Cultivating Calm During Difficult Times

When you’re going through something difficult, facing the unknown, feeling unprepared, and doing things you didn’t think you’d have to do, it’s easy and also a normal response to feel anxious, depressed, and even scared amidst the difficulty’s life can bring.

Considering everything going on in the world right now amidst COVID-19, here are some healthy and holistic ways to cultivate calm during difficult times while you quarantine yourself at home.

1. Set a schedule
It’s easy to feel like you’re being swept up and feeling out of control, especially when you have to react accordingly to the difficulties you’re facing. Take control of your life by setting a schedule and doing your best to follow it, within reason, making room for flexibility. Having a schedule helps to keep you on track of your day, your goals, your accomplishments, and it can give you better insight on what you’re lacking in daily life.

Setting and following a schedule also reminds you how much control you have in any given present moment, and regardless of the difficulties you’re facing, having a schedule helps you to realize that the point of power is always in the ‘now’ and you can choose how you act accordingly.

2. Eat anti-inflammatory foods
When stress, anxiety, and depression crop up, inflammation is sure to follow. All these negative emotions bring about higher levels of cortisol and adrenaline which, when there’s too much can cause our body to be inflamed.

The good news is, eating anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, fish oil and other antioxidant-rich foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, give your body the necessary antioxidants to combat inflammatory free-radicals as well as the vitamins and minerals your immune system needs to stay strong seeing as inflammation and negative moods tend to dampen our immune response.

Going beyond their physical benefits, eating anti-inflammatory foods are known as well to be mood regulating and can help us have a more positive outlook on life regardless of any difficulties you may be facing.

3. Prioritize Your Mental Immunity
Cultivating calm doesn’t mean ignoring what’s making you feel anxious, stressed, or depressed. In order to truly achieve an inner sense of calm you need to acknowledge these emotions and work through them. Some emotions can clear out by simply venting it out, be it through journal writing, exercising, or calling a loved one.

More deep seated negative emotional states don’t mean you have to go through it alone, especially while you’re in quarantine. If need be, seek professional care. Therapy can be done through a digital call, whether it’s with a professional or somebody you trust.

Prioritize your mental immunity to keep you strong, emotionally resilient, and generally happy. Instead of letting your fear and anxiety get a hold of you, being on quarantine is the perfect opportunity to work on your mental health, however way works for you.

4. Cut out anxiety triggers
While you’re on quarantine, take some time to reassess your digital exposure and ‘Marie Kondo’ your social, news, and information feeds.

Often times, out of context headlines, fake news, and fear mongers can unnecessarily exacerbate our already existing, and valid fear. An easy solution to this is to simply cut it out. Delete, unfollow, mark as irrelevant etc. and reserve your digital exposure only for truthful and relevant content that serves your mental wellbeing. This isn’t to say of course that you should ignore the news, but to simply cut out the ingenuine information out there that’s doing you harm.

5. Be mindful of ‘true’ and ‘false’ anxiety
As touched on earlier, anxiety and other negative emotions can crop up from eating poorly and not caring for our mental health. Take some time to be more mindful if you’re really feeling low, or if you’re making yourself feel low.

Making yourself feel negative emotions is often unintentional and a result of passive choices. Lack of exercise, lack of sunshine, too much caffeine, bad diet, low blood sugar, and too much screen time especially before bed, and lack of quality sleep can all bring about unnecessary feelings of anxiety, stress and depression. While being at home on quarantine does take adjustment in your day to day life, take some time to see if you have any anxiety-triggering passive habits that you do throughout the day. Feeling better may simply mean having your cup of coffee earlier in the day and farther from bedtime even just 5 minutes under the sun.

Whereas genuine anxiety and depression is concerned, read back on number 3, concerning taking care of your mental immunity.

Keep calm and supplement. Try our Calm Anti-Anxiety Supplement to help you get through even the most difficult days. Made with immune-boosting Ashwagandha, calming lemon balm, anti-inflammatory Passion Flower, and clarifying and relaxing L-Theanine, this supplement’s synergistic blend of well-known calming components can help keep your mind and emotions centered.

