For me, the more persistent I was about eating healthy, the more she was insistent upon rebellion. I can truly speak candidate that great stress was relieved when I let go, but it took quite some time. I was extremely careful with her pregnancy, breastfeed, raised her vegetarian, no television, and lots of love up until 5 years old and then once Kindergarten hit GAME ON!. Haha. So try and relax, do your best and forget the rest. Remember you are not alone, and Kale may be just a seed planted today, but eventually, she/he will catch the clue. In the meantime, here are some other blog topics: http://www.holisticfamilypracticeva.com/blog/how-to-be-a-crunchy-mom-with-a-ceo-time-schedule/

Supporting the bodies energy levels all day

Adrenal fatigue and sleeping well
Young woman sitting in bedroom

In our fast-paced, unrelenting society, many of us find ourselves in some stage of adrenal fatigue. Burnt out, exhausted, and feeling worn down. This pattern starts when we first wake up in the morning and continues after the coffee wears off and the mid-afternoon crash. I would say that is the number one complaint that I hear in my practice is in regards to energy loss. And once it is gone, many people are desperate to get it back downing energy drinks, caffeine, drinking too much coffee, etc. to keep up with the daily demands. However, these tend to be fly by night approaches that do more damage than good tot eh system. Here are some tips to get your energy levels back on track, naturally.

Get enough quality sleep – this may be a no brainer, but often times people program themselves to get to bed around 12 PM- 1 AM, which leads to adrenal fatigue, and the adrenal glands do not like this process. They reset themselves between 10 PM – 2 AM, so it is important to be in bed during those times to regenerate them. Otherwise, you are borrowing from them to power through your day, which they can handle but eventually can throw off other systems such as your digestive system, immune system, etc.

Clear any infections in the body – Sniffles, nasal congestion, etc. are all signs of underlying immunological challenges, which can create adrenal fatigue. If the immune system is activated, it can put stress on the bodies energy restores because all none essential personnel go to trying to fight and stabilize the infection which can leave to understaffing of your bodies energy reserves. That is why if you get sick, it is SO important for you to get lots of sleep to regenerate your energy quickly.

Eat breakfast – energy in and energy out. Even if you are not hungry because you have trained your metabolism not to take in food, it is important to start the blood sugar on the right foot. That way, throughout the day, your blood sugar stays stable and supported. Blood sugar destabilization and adrenal fatigue have a symbiotic relationship. I find if I skip breakfast or have a breakfast that is not blood sugar supportive, my blood sugar and energy levels suffer all day.

Eating breakfast
Sporty smiling attractive woman having vegetarian lunch at the kitchen, enjoying healthy food, getting energy for sport and study, wearing white sportswear top, indoor home interior background

Eat snacks – As a continuation of eating breakfast, I find my energy levels stay the most stable when I eat every couple of hours. That way, my blood sugar stays stable, and as I burn energy, I am refueling. As mentioned before the energy in and energy out.

Digesting well – If a person is not digesting well, they are not going to have the energy necessary to carry throughout the day. Therefore, if you notice that you are most fatigued after meals, or are gassy, bloating, etc. after meals, those are sure fire signs you are not digesting your food. Taking a digestive enzyme can be helpful but may not be the ultimate cause, reviewing lab work from a functional perspective can be extremely helpful in discovering how to repair the digestive process. Digesting well decreases the risk of adrenal fatigue.

There are many reasons that person energy may not be where it needs to be, and with everything we have going on not only, it is important to maintain energy but also conserve energy. Therefore maintaining relationships that take excessive energy, maintaining unhealthy habits long term, a lack of movement, and consistent stress responses all can have large impacts on the overall health of the body. Holistic healthcare is a way to get to the root cause from a comprehensive approach to the health of the body. Systemically, over a consistent period of time, we get to the root cause of why a persons’ every level may not be where they need to and restore energy levels once and for all. For more information about your adrenal glands read this blog post: http://www.holisticfamilypracticeva.com/blog/adrenal-glands/

Getting back into a healthy lifestyle

Getting back into a healthy family routine

Getting back into a routine

Its that time again, Summer fun is winding down, and more of a structured routine is coming before us. This year let’s support you in creating a healthy family. Thank goodness! If you felt like everything had gone out of the window, you are not alone. The summer is such a busy time with losing schedules, travel, family gatherings, and challenges on a healthy lifestyle. There is some calm and peace to having a schedule, and September is the time to get it in gear. Here are some tips to get back into a healthy family routine.

