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The Self-Esteem Diet: Simple Daily Guidelines

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Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

I was inspired recently to write up a different kind of diet. As a nutritionist and health coach, I’m passionate about eating nourishing foods and living a healthy active lifestyle. But there have been times in my life, and it still happens occasionally, when my commitment weakens and I could easily slip into bad habits if I don’t pull myself out of my funk quickly.

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Looking deeper, I recognize that my habits are highly correlated with my self-esteem, and the choices I make on a daily basis are based on how I feel about myself (and my experience tells me that this is a natural part of being human). So when I notice that I’m slipping out of my good supportive habits, I immediately put some pratices in place to help me get back in the groove – which is the basis of my self-esteem diet.

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The Missing Piece

My belief is that most people know intuitively what their body needs to feel good, and the reason they don’t do what supports them has very little to do with lack of knowledge. Most people know that fresh, whole, natural foods are good for you, and refined, processed foods are not. Most people know that physical activity is crucial for good health, and being sedentary is not. But if everyone followed the basic guidelines, we wouldn’t have the overweight and obesity rates that we currently do, and the diet industry wouldn’t be the giant that it is.

There’s a foundation missing, and no one is immune to it. There are so many distractions in our environments that can pull our focus away from who we are and what we want to accomplish. We can easily become disconnected from ourselves if we don’t have the proper structures in place to maintain a strong foundation, which is our core self-esteem.

Important Note: No two bodies are alike. Therefore, a huge aspect of lifting your self-esteem and setting your foundation is to learn what’s best for YOU. No diet book or menu plan can tell you that. You can certainly learn great information through them, and try things out to explore your best solutions, but it’s important to remember that the best food and lifestyle habits for you are the ones that make you feel the best and give you the most energy. Truly listen to your body, and it will not steer you wrong. The higher your self-esteem, you better you will be able to listen to it.

Diet Guidelines

These guidelines are designed to help you decrease the “noise” in your environment so that you can listen to what your body is telling you. They are simple, and great to incorporate every day, but not always easy. I suggest that you start with three days of total compliance and see how you feel. Then extend it. The idea is not necessarily to do this “perfectly” every day for the rest of your life, but to simply become aware of these factors so that you have the tools to get yourself quickly out of a funk, should you need them (and if you are human, you probably will occasionally). So here they are:

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Avoid:

Gossip

It’s not a good strategy for feeling good about yourself to hear about the misfortunes of others. It’s also bad karma, and a poor investment of your energy. There is no such thing as healthy gossip in my opinion, especially if you want to keep your self-esteem high.

Comparisons

Remember that there is absolutely no one, I repeat no one, on this planet who is going through, and has been through, the exact same situation as you, and who has the exact same set of skills and limitations as you do. Your situation is unique to you, and your successes and setbacks cannot be fairly compared to anyone else’s – in a good or bad way. Even comparing yourself to your old self is not encouraged, because you are a different person today than you were then. Look to others for inspiration, not comparisons.

Negative People and Situations

When you only have so much time and energy in a day, why waste it with those who you don’t feel good around? People who can tend to bring you down – either by minimizing or putting down your achievements or efforts, or just by being pessimistic and negative – are not worth investing a lot of time in, if any. Guard your energy carefully or you’ll risk having others pull you down.

Limit or Severely Restrict:

Time On Social Media

Minimize your time spent online browsing through photos and status updates – this can lead to harmful comparisons (which you want to avoid), and lowered self-esteem, as supported by multiple recent studies. Try to spend more of your online time browsing through inspirational and informative content that can support you towards your goals, and less time concerned about how many ‘likes’ you get on your posts. Real self-worth does not come from likes.

Alcohol

Being under the influence of alcohol does not make you a more confident person, even if you may feel that way at the time. It is in fact a depressant, whether the effects are felt during or after drinking, and can sabotage your efforts toward your health goals if consumed any more than in moderation – which in turn sabotages your self-esteem. A healthy balanced lifestyle can include moderate amounts of alcohol, but excess consumption can definitely put you several steps back.

Saying Yes!

A new commitment is a big deal. Rather than agreeing immediately to all requests and then having to back out and apologize when you really aren’t able to follow through like you said you would, thoroughly evaluate them, and only say yes to the ones that feel good and will provide value. If you follow your “gut,” most often that initial instinct will be the answer you should go with. Saying “no” when you mean “no” and taking control of your schedule will give you an immense lift in self-esteem. In contrast, saying yes to please others, when you really don’t have the time or energy or other means to follow through without added stress, will impact your integrity and your self-esteem negatively.