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Eat Your Way to Beauty: A Day’s Worth of Beautifying Recipes

Beauty is more than skin deep and where nutrition is concerned, beauty is an inside job. Think that lit from within, radiant and youthful glow of health and vitality; that’s all attributed to a high quality and nutrient dense diet that even the most luxurious jar of cream can’t compete with.

With that said, eating and drinking yourself pretty doesn’t have to be a culinary obstacle course. Mindfully choosing simple and wholefood ingredients will have a beautifying effect that will get you looking amazing from the inside out.

What counts as a beauty food?

1. They’re delicious
Beauty foods are food that tastes good. That will vary among individuals. A good trick with eating beautifying foods is finding healthy foods that you naturally enjoy, and learning to cook with them as this will ensure you can easily commit to a healthy and beautifying lifestyle of eating.

2. They’re whole food ingredients
Food is best cooked in their most natural state as nature intended them to be. Refined and processed versions are more likely to make you overeat empty calories, spiking up your blood sugar and inflammation.

Whole foods on the other hand are nutrient dense and carry the most benefits and bioavailability of nutrients. Where eating for beauty is concerned, ensure you get a balanced amount of all your macronutrients for adequate nourishment and substantial satiety.

3. They don’t cause inflammation or allergies
Food is fuel, and everybody has a different reaction to different kinds of foods. Beautifying foods are the kind that don’t give you, as an individual, any type of inflammation or allergies, which can really make you looking worse for wear due to the various forms of inflammation it can cause.

For instance, where a slice of egg and avocado toast on sourdough bread may make the perfect beautifying meal for one person, somebody with a gluten intolerance or egg allergy is better off choosing avocado toast on gluten-free bread with roasted chickpeas instead.

Beautifying foods should work with your body’s natural chemistry.

Try this full days worth of beautifying recipes

Breakfast: Overnight Chia and Oat pudding
1 serving
This breakfast can be made the night before, all you have to do is garnish! Break your fast by giving your body all the macronutrients it needs to stay energized for the day ahead with extra attention to antioxidants and fiber.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons quick oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ½ cup coconut milk or plant-based milk of choice
  • 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon toasted walnuts
  • ½ mango, sliced into cubes

Method:

  1. The night before, mix your oats, chia seeds and maple syrup in coconut oil until well incorporated in a mason jar
  2. Seal and place in the fridge
  3. Pop your pudding out of the fridge during breakfast time and top with freshly sliced mango and toasted walnuts

Post breakfast, take a multivitamin and probiotic supplement and consider yourself fully nourished and ready for your day.

Lunch: Lentil and Tomato Spaghetti
4 servings
This lentil and tomato spaghetti is hearty, plant-based and full of amazing flavor. It’s got the indulgence factor of a rich bolognese sauce with the benefits of a vegetarian meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 250 grams red lentils
  • 2 400 gram cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 250 ml water
  • 250 grams brown rice spaghetti or any spaghetti variant to suit your dietary needs
  • 1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 heaped teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cheese garnish of choice (nutritional yeast, parmesan cheese, vegan cheese etc)

Method

  1. In a cooking pot over medium heat, saute the onions, garlic, carrots and salt in olive oil until soft.
  2. Add in the paprika and cumin and cook until well incorporated, then add in the tomato puree, canned tomatoes, water and lentils.
  3. Allow to cook and simmer on low heat for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the red lentils have softened.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, cook your pasta according to the package directions.
  5. Once the pasta and sauce are ready, drain the pasta then mix in the pasta sauce.
  6. Serve in a large plate and garnish with your choice of cheese.

Dinner: Green and Broccoli Soup with a Basil Yogurt Chicken Wrap
This filling dinner is surprisingly light. We go lighter on the carbs and heavier on the greens and lean protein to end your day on a healthy and satisfying note.

