Tag Archives: holistic family doctor

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.

Pouting

How to help support picky eaters

Little girl refuse to having breakfast with her mother,picky eater concept.

As a holistic health doctor, I see it all the time. These days kids turn their nose up at just about anything green, healthy, and nutrient dense in search for cardboard, sugar-laden, fat packed, good tasting food options. Couple that with challenges of pregnancy, gut health, mineral deficiencies, and many children almost come out of the womb as picky eaters. Many parents come to the practice concerned about their children’s growth, development, and nutrition. I would like to ease you from the frustration and acknowledge that you are doing the best you can raise a free thinking human being. You are not able to force them to do something, even if we think we can, want to, or otherwise. I have had to learn that myself as a mother and a holistic health doctor. Children, even young ones now are coming into this world full of opinions, communications, and wisdom well beyond their years. As a parent, you can either burn yourself out trying to force your children to do something they do not want to do for whatever reason or learn to educate and stand back and let them make their own decisions. This can be a tough ask, especially as you fill your head with various nutrition dangers, being stressed by healthcare providers (some who are not holistic healthcare providers), school officials, etc. There has not been any greater time than now that we as parents are more stressed and guilted about the ills of parenting, the ills of improper nutrition, and the ills of poor self-care. Beating yourself up surely is not going to produce the results you are looking for as you work to help support the picky eater in your house. Here are a few ideas to help the process along:

A mother in a blue shirt and apron is preparing a fresh vegetable salad at home in the kitchen, along with her little cute daughter
A mother in a blue shirt and apron is preparing a fresh vegetable salad at home in the kitchen, along with her little cute daughter
  1. Offer lots of colorful options – Holistic healthcare doctors work to engage your child’s senses and we encourage you to do the same with eating color is one of those through the eye site. Try to have a plate that has multiple colors on it from green to red to orange and allow them to choose which items that seem most appealing to them. This new generation of children are very sensitive, and those with the more visual appeal will enjoy the bright, refreshing eye site palate choices they can choose from. Perhaps even brushing up on your food presentation could be helpful as well to include squiggles on the plate of smiley faces, cartoon characters, and more. Get creative it may be just as fun making it as it is for your child to explore it.
  2. Multiple textures – As a holistic healthcare doctor, I can hear some of you groaning now as many children have texture challenges, however, do not fear to offer various textures for your child to explore. Ultimately, they must find what works for them and what doesn’t and try to let go of the need to sway, control, or otherwise coerce out of fear of a lack of nutrition. We want to develop healthy habits with food and a healthy association with food that works for them.
  3. No shaming, no blaming, no coercion – This is an easy one to slip up on. Even if you have made the most nutrient dense, yummiest tasting food option, they may not want to eat it. This does not mean you are a failure as a parent. This is not a personal attack. Yes, there are starving children everywhere and no your child will not eat the food if you push harder or convince more. I have often worked with adults deprogramming their childhood angst associated with food. From not leaving the table all night, to being forced to eat every bite on their plate, to being forced only to eat certain things and shamed not to eat others how we teach our children about food stays with them, so keep it light, enjoyable, and fun.
  4. Monkey see monkey do – You cannot exactly boast about all of the healthy food items when they see you eating junk. As a holistic health care doctor, I am not saying you now need to be a perfect eater, just consider that kids watch and pick up everything. Even things that you do not think they see, so be mindful of your own eating process. Do you eat when you are stressed? Do you eat when you are bored? These unconscious habits are being spunged up, even when we do not know they exist.
  5. Think Independence – Picky eaters also want their thoughts and choices respected so involve them in the meal planning and allow them to choose the dishes. Make some suggestions and offering but begin early by teaching them the importance of meal planning. M daughter loved cooking with my Dad and often speaks about making quesadillas and various food items. Even those these are not the healthiest options she can always doctor them up with healthy items later on as their palate changes over time.
Holistic health doctor explains how to support picky eaters

Lastly, it is important to be patient with your children and yourself. I tend to offer this patience as a holistic health doctor teaching people that developing healthy eating habits takes time and should not be a stressful and difficult experience. Here are some other tips for helping picky eaters here: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/nutrition/Pages/Picky-Eaters.aspx. There are plenty of times that even myself does not want to eat 100 percent healthy, and in those moments, I do provide myself those options. I have been super restrictive at times and more loose and relaxed at other times. Stress has been a  big factor for me in my eating as well as convenience. I often have seen how these habits have developed in my daughter, mostly the, not the stress eating part. I have had to be patient with myself and her by allowing her to make healthy choices that best suit her. In some moments, when I think all is lost, she orders a salad and explains that she has been eating unhealthy lately and needs to clean it up. Hooray! I celebrate the small success and you should too as you develop impressionable palates. If you would like to learn more about how you can help your children holistically check out these other articles: http://www.holisticfamilypracticeva.com/blog/why-are-more-and-more-families-choosing-holistic-medicine/