Enjoy Moderately:

Journaling

Journaling is a great way for you to acknowledge your progress and challenges, which are both important to track when working towards goals. Nothing helps with solving life’s problems better than writing them out and talking (on paper) to yourself about them; it helps you gain clarity and perspective, and even develop strategies and actions to tackle them. Writing them out by hand has the added benefit of downloading them to your subconscious, which gets to work on them right away. You’ll start to notice solutions and opportunities appearing, that you never noticed before, once you start journaling about things you want to change. Get comfortable talking to yourself, a little bit every week, and you’ll become your own best counsellor, which inevitably makes you feel more confident. You’ll also be able to look back on your journey in writing, and see how far you’ve come.

Discomfort

When you step outside of your comfort zone, even though doing so can seem stressful at the time – the very act of being afraid and doing it anyways has an amazingly positive impact on self-esteem. Take a look at areas in your life where you’ve been playing it a little too safe. This inhibits growth, and stagnation can lead to lowered self-esteem. Make a list, and a plan of action to do something at least once a week that’s a little bit uncomfortable. You can start small and build up – the bigger the action, the bigger the boost in self-esteem.

Meditation

Although meditation is most effective if done regularly, it’s in the moderate category because it doesn’t have to take a lot of time to be effective. You can benefit from just 5-10 minutes of quiet meditation daily. If meditation is new to you, start by simply taking a few minutes out of your day to spend in silence. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and simply let thoughts pass through your mind without giving them any attention. This simple practice can do wonders for getting re-grounded and re-focused, and lifting the spirit significantly.

Enjoy Often:

Good Quality Sleep

Have you ever noticed how much your mood and motivation can be impacted by the quality of sleep you’ve had? Unfortunately, caffeine highs are just not as good for you, or your self-esteem, as the high you get from a good quality night’s sleep. Here’s something that not everyone may know: not all hours of sleep are equal. The hours of sleep you get before midnight are exponentially better than the hours of sleep you get after midnight. Bad news for night owls, but it’s important to note. So, if you’re not in the habit already, try going to bed before 10pm for three nights in a row and see if you notice a difference. Who knows, it may even free up some early morning time to squeeze in a meditation or a workout (and eliminate some late-night status-update surfing)! Only good things can come from good sleep.

Positive Environments and People

This one’s pretty simple: spend more time in places where you feel good, and more time with people with whom you feel uplifted, supported, and inspired. Being around positive people encourages and nurtures positive thoughts and feelings. It’s the exact opposite of the feeling you get around negative people or situations. You may also have your favourite places that give you feelings of calm, safety, nourishment, and inspiration. Make a point to spend more time in these environments – and for added benefit, journal or meditate while there!

Gratitude

Everywhere you look, there is something to be grateful for, so make a habit of practicing gratitude regularly. You can do this by listing 5-10 things daily that you’re grateful for (and why), or you can simply practice it on-going throughout the day – like being thankful for your legs when you get up, for clean water when you’re showering, for electricity when you’re cooking… you get the point. Focusing on the things that you have, rather than what you don’t have, is a great exercise for lifting you out of a funk, and keeping your spirits high. It can also positively affect your self-esteem, by helping to shift your perspective from looking at how far you have yet to go to reach your goals, to how far you’ve already come.

Self-esteem and healthy habits work hand-in-hand to get you where you want to go: when your self-esteem is high, it’s easier to keep up your healthy habits, and when you keep up your healthy habits, you feel better about yourself and your self-esteem is higher. So, whether you’re on track to reach your goals, or you’ve hit a roadblock, why not devote a few days to trying out some things that can purely lift your spirits and self-esteem? Your mind, body and spirit will all thank you.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Awareness

3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Reflect On:

    If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try these suggestions before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies.

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every news cycle paralyzes us with fear of a new variant. Some feel grief over who or what they have lost or continue to have feelings of social disconnectedness. Despite what we have all been through, we need to start moving forward with our lives and truly live again. We must recognize that we have more control over our physical and mental health than advertised. The truth is that there are many helpful things that we can do.

PTSD is a stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm was a threat or occurred. Those with PTSD may experience agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, depression, attention difficulty, loneliness, insomnia, or nightmares.

Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness, but powerlessness can also keep us trapped in a PTSD cycle. The psychological imprint of trauma rewires the brain. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brain neurons begin firing in the amygdala, the emotional part of our brains, during a traumatic event. People can get stuck in an emotional loop, and the rational voice in their heads does not weigh in. This looping can cause a person to respond disproportionately to stress – freezing, panicking, or acting out in anger. Some dissociate or enter a trance-like state. Maladaptive coping skills can sometimes develop. Cutting, burning, overeating, drinking, drugs, overspending, etc., is all an attempt to dampen our painful emotional feelings. So, to avoid getting stuck in a PTSD cycle, we must act and take our power back.

Time to seek out the most effective help so that we can feel calm and in control again. What can we do?