Ingredients:
Serves 2
For the Chicken Wrap

  • ½ pound chicken breast, steamed and shredded
  • Lolo rosso lettuce, washed and dried
  • Alfalfa sprouts, washed and dried
  • Tomatoes, washed and sliced
  • Whole wheat pita bread
  • 1 large handful basil, washed and dried
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 125 grams plain yogurt, unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste

Method:
In a blender, blitz the basil, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice and olive oil together. Add salt and pepper to taste
Mix the shredded chicken in the basil yogurt
Arrange your pita and top with chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and alfalfa sprouts, and roll.

For the Soup
Ingredients:

  • 1 head broccoli
  • ½ cup green peas
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • Extra virgin olive oil and toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish

Method:

  1. Steam your broccoli and peas until soft.
  2. In a pot, place the brocoli, peas, coconut milk and chicken stock and gently heat.
  3. Once warmed, blend with an immersion blender until desired consistency.
  4. Garnish with a swirl of olive oil and sprinkling of sunflower seeds

Post dinner, ease your body into relaxation with a calming supplement to promote restful and restorative sleep.

Let us know your beautifying recipes in the comments below! To promote beauty from within, nourish accordingly with beautifying supplements like our Multivitamin, Probiotic, and Calming blends.

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Go to Sleep: Holistic Practices for Your Best Sleep Ever

Getting enough zzz’s isn’t a simple and direct matter of calling it a night and closing your eyes for most individuals, especially those among us who’s waking lives are chalk-full of to-do’s. For anybody whose day-to-day life is brimming with activity, it’s often difficult to mentally and physically prompt our body to sleep. Pair that with anxiety, stress, blue light exposure, and caffeine, there is indeed plenty of room to improve our evening habits to help welcome the deep and restorative kind of sleep that our body’s need nightly to function at its best.

If you feel like deep sleep is an elusive thing for you in your daily life, incorporate some or all of these holistic evening practices for your best sleep ever.

1. Keep a regular schedule
If you’re a parent, you know how integral it is to keep a regular and predictable schedule for babies and growing children. This helps establish the right cues and associations for necessary tasks throughout the day. Anything off-schedule or unpredictable can lead to a cranky child.

With that said, while adults with sleep issues can better deal with life’s daily fluctuations and surprises, making an effort to keep a regular schedule, especially when starting to remedy any sleep issues, can help give your mind and body the right cues to know what should come next. This means waking up and going to sleep at the same time daily and having a consistent evening routine that you practice nightly.

The logic behind this is to work with your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Think of it like a built-in sunrise and sunset in your body. Working with your circadian rhythm is a great first step in remedying sleep issues as your body will soon learn when it’s time to be active and when it’s time to rest.

2. Have a digital sunset
In line with your circadian rhythm, the body naturally responds to light. In the most primal sense, when your body is exposed to light, it responds accordingly as a time to be awake. This has gotten tricky in this day and age of screens, where our body is exposed to light, particularly highly stimulating blue-light which inhibits our sleep hormone melatonin, which naturally increases by night time.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, consider having a digital sunset at least 1 hour before bed to optimize your body’s natural melatonin production, and to avoid overstimulation from blue-light exposure.

3. Relax your body
Sleeping requires a certain level of letting go of inhibitions, tension, and a general sense of stimulation. This is where customizing your own evening routine comes in handy because you can personally handpick a variety of relaxing activities to help your body wind down for the day.

Some relaxing evening practices can involve releasing tension from light exercise such as yoga or an evening walk/run, calming your mind through meditation, and aromatherapy, and doing relaxing, unstimulating activities such as taking a hot bath or reading a book.

4. Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary
Give your mind and body the correct association when it comes to your bedroom: it’s a place for sleep, therefore you need to make it so.

Make sleep something you actually look forward to at the end of the day. Whatever works for you to look forward to retreating to your bedroom and getting in some quality zzz’s. Invest in a quality mattress, buy yourself cozy blankets, turn down the lighting by installing a dimmer switch or placing next to your bed a lovely reading lamp.

The bedroom should be just that, a place for sleeping, so save anything non-sleep related outside of your mattress.