Getting back into a healthy family routine
  1. Start early. Instead of rushing into the school year with a new schedule, begin implementing that schedule early by starting in August. Especially as sleep schedules for children and parents tend to be slightly different, it is important to get acquainted with earlier nights and earlier mornings sooner rather than later. Cue the groans from the kiddos. Healthy family planning explains the importance of a regular sleep schedule (as if they have not heard it all before) and let them know that during school, there is one schedule compared to summer fun times.
  2. Create routine schedules. As much as children hate to admit it, they love the structure of a schedule. Healthy family schedules help us feel safe, secure, and in control. Let’s face it, who does not like to feel in control of things. Having a schedule that you can depend on helps everyone involved feel as though they know what’s coming and hey can know what to expect, which cultivates relaxation and internal peace.
  3. Eating dinner together and way the same time. Remember that old tradition of sitting around the family table eating dinner. Yes, me too. Perhaps it is time to bring that one back. The health family eats dinner together around the table can rove to be a bonding experience for the family. It opens up conversations and communications regarding school, friends, and various work projects. Be mindful of turning it into a staff meeting of sorts and resist the urge of handing out a dinner time agenda (that is more for me that you…haha) Just enjoy being in the moment with your family and sharing good times with each other.
  4. Teach everyone to clean up after themselves. This was extremely important for me to teach my daughter was cleaning up after herself. Naturally, she was not cleaning every once of the house like we were growing up, but she does carry the responsibility of keeping her room clean too which she consistently does without being told now because she finds great joy in keeping her room nice and tidy.
  5. Plan ahead. A healthy family plan starts deciding plans for holidays ahead of time. Are you staying in town or leaving out of town. Need to start creating a budget for holiday spending or perhaps needing to figure out how to accommodate house guests. Starting early and involving the entire family in the plan can help to ease any stress that the holidays may create, and less holiday stress is always on everyone’s wish list.
Getting back to routine
Mom and daughter eat together in the kitchen. They are both mulattoes. Mom helps a little girl. There are many dishes on the table.

Routines are necessary for a smooth family organization and creating a healthy family. Without routines, you have controlled the chaos. Just ask single mothers with multiple children. Without routines, it is difficult to get things done. This modeling of habits and behaviors also spill over into children’s lives as they mature and helps them to continue the trend of organizing their schedule with their own families.

Good routines are often well planned, consistent, and predictable that way, everyone can create effective routines. Daily routines vary based on family size, age, and health factors, so care must be taken when developing a healthy family routine that works for you.

holistic prenatal care

Holistic Prenatal Care & the First 1,000 days of life

Holistic prenatal care is necessary even if you have had multiple pregnancies.
Pregnant woman with children sitting by the window

Holistic Prenatal Care looks at the the first 1,00 days of a child’s life is critical. This I the period between conception to the child’s 2nd birthday. This period of time support’s the child’s development, their long term health and can have many short as well as long term impacts towards their health. Environmental as we as nutrition can play a vital role in the development of the babies brain, digestive tract, metabolism, and immune system.