Children's Sleep

How to keep children healthy

Children Sleeping

It can sometimes seem challenging to advise strong-willed children to live a healthy life especially when you want to provide them with integrative healthcare. Conscious children these days are even more insistent on doing what they want when they want, and at times, it is difficult to convince them to do anything they do not want to do. So here are some tips to help them start off on the right track towards a healthy life.

  1. Sleep. Sleep is critical for mommy and baby alike. If the family is not getting enough sleep, the tendency to be stressed and overburdened go up indefinitely. Children need a schedule to sleep by so I often encourage parents to have a designated time every day that they go to bed, take naps, and wake up. The other thing is that if children get up at a designated time, you can encourage them to relax in their bed, relax in your bed, or room until everyone int he family is ready to get up. I often discourage moms from jumping up tot he demands of their children as they are sending a message that the child controls the show. This may mean allowing the child to cry until they learn how to self-soothe, not excess but a healthy balanced approach. I would not allow longer than 15 mins. I have also instructed mothers of older children to set up some breakfast snacks in a drawer that the children know where they are to go to the kitchen and help themselves while you are waking up and doing your morning routine.
  2. Feelings. This one is really important and many integrative healthcare providers miss the importance of teaching children about heir emotions. Children have feelings, big ones, and they need to have a safe space to feel them and understand them. Encouraging your children to express themselves while also giving them the language to connect their feelings with communication is key. As an example, if a child is visibly angry saying something like I understand that you are angry but throwing toys, is not how we express anger. Let’s practice some breathing to manage our anger. There should also be steadfast consequences for their unhealthy expression of emotions to make sure they understand that there is a healthy and unhealthy way to express their emotions.
  3. Communication is key for children. They must feel safe to express themselves and say what they need to say for them. Shutting children down, not allowing them to speak, or not listening can all turn into strong emotions of anger, rage, and resentment as time goes on in their lives. In the beginning, even if they are, it is important to acknowledge that what they are saying is important. This will build and encourage self-esteem for them for years to come in life.
  4. Don’t ban junk food. This may also be counter-intuitive to an integrative healthcare provider. I know this one is tempting, but it is not healthy for children. I  into this trap, turning my daughter into a vegan at a young age. We never had things like pizza, pasta, pancakes, etc. and so when he was exposed to those things, it was like she was making up for lost time. So far as a teenager I have been neutral about her eating habits, yet have taught her the differences between healthy and unhealthy eating so at least she knows that she is making a choice to eat unhealthy rather than me forcing her to be healthy with her food choices. Ultimately, education will come through at a later time in her life.
  5. Offer healthy food. As the opportunity arises, offer healthy food options. If they say, they would like a snack, offer apples instead of goldfish or offer water instead of juice. Even if they do not always choose those options, they know they are available and sometimes the sound of that may be more appealing to them.
  6. Model healthy behavior. This one may be a no brainer, but I felt the need to mention it. If you are not exhibiting healthy behavior yourself, it is very difficult to instruct your children to eat healthily. Being active with them
  7. Be active with them. This goes into the last one of modeling healthy behavior. As children, they pick up everything around them, and this tends to shape their world as they get older. As a child, my father took me hiking and climbing a lot. As an adult, I still love doing these things, and in fact, it elicits positive memories from my childhood. Other things, such as practicing yoga with them, meditation, etc. can also be very helpful in their development.
Dr Erica Steele, Holistic healtcare provider

Children these days are bombarded with many unhealthy things from television to candy to the latest gadget and craze it can be challenging to lead them in a healthy direction. However, if you are consistent over time, they will learn to not only like taking care of themselves but love it, especially once they begin to make the connection with how they feel and how they take care of themselves. This is an exciting time to develop this type of consciousness to be able to understand and uncover these aspects of our lives that have often been neglected conversations in previous generations. An intuitive integrative healthcare provider may be your choice to help your family get on track with your healthcare. Please read more about the role of integrative healthcare here:https://nccih.nih.gov/health/integrative-health#hed2. As we let go of the need to survive life and step deeper into a thriving, we appreciate the need to build health rather than, manage the disease. For more ideas check out: http://www.holisticfamilypracticeva.com/events/back-to-school-back-to-health/