5. A diet for good sleep

Don’t keep your body in an active state by eating a heavy meal close to bedtime. Instead, aim to have your last meal at least 2 hours before bedtime and avoid eating a heavy and oily meal altogether, which can keep your digestive system active for hours on end, hampering your body from fully switching into a restful state.

Try incorporating foods that are rich in tryptophan, a precursor to melatonin, and magnesium, to help relax the body. Foods like almonds, avocados, chickpeas, cauliflower, turkey, dates, grapefruit, and cherries can all promote a good night’s rest, with the added benefit of being highly nutritious!

Need ideas for a light yet nutritious meal before bedtime? We’d recommend a combination of a turkey hummus whole wheat pita wrap with roasted cauliflower on the side and a glass of cherry juice to help ease you into slumberland.

Anybody looking to improve their sleep quality or remedy already dysfunctional poor sleep habits can benefit from the above evening self-care practices. Often, the body and mind simply need a little extra help to let go of the day’s activity to welcome the night. Sweet dreams!

Give your body all the right signals for a night of rest and rejuvenation with our Calm Anti-Anxiety, an immune-boosting antioxidant rich blend of calming herbs to help ease your body into slumber, helping to give you the much needed benefits that come from adequate hours of deep and restorative sleep.

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What Causes Hormonal Imbalances?

Hormones are often associated with puberty and a healthy libido, but the truth is, there are so many different kinds of hormones that are responsible for hundreds of bodily processes. Take care of your hormones, your body will thank you for it.

Here are some key hormones that greatly influence our overall wellbeing, and common symptoms that indicate that they may be off balance:

Cortisol:
Cortisol is the hormone our body naturally creates when we’re stressed. Although frequently antagonized, this hormone is crucial for energy and for our body to remain in an active an alert state. The problem with cortisol is too much of it, all the time, is what would be considered an imbalance (like anything). Symptoms of a cortisol imbalance would be feeling restless at night and tired during the day.

Estrogen:
An imbalance in estrogen, particularly too much estrogen is called estrogen dominance. As a primary female sex hormone, estrogen helps to regulate and keep a healthy reproductive system. When there’s an imbalance, too much estrogen can cause heavy periods, moodiness, and weight gain that’s difficult to lose. Too little estrogen on the other hand can cause joint pain and dry skin.

Progesterone:
Progesterone is a steroid hormone and is responsible for a range of bodily functions such as menstruation and pregnancy. Progesterone also helps to stabilize moods so an imbalance in progesterone can be indicated by anxious moods. Look out as well for frequent periods, an chronic tiredness as this could indicate a progesterone imbalance.

Testosterone:
Testosterone, often associated as a male hormone, is actually present and needed in male and female health. Testosterone is needed for a healthy libido, bone health, and muscle development. A testosterone imbalance is associated with fatigue, moodiness and low sex drive.

Thyroid:
A healthy functioning thyroid maintains healthy digestion, regulates the body’s metabolism. Iodine is a in integral nutrient for thyroid health and those lacking could experience an underactive thyroid with symptoms such as irregular periods, mood disorders, hair loss, and chronic fatigue.

How can I balance my hormones?

Balancing your hormones is a lifestyle. While it’s difficult to navigate the complex web of hormones, how they interact with each other and affect your over health, a holistic approach always helps to improve symptoms of hormone imbalances. Seeking a doctor or a specialist, especially for extreme cases of hormonal imbalance, is ideal, but as the person living in your body, you too can take proactive steps to improve your hormone health.

1. Plug nutritional gaps:


Hormone imbalances can be linked to malnutrition. The body needs an adequate amount of nutrients in order to carry out thousands of bodily processes every day. Think of nutrients as gas and your hormone secreting organs as a car. Without gas, the car can’t move. Same for your organs, without adequate nutrients, hormone secreting organs such as the thyroid or ovaries, can’t go to make and release adequate levels of hormones.

Where nutritional gaps are concerned, assess your diet. Is it primarily a varied whole foods diet consisting mostly of plant-based foods? Or does your diet consist mostly of fast food and packaged meals? If your diet is the latter, a hormonal imbalance is a clear indication that it’s time for a change. Pair a nutrient-dense whole foods diet with a quality multivitamin to give your body the nutrients it needs to produce adequate levels of hormones.

