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11 Signs You Should Consider Cutting Back On Alcohol

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I’ll cut to the chase: I am someone who struggled with alcohol through all of my teens, twenties, and early 30s. I had lived a fast-paced, work-hard-play-hard jet-set lifestyle and had burnt out before turning thirty.
 
I left my career as a global health and policy consultant to “find myself,” but still found myself leaning too heavily on alcohol.
 
I woke up in the morning after my 30th birthday to a giant goose egg on my forehead and no idea how it got there. I vowed I needed to cut back, yet my 31st birthday rolled around and I found myself in the same situation, remembering little because I had passed out after drinking too much absinthe. It took me until a few weeks before my 32nd birthday to finally make a commitment to myself: “No more getting drunk.”
 
Over the past few years, I’ve not only avoided getting drunk, I’ve also successfully learned to moderate so that I only very occasionally indulge in alcohol. From my experiences, as well as my studies with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I have developed a coaching practice to support other women, helping them to learn moderation and find freedom from alcohol, on their own terms.
 
The thing is, for many years I felt that I was living a double life.
 
On the outside, I was this confident, accomplished, evolved woman. On the inside, I was plagued by anxiety, insomnia, self-doubt, and self-loathing.
 
I have started sharing more openly about my experiences because I have come to realize that so many other women struggle with similar issues and feel totally alone.
 
Because of the pervasive “all or nothing” approach to alcohol in our society, we’re supposed to pretend that everything is totally fine until it’s not, and then the only option is AA, which isn’t for everyone.
 
Sharing my story gives permission for others to share their experiences with alcohol with me.
 
What always strikes me is how much shame women feel after losing control over alcohol and how long that shame lingered. What I also find interesting is that most of what other people share with me wouldn’t necessarily be classified as “alcoholism” and most of it would probably fly under the radar of a regular visit with a physician or therapist.
 
Yet these experiences had a profound effect on the women who shared them with me. They all wanted a space to feel safe talking about it. And they wanted a solution that didn’t necessarily involve eliminating alcohol completely.
 
We often hear about alcohol as an “all or nothing” affair. It’s all good times and carefree until you admit to having a problem, and then suddenly you are a candidate for a recovery program and need to abstain completely.
 
You can have a problem with alcohol and not be an alcoholic. (In fact, only 10-15% of people who struggle with alcohol will ever form an addiction.)
 
You can have a problem with alcohol and not want to quit.
 
Sometimes we need to see our experiences reflected back at ourselves in order to feel comfortable making a change.
 
The problem with the “all or nothing” approach to alcohol is that many of us don’t relate, and therefore stay silent about our desire to change.
 
We face enormous societal and, dare I say it, peer pressure to drink in social situations, at celebrations, and during events. The people around us may not be ready or want to change their drinking, which can make the decision even more challenging.
 
Here are some signs that you might want to cut back on alcohol, even if you know you are not an alcoholic. Let this be your permission to make a change, an affirmation to what you know in your heart is needed.

Signs you need to cut back (or cut it out completely):

 
1. You’ve ever woken up and thought, “I need to cut back.” It might seem obvious, but we become so good at talking ourselves out of things, or letting the people around us convince us that we’re fine, or that being hungover every weekend is normal. If you feel like you want to make a change, let that be enough. As I always tell my clients, if you feel like you have a problem with alcohol and you want to make some changes, no one else gets to tell you otherwise.
 
2. You often wake up tired, lethargic, or unfocused. As little as 2 drinks in the evening before bed can interrupt your REM sleep and have you waking up feeling less than optimal. If you are reaching for wine in the evenings as a nightcap more often than not, developing a different bedtime routine will help you sleep better and wake up feeling rested and focused.
 
3. You drink alcohol more days during the week than not. The Canadian Low Risk Drinking Guidelines recommends planning non-drinking days during the week to avoid forming a habit. If you notice that you are wanting to drink more often than not, you definitely want to consider cutting back and finding alternatives.
 
4. Your go-to stress remedy is a cocktail, cold beer, or glass of wine. If the first thing you think of when something bad or stressful happens is how soon you get to drink alcohol, cutting back and developing other stress reduction tools may be in your best interest.
 
5. You feel shame around things that have happened while drinking. Instead of burying the shame under more booze, try cutting it out for a bit. It can be hard to learn how to feel and deal, but feeling and moving through pain, shame, and regret are paramount to healing. Give yourself a break and ease up on the booze while you work through some of this stuff.
 
6. You vow “never again” but keep drinking past the point of no return. If this happens, it is definitely time to cut back (by a lot) or cut alcohol out completely for a while. It’s not enough to say, “I’m not going to get so drunk.” Set your intention for only one drink, or better yet, experiment with cutting it out completely for an evening to see how it feels. It doesn’t have to be forever, but the key is to break the habit.
 