Childrens Happiness

Parenting Highly Sensitive Child | Tips & Advice For Parents

Parenting the Highly Sensitive Child

Are you wondering how you should be parenting highly sensitive children in today’s world? We have reached an age where the phenomena of intuition, gifted intellectual insight beyond our years, creative and emotional compassion even at an early age. I was one of those children. I recently saw a Facebook post of a toddler hugging everyone when she was leaving. I was that child too. I embraced the energies and needs of others as if they were my own. I acknowledged others and had deep empathy and compassion for their struggles. I still do, and this is one of the reasons I do what I do and am on a mission to bring care back to healthcare. In fulfilling my mission, I am encountering more children like me, highly sensitive ones. THose that are wise well beyond their years. Those that give their parents a run for their money, this is also why I only have one child and enjoy help guiding you through the ups and downs of raising your highly sensitive child. Working with and parenting a highly sensitive child requires a great deal of wisdom and patience. The other thing it requires is a shift in emotional intelligence from the parents.

Not all parents were raised in emotionally intelligence or emotionally supportive homes. IN fact, many of us were not raised in these types of environments at all. Even if we had wonderful childhoods our western society as a whole was not in an awakened state where it acknowledged sensitivity and intuition as well as a emotions as a positive things. As a result, our parents and even their parents were raised to be more in survival mode and less in a compassionate, loving realm. So the real challenge becomes how do we teach something that we ourselves never learned. Or how do we manage with a split brain, meaning the brain that was taught using fear and discipline with the new more sensitive loving emotional brain that values safety and compassion?

This requires that we “raise up” the other side of our brain. The side that only views the world from a punishing, victim, wrong/right paradigm. We all have this aspect of ourselves. The self-righteousness. The judgments, and the fixed views, even if we do not always recognize or acknowledge thes not so pretty sides of ourselves. The control, the ego and the do as I say not as I do mindset. The hypocrite, the accuser these are all aspects of this side of our brain. Notice I said a side of our brain and not a side of our soul. There often is an inner battle that happens between the brain and the soul. The soul wants peace, love, and also sees all the truths about a scenario yet the brain wants to be right and often will look for any means necessary to prove that point of being right. Alas, the mind is seldom right, ha! IN fact, it can keep you spinning and spinning in doubt, worry, fears, and overthinking. Did I do this right, did I say this well enough, should I have yelled, it was wrong to yell, and on and on and on again.

Parenting highly sensitive children need you to raise this part of the brain u and in a lot of ways is challenging you to tonify the nervous system. The highly sensitive child has a very sensitive nervous system that is hypersensitive to the world around it. Highly sensitive children pick up the emotions of other people. They sense other peoples emotions, pain, and suffering because of this they can get overwhelmed in crowds, new situations, large noises, and sudden changes can send them spinning out of control. Criticism, defeat, and confrontation are also not easy for the highly sensitive child who takes everything incredibly personally. They can be perfectionists and strive for that to a fault because they feel so deeply.

Parenting the highly sensitive child II

Parenting highly sensitive children can help you grow in many ways and can also leave the parent feeling exhausted, burned out, and at their wits end at the irrational behaviors at times. Raising a healthy well-balanced child with whom is sensitive is possible it just requires a certain level of patience and willingness to shift to the children needs ahead of your own. You may want a more logical, disciplined, and a far more obedient child however G-D had other plans for you in your discovery. See the child’s sensitivity as a gift instead of a weakness. Embrace their emotions and teach them how to manage them instead of viewing them as innately flawed or there is something wrong with their sensitivity.

Resist the urge to make passive aggressive comments to them about their emotions such as you are such a drama queen, or other name calling as well as not validating their emotions and telling them whatever they feel and however they feel is not a big deal. It may not be a big deal to you, but it is important to them. Harsh dogmatic and rigid discipline can send a sensitive child wrestling. They often cannot handle these harsh tactics, and this will often have the opposite effect that you are looking to create. Harsh discipline can crate crying, yelling, name-calling, tantrums, etc. Teach them about their emotions instead and how to work with them if they get triggered and what tools they can use in order to not allow their emotions to run their lives. Embrace the healthy aspects of themselves and the positive attributes that they possess. Reward the positive behaviors and encourage them when you see them show initiative, independence, and they do something great no matter how small. Try not to express every flaw that they have and only verbally acknowledge the negative behaviors versus the positive. Accepting who your child is goes a long way in the process. Do not try to change your child, fix your child, mock your child, or otherwise see them as wrong. They are not wrong, they are a new wave of spiritually intuitive and gifted children come in to help the world heal. G-D intended them to be this way, and therefore to not accepting them would mean not accepting G-D and G-Ds will. Be easy on yourself and be easy on others in the process.