2. Address Stress


Chronic stress puts a serious dampener on hormone producing organs due to the inflammatory effects of constant high levels of cortisol and also blocks them from being created, particularly our ovaries which is responsible for the secretion of estrogen and progesterone. This is partially why women who are chronically stressed also suffer from irregular or painful periods. Too much cortisol leads to an imbalance of female sex hormones.

With that said, it’s important to take time to relax and help your body lower cortisol levels on a daily basis to help ensure that your body is in the right state to release other necessary hormones. Whatever relaxes you, don’t only do it, but treat it as a priority. Even just 5 minutes of daily meditation, an hours worth of gentle exercise, or carving out 30 minutes for a healthy and nourishing meal can do wonders in keeping the body balanced.

3. Consider adaptogens


Adaptogens are a special group of plants that have the ability to help bring and keep the body in balance. This is done by nourishing the body accordingly to what it needs. For example, if you’re always tired adaptogens can nourish your thyroid to give you more energy whereas if you’re constantly feeing wired, adaptogens nourish your adrenals to help calm you down.

Where hormone balances are concerned, adaptogens like Ashwagandha help nourish all hormone excreting organs, helping to harmonize any imbalances and bring the body back to a healthier state.

4. Take fish oil


The omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil does wonders for balancing hormones. Not only do they lower inflammation in the body but consuming omega 3 fatty acids also improves testosterone levels, increases serotonin, and balances out estrogen levels. This is why omega 3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial for women experiencing PMS or irregular periods.

Have you ever turned to diet and lifestyle to improve your hormonal imbalances? Try our Ashwagandha, Fish Oil, Multivitamin, and Calm Anti-Anxiety supplements to give your body the nutrients it needs for optimum hormone balance.

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Are these ingredients the secret to managing stress?

One of the healthiest and most sustainable ways to manage stress is to nourish your body so that it’s ready to handle it. Stress is an inevitable part of life and we’re very capable of dealing with it. However, when life gets too overwhelming and we’re in a constant state of stress, that’s when it becomes harmful.

A normal level of stress is part of our daily lives, the tension it brings helps us to function by raising specific body responses, such as a rise in cortisol, which gives us the energy and focus to get things done. However too much of a constant flow of cortisol can be harmful to our bodies, which is why it’s important to relax our bodies and bring it back to balance.

Next time you’re feeling stressed out, reach for these ingredients to help you feel calm, centered, and to give your body a much needed break.

1. Ashwagandha – the stress fighting adaptogen
Ashwagandha has been used for centuries in Ayurveda and for good reason. This wonderful apoptogenic root helps our bodies combat the ill effects of stress and regulates cortisol. This means that however stress manifests in your body, Ashwagandha helps to bring your body back into equilibrium.

For example, if stress is giving you insomnia, Ashwagandha helps you sleep. If stress is making you feel anxious, Ashwagandha helps you to feel calm. If stress is causing you to be more prone to infections, Ashwagandha strengthens your immunity.

2. Lemon Balm – the mood-boosting antioxidant-rich herb
A popular herb from the mint family, Lemon Balm is an aromatic ingredient that is often used in teas and tinctures to increase calmness and alertness all while relieving mental stress.

Lemon balm also has the added benefit of being rich in antioxidants, helping to keep our bodies protected from free radicals, which our bodies are more exposed to when we’re stressed.

3. Passion Flower – nature’s valium
Passion Flower, a beautiful purple and white wild flower, has been used in traditional and modern natural medicine alike, as a solution to calm nerves, treat anxiety and depression, and cure insomnia.

Usually taken in the form of teas, tinctures, infusions, and extracts, Passionflower promotes relaxation and helps the body to prepare for a good nights sleep thanks to its gentle sedative effect.

If you’re dealing with insomnia induced stress, consider incorporating passion flower into your wellness routine.