1. Boost Your Immune System

If you fear getting sick, it’s time to live a healthier lifestyle and boost your immune system. Sadly, we are taught (with the help of pharmaceutical dollars) that health comes from a needle or a pill. Our “experts” recommend masks, hand-washing, social distancing, and mRNA vaccines. Still, they seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to help improve our health and support the body to fight off illness and disease. Click here for my article that includes 16 Tips on Boosting Immunity.

2. Embrace Spirituality

Over the last 20 years, I have been honored to have worked with many great therapists, healers, spiritual leaders, and trauma survivors to witness the power of Spirituality in healing. Spirituality is an inner belief system providing an individual with meaning and purpose in life. Whether it involves a higher power, nature, religious rituals, meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, the premise is to stay connected to the core of who we are. That place of stillness within us holding the memory of wholeness, peace, inner strength, and balance – despite what has happened. A spiritual philosophy or practice can provide us with a bigger context for our experiences and clarify our purpose. Spiritual methods also connect us with a sense of community and support. Finding our tribe is essential in the face of trauma and loss. The spiritual journey often allows us to go inside ourselves and listen to our inner guidance and “knowingness.” The inner voice may know, for instance, that the virus will not hurt us, or what we are being told by the media is untrue. Spirituality also helps us shift our perspective from “why me” to “what can I do about it. It brings us a sense of power and control.

3. Guided Imagery & Bilateral Stimulation

Both tools are essential for the trauma therapy toolbox. They are noninvasive and helpful for overcoming the effects of trauma. Guided imagery can help us alter the negative or stressful pictures and thoughts in our minds and help us create new, more peaceful ones—a form of instilling positive affirmations. Before you read on, I thought you might like to download my 10-minute exercise. This science-based, comprehensive video will help you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and give you a way to help overcome the effects of this pandemic – GET IT HERE

Is There Science Behind This?

Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.

A Look At The Research

Guided imagery is a behavioral technique using a series of verbal suggestions to guide oneself or others in visualizing an image in the mind to bring a desired response in the way of a reduction in stress, anxiety, or pain. A growing list of empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in various physical and emotional conditions. Guided imagery resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active-duty military population. Positive affirmations can positively affect the brain’s circuitry. There is MRI evidence suggesting that specific neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks.

Numerous research articles have established that bilateral stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some therapists practice Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a combination of psychotherapy and bilateral stimulation. EMDR is very effective for treating a wide range of mental health issues due to emotional and physical trauma. During bilateral stimulation, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. And, often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self.

“Bilateral Stimulation induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry, similar to what happens in REM sleep. It allows the person undergoing treatment to process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This therapy helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of their life experience.” – Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Takeaway

If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try the above suggestions and download my helpful video before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies. Also, you can discover the many mind-body practices you can do at home to help manage stress more successfully and so much more. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. To purchase my book Healing Without Hurting, click here.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Awareness

Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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General

Are Lockdowns Affecting Children?

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We spoke to activist and mother Stephanie Sibbio about her co-creation of an organization called 100 Million Moms which seeks to empower women to stand up against injustices.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we choosing virus mitigation methods that are short sighted and harmful over the long term? Are they more harmful than the virus itself?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The potential downsides of lockdowns during pandemics have been explored quite a bit – and the truth is the scientific community is quite divided on whether it’s the right move. On one hand a case can be made for effectiveness of lockdowns, but at quite a cost, while on the other hand many have shown lockdowns to be ineffective in slowing spread. How a study is organized and conducted can also dramatically change results.

Interestingly a study in Nature showed that “less disruptive and costly NPIs can be as effective as more intrusive, drastic, ones (for example, a national lockdown).” This essentially states that governments could choose effective ways to mitigate virus spread effectively without inducing unwanted and long term side effects on society as a whole via lockdowns – regardless, lockdowns are still widely being used.

One question we might have is, what about factors that are not so easy to measure right away? Things like long term psychological damage of being constantly stressed, out of touch with community and friends, and confined to our homes. What affects are children experiencing in their development and learning? We may not know exactly for quite some time.

I felt inspired to speak to a mother who has not only be asking this question with regards to her child, but who has decided to do something to push back against government measures, like lockdowns, that many citizens and scientist don’t agree with.

Along with another activist, Stephanie Sibbio created a movement called 100 Million Moms who, as their Instagram states, are a rights-based movement empowering moms all over the world to stand up against injustice. We advocate for natural health & medical freedom.

I spoke to Stephanie about how she has seen lockdowns affecting children, and her story in co-creating 100 Million Moms. In this discussion you will learn how you can get involved as well.

Further Discussion

A large meta analysis on mask wearing has shown that children are having physiological issues and learning challenges with prolonged mask wearing.

A group of doctors did a panel worth considering that discusses the potential harms of lockdowns and the science that supports the idea.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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