When it comes to parenting highly sensitive children, it is important to cultivate stillness, calm, and consistency within the home. HSPs love structure, it helps them feel safe. Having the same time for dinner time with the same people does encourage a sense of safety. HSPs do not like change, they do not like variations all around mostly because our nervous systems and auric fields are so far reaching that we are always picking up on things such as danger, emotions, thoughts, pretty much anything that floats by we grasp, pick up and run away with it. Yes, HSPs have pretty creative minds and therefore create stories big and small that may or might not be true. Creating safe spaces with consistent encouragement goes a long way for these special folks.

I always thought discipline was a dirty word but am beginning o acknowledge the safety and security that it contains. When disciplining a child remember it’s not about negative reinforcement which can be at times demeaning and self-esteem challenging. Instead, teach discipline as a guideline to life. Meaning in order to create more freedom the need to create more discipline for self. Think about the CEO that disciplines their mind and time in order to have more time and financial freedom for their families. Discipline has many interpretations not just telling someone when they have done wrong in life. With overbearing and undermining parents they often inadvertently affect a HSPs self-esteem and confidence with their overburdening shame, insecurity, as well as need to control others. There is a healthy way to redirect a child who is not performing the way we think they should, and there are also many ways to approach the same concept, so reflection goes a long way before parenting.

Authenticity – HSPs are truth seekers, but they can also feel and see authenticity in a human being. The deeply love and are empathetic as well as compassionate, while not judging others harshly. They see who you are and they love and accept you anyway so do everyone a favor and be authentic. That means no lying, hiding, or pretending. That means total honesty even if it is tough as well as having full integrity. We often have very good memories and can remember as well as make clear connections to things based on the things you say. Imagine we study you, and hear your words, watch your actions, and can distinguish the two… I know pretty scary, right.. haha.. Not to worry, it is really our, and we hope it feels comforting to have such an understanding and loving soul around you.

Leaving the authoritarian Piscean era of do what I say not what I do, and my way or no way, and the most famous because I say so or because I am the adult, etc. are over. HSPs do not blindly trust, meaning they do not blindly just do what you say because you say it. They do not live in fear like that. In fact, they think for themselves. Gasp! Even more of a gasp if you have raised them to think for themselves and they actually do it. Darn it! How could they! It’s okay, don’t react just observe, and even still learn to teach instead of tell. This has been extremely helpful with my daughter upon raising her. Whenever I tell her to do something, she has about 10 reasons why she is choosing not to do that, and it can quickly become a wrestling match over just about everything. However, when I explore all of the concepts of understanding and teach her all of the aspects she magically says Oh, I can see that, or I understand, or the beloved that makes sense now. So get they are not property, and this is not a police state where you are looking to punish, judge, and admonish at every moment. Your job as a parent is to guide, teach, encourage, and support them in making their decisions. Sometimes the cause and effect will work in their favor to the result they are seeking, and sometimes it will result in a lesson. Either way, it is their road and their journey to discover and jumping up and down and yelling will not do anything to shift the mindset.

Ultimately there is no right or wrong way when it comes to parenting highly sensitive children, there is no expert opinion. I think we all bumble through this infinite discovery of life and work towards deeper levels of understanding both ourselves as well as others. I think another aspect that HSPs take on is the need to care Take others emotions ahead of our own. I think in a lot of ways we feel deep[ly responsible for those emotions around us that we love, honor, and admire. However., as we get healthier, wiser, and more conscious, we discover that we can leave all the feelings that we pick up where they belong. We no longer need to pick up intuitively every thought that floats by and we can recognize where we begin and end, and where another picks up. I often teach people about houses on a street. All of the houses are in neat little rows separated by streets. And before we cross the street, we make sure our street is in order. No throwing trash around and no sneaking into other peoples backyards. We can relax inside our home or on the porch, and we know exactly what laundry needs folding, or trash needs to be taken out, but we do not need to go and do the neighbors laundry or throw his or her trash out. We are content and at peace with our own space, our own place, and our own feelings, thoughts, etc.

In a world filled with anger, judgment, discontent, and disease we need highly sensitive people in order to heal the world. So if you have these sweet spirits in your life love them fiercely, acknowledge them, support them, and be mindful and present to them with authenticity as well as peace. They will appreciate you for it.

*All information contained in this blog post is intended for informational and educational purposes only, and is neither intended nor suited to be a replacement or substitute for professional medical treatment nor for professional medical advice relative to a specific medical question or condition.