4. L-Theanine – meditation in a tea cup
An elusive amino acid, the only well-known source of L-Theanine is found in tea leaves, particularly green tea. What a wonder it must have been to discover the calming yet focusing effects of green tea. With further study, it’s been shown that consuming L-Theanine promotes alpha waves; the same kind of waves brain activity shows when you’re in deep meditation. This means drinking green tea and getting L-Theanine is literally drinking your way to a calm, centered, and focused state.

L Theanine not only helps to keep you calm it helps to keep your body balanced when responding to stress such as preventing the abrupt rise in blood pressure, promoting feelings of calm focus, improves mood, and helps us to sleep better.

5. 5-HTP – the happiness and sleep promoter
5-Hydroxytryptophan, more commonly known as 5-HTP, is a compound that our bodies make naturally after consuming food sources with 5-HTP’s precursor, tryptophan.

It’s an effective compound to help keep us calm because 5-HTP helps our bodies make serotonin, a hormone commonly known as the ‘happy’ hormone, but also important for regulating our sleep cycles. As we all know, sleep is essential in managing stress, and often even just a good nights rest from quality sleep can be all we need to recover from the ill effects of stress.

Are the daily stressors of life getting to you? Consider taking a calming supplement to help keep you in balance yet able to keep up with your busy and active lifestyle.

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What to do when anxiety gets the best of you

Anxiety triggers are different for every person, yet, regardless of your walk or life, we all feel anxiety; that heavy sense of worry towards current or imminent events and towards outcomes you can’t know or control.

Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed and just want to hit the pause button on life or are facing a full-blown anxiety attack, stop. Take a deep breath and a moment for yourself. Here’s what you can do when anxiety gets the best of you.

1.Acknowledge your anxiety

Feeling anxious is a normal part of living. Anybody can feel nervous in the face of unwanted outcomes or the unknown. When it gets overwhelming, it’s important to acknowledge that you feel anxious and not deny it.

Accepting that you feel anxious empowers you to understand what’s causing it. This mindfulness towards your feelings gives valuable insight into what you can change, let go off, and seek help with. Even a 5 minute break to breathe and check in with yourself is enough to retake the reigns when life seems overwhelming.

2.Prioritize your basic needs

Anxiety can be mild or severe, depending on your physical wellbeing. Think of anxiety like a big party. All the music, people, food and high energy are inevitable, but how you react towards what’s around you dictates how you feel on the inside. A fed and well rested individual is likely to enjoy everything going on in a party as opposed to a tired and hungry individual who may find the party taxing to an already fatigued body.

Anxiety works in the same way. When you feel like there is too much going on and it’s making you anxious, take a moment to see if your most basic needs are met. Are you rested, are you fed, are you hydrated? This makes all the difference in your mental and emotional resilience. A healthy body supports a healthy mind, so go ahead and prioritize your basic needs in order to stay centered. You’ll face what makes you anxious in much better stride or you may not even feel anxious at all.

3.Care for your gut

There is a clear relationship between anxiety and your gut health. This is why when you feel nervous you experience ‘butterflies’ in your stomach or you feel nauseous when you’re emotionally distressed. Your gut is known to be a ‘second brain’ where chemicals that regulate your mood are secreted.

Care for your gut health with a high fiber and whole foods diet paired with digestive aids such as apple cider vinegar and probiotics and experience a positive change in your mindset.

4.Improve your nutrition

While a positive attitude and healthy gut can help you navigate through emotional stress, there are specific herbs and amino acids that promote feelings of calm. Try incorporating the following into your diet to inhibit anxiety.

  • Ashwagandha: An antioxidant that boosts the immune system.
  • Lemon Balm: Increases your sense of calm and alertness.
  • Passion Flower: A powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
  • L-Theanine: Calms the mind while promoting focus.
  • 5-HTP: Promotes the production of serotonin.

Do you have any healthy tips on how to manage anxiety? Let us know in the comments below.

If the thought of finding these herbs and amino acids individually give you anxiety, consider our CALM Anti-Anxiety capsules, which contains all of these compounds and work synergistically for supporting a peaceful state of mind.

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