Pre-Conception – If a woman has a clean bill of health (not just an absence) of disease but a truly comprehensive view of her lab work from a functional diagnostic perspective it takes one year to prepare the body to get pregnant. Holistic prenatal care looks deeper than just the absence of disease but rather prepares the body for pregnancy. Many people assume that because they do not have symptoms that they are free and clear. It takes the body quite a while to develop disease and disease is not just merely the absence of health but rather the total health. Even subtle things can have critical impacts tot he body if left unaddressed. Simple gas, bloating, fatigue can all be signs of deeper biochemical imbalances that will show itself more throughout the pregnancy. During the perinatal phase of holistic prenatal care, it is recommended to do the following:

  • A healthy lifestyle of regular physical activity
  • No alcohol or nicotine consumption
  • Control of chronic conditions such as  diabetes and hyeprtension]
  • Adequate water intake
  • Stable home life
  • Healthy stress management techniques
  • Screening, treatment, and prevention of any infectious diseases
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • A healthy, balanced diet
  • Stable mental health
Holistic prenatal care is especially important in your first pregnancy to learn how to stay well and avoid unnecessary health risks.
Happy couple with pregnancy news

During the pregnancy phase of holistic prenatal care, a baby is exposed to various environmental factors the mother is exposed to, such as nutrition, toxic agents, medications, etc. So it is important for a mother to get in the best health possible to potentially work with their medical providers to reduce the toxic load on the body. This includes things like medication reduction, detoxification of organs, etc. It is important to note that it is dangerous to reduce medication load without the assistance of a qualified healthcare professional.

During pregnancy, it is helpful to have a balanced diet with supportive nutrient supplements. Energy requirements are only minimally increased during pregnancy, which leaves the fallacy of eating for two to the wind. Any cravings experiences during pregnancy are often as a result of nutrient deficiencies either in the diet or lacking in absorption. Therefore attention should be made to the diet to include healthy and balanced nutrition. Critical nutrients to be mindful of our iron, iodine, calcium, zinc, magnesium. All necessary vitamins A- E, as well as added Omega-3 Fatty acids.

A Healthy Lifestyle while pregnant is critical. Here are some healthy habits during pregnancy that we outline in holistic prenatal care.

  • A healthy, balanced diet
  • Moderate weight gain
  • Regular to the moderate exercise of hiking, yoga, walking
  • Regular prenatal visits
  • A balance of work-life
  • Hydration
  • Meditation

A healthy delivery after holistic prenatal care is a key to the development of the babies immune system including vaginal birth, being able to breastfeed for at least a year, and ensuring that the same lifestyle habits that were maintained during pregnancy care over to the babies, the first year or until breastfeeding stops.

The first 1,000 days of life are key to the health of a baby

Breastmilk is the best choice for quality nutrition for the baby. It is recommended to breastfeed for a minimum of four to six months. Breast milk has so many quality nutrients for the baby while also supporting the babies digestive tract, immune system, neurological system, and reduces the risk of late development obesity. Breastfeeding also promotes bonding between mother and baby and can have a positive influence over the mothers’ hormones as they return to normal.

Breastfeeding women have an increased need for several micronutrients of iodine, vitamins, and EFAs, as well as a healthy and balanced diet. It is important to continue a healthy balanced diet, adequate water intake with no unhealthy habits such as smoking, alcohol, smoking, etc. Here is a company that sells herbs to help mamas milk production: https://www.euphoricherbals.com/

As baby crosses over the 6-month mark into 7 months of life, complementary feeding can be encouraged. Solid foods should not be initiated before 5 months but not after 7 months while continuing breastfeeding for as long as mom and baby would like to continue. Move slowly with adding complementary foods in and do so one at a time. Try to avoid cow’s milk int he first year of life, sugar-sweetened beverages. Ruit juices, and honey that is not fully pasteurized. It is encouraged to make your own whole food baby foods rather than the store-bought options that are often loaded with sweeteners, etc. This will allow for a healthier palate that will last for many years to come down the road.

The first 1,000 days of life are critical to the immune system, neurological system, and digestive system of your child. With the new medical and healthcare information at our fingertips with genetic as well as epigenetic understanding, it is a very exciting time to have children. Care must be taken to ensure mommy and baby are healthy and happy before, after, and during pregnancy. Holistic Family Practice is here to help ensure you and your family are healthy with expert care and attention to detail.