7. You find yourself putting off other activities that are important to you. If you’ve been procrastinating on pursuing your passions, or find that you “forget” what kinds of activities (other than drinking alcohol) feel good for you, it’s probably time to cut back. Once alcohol stops being your go-to for socializing and fun, you’ll have more time (and money) to prioritize other activities and hobbies.
 
8. You are worried about your weight. You may not want this reminder, but if you have tried to lose weight without success and haven’t tried cutting back on booze, alcohol may be the key. Alcohol is pretty much just liquid calories, and it offers no nutritional value to go with them. Yeah, the getting drunk part can be fun, but if you are serious about getting in shape, then you’re not giving yourself a fair chance if you are still drinking regularly or more than the recommended amount (cutting back by one glass of wine a day can eliminate about 2,000 calories from your diet weekly!).
 
9. You feel like you’ve got it all together, but alcohol is the one thing you don’t have a handle on. Sometimes you feel like you are living a double life. Everyone sees you as super accomplished and “together” but you feel differently. This might be a source of secret shame for you and carrying it around is an extra energetic burden that you don’t need! Cutting back on alcohol can help you feel on top of the world and in control of your life.
 
10. You have a hard time connecting with your intuition. If you wish you could tap into your intuition more easily, you might want to consider cutting back on alcohol. A lot of my clients spent years agonizing over every decision or thing that happened and questioning whether they did or said the right thing, or made the right choice. When they drastically reduced the amount they were drinking, it suddenly became easier to tap into that inner knowing and to make clear-headed and heart-connected decisions.
 
11. You feel like there’s something more for you. Sometimes it’s hard to even articulate this feeling but you know there’s something more waiting for you. Maybe your problem isn’t even that severe. You’re just done with feeling crappy, with hangovers, with accidentally losing yourself or doing or saying something you wouldn’t have if you were sober. You know you are meant for more. I have never met anyone who describes their decision to cut back or cut out alcohol as having a negative impact on their life. To the contrary, the majority of the people I work with experience really positive shifts in their lives within months of changing their drinking habits. So why not give it a try?
 
Low risk drinking is considered to be no more than 2-3 drinks per day with no more than 7 drinks per week for women, and 3-4 drink per day with no more than a total of 14 drinks per week for men (depending on which country’s guidelines you are looking at). If you are choosing to cut back, you may want to follow these guidelines, or create your own. Many of my clients find that dramatically reducing their alcohol intake helps reset their habits and shift their consciousness powerfully.
This might look like no more than 1 glass of alcohol on any evening, committing to more Alcohol Free Days during the week than days with alcohol, choosing not to drink in situations that are potentially triggering, and on the days that you feel yourself wanting to numb out, avoiding alcohol altogether.
Whatever you decide, create a plan before you are in the situation where you would normally be drinking. Know what alternatives will be available to drink or bring your own if the venue allows. Do your best to set yourself up for success and focus on the benefits you know you’ll receive from drinking less alcohol. Reach out and connect with others who are also committed to elevating their consciousness and learning to be truly present with themselves and their surroundings.

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Awareness

This Super Simple Breathing Technique Can Help Alleviate Anxiety & Depression

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Small study finds breathing technique can help treat major depressive disorder and anxiety.

  • Reflect On:

    The answers to our challenges are much simpler than we thought, we have everything we need inside of us. Great alternative to prescription anti-depressant medication, or other substances.

The breath is one of the most underrated and under-utilized methods of healing. Breathing comes naturally to us, we do it without thinking, which is why it is not something we generally think of as a way to connect deeply with ourselves, calm our anxieties or even reach higher levels of consciousness. Something as simple as breathing can help those who suffer from severe mental conditions and those who have survived global disasters.

There are many forms of breathwork, there is the well-known Holotropic Breathing, made popular by the Iceman himself, Wim Hof. There is another technique known as transformational breathwork and the featured practice of breathing that will be featured in this article, resonant breathing or Coherent Breathing, which is a trademarked term.

This specific style of breathwork came from years of studying the ancient breathing practices of indigenous people all over the world including those from African, Hawaiian, and Native American traditions.

Assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College, Patricia Gerbarg, studies the technique with her husband, Richard Brown, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “We wanted to identify a short program that could be given quickly to people, that they would have immediate relief within five or ten minutes, and that over time would produce long-term changes,” Gerbarg told Vice.

The Study

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine in 2017 led by researchers from Boston University asked 30 people with major depression to practice the breathing technique regularly as well as Iyengar yoga. After 3 months, results from a standard depression inventory test showed how the depressive symptoms had significantly declined.

Even though the study size was very small, it is comforting to know that something as simple as breath alone could help to alleviate symptoms of severe depression. No pills needed. This technique is especially powerful because it can be practiced anytime, anywhere. The process involved taking regular breaths in and out of the nose, at a pace of 5 breaths per minute, each breath in and out taking around 6 seconds. When starting out, it is recommended that this be practiced with the eyes closed, but once you get it under control you can easily do it with your eyes open, meaning while you’re driving, while in a meeting, anytime during the day that you may find yourself feeling anxious, stressed or down. Gerbarg says, “It’s totally private. Nobody knows you’re doing it.”

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The breath should be calm and gentle because the goal is to balance the sympathetic — fight or flight with the parasympathetic — rest and digest areas of the nervous system. Interestingly, when the couple first began looking into the power of the breath, the first thought was that this must send extra oxygen to the brain that we may have otherwise been lacking. However, they knew that there must be more to this to explain the profound effects they had been seeing in those who practiced the breathing technique. Not to mention, some types of breathwork actually decreases the amount of oxygen going to the brain.

Why Does This Work?

Gerbarg and Brown believe that the reason this technique works is thanks to the vagal nerves, those connecting the brain to the body and what tell the organs when to beat, digest, breathe and all other functions, have been found in recent years to send even more messages in the opposite direction from the body to the brain. “These ascending messages strongly influence stress response, emotion and neurohormonal regulatory networks,” stated in a book written by the couple, Yoga Therapy: Theory and Practice.

According to Gerbarg, “Respiration is the only autonomic function we can voluntarily control,” it’s easy to see how changing the breathing pattern can shift the messages received by the brain.

The calm and even breaths send messages of safety, according to Gerbarg, this can reduce anxious or depressive thoughts and makes way for more loving and connected emotions to be felt. Adverse reactions are generally rare, but those with asthma or other breathing conditions should only try this practice under the guidance of a trained professional.

We really do have everything we need inside of us. Our human bodies are magnificent, and if something as simple as breathing can help alleviate symptoms of depression, then we should certainly be studying this more. If you are skeptical about this information and feel it’s too good to be true, give it a shot next time you find yourself feeling down or anxious and see if it helps!

Much Love

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Awareness

It’s Not New: Pictures Show The Fight Against Vaccines Is Well Over 100 Years Old

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The struggle against vaccination, especially compulsory vaccination mandated by a government/industry coalition, was met with fierce resistance from people during the early history of vaccination over a century ago.

  • Reflect On:

    What does the pictorial evidence of opposition to vaccines from early in the previous century tell us about today's vaccine industry?

In the foreword to the book by Doctor Suzanne Humphries and Roman Bistrianyk entitled ‘Dissolving Illusions: Disease, Vaccines, and the Forgotten History,’ Dr. Jayne L. M. Donegan sums up the vaccine ‘landscape’ that she and all MDs enter into as they become doctors:

Despite questioning the safety and efficacity of vaccination by reputable medical men since its introduction, debate has been, and is, increasingly discouraged. Information published in scientific journals is used to support this position, other views being regarded as “unscientific.”

It was a received “article of faith” for me and my contemporaries, that vaccination was the single most useful health intervention that had ever been introduced. Along with all my medical and nursing colleagues, I was taught that vaccines were the reason children and adults stopped dying from diseases for which there are vaccines. We were told that other diseases, such as scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, typhus, typhoid, cholera, and so on, for which there are no vaccines at the time, diminished both in incidence and mortality (ability to kill) due to better social conditions.

You would think–as medical students who are supposed to be moderately intelligent–that some of us would have asked, “But if deaths from these diseases decreased due to improved social conditions, mightn’t the ones for which there are vaccines also have decreased at the same time for the same reason?” But we didn’t.

The medical curriculum is so overloaded with information that you just have to learn what you hear, as you hear it: nonvaccinatable diseases into the social conditions box and vaccinatable diseases into the vaccines box and then onto the next subject.

What this book especially brought to light for me was not just that open ‘debate’ on vaccination is systematically stifled, but the gruesome early history of vaccination itself is hidden, suppressed, and denied. For me, just knowing the early history of vaccination has been enough for me to see that all along this phenomena has fundamentally been about power and money, in complete and abject disregard for human health. I believe an open-minded reading of the book mentioned above will lead you to the same conclusions.

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Early Resistance Against Vaccines

The early history of vaccines is fraught with egregious trial-and-error ‘science’ on humans treated as guinea pigs matched with strong-arm tactics at compulsory vaccination. But even though they were dealing with human populations that were not as educated as we may be today, the illness and deaths of children resulting from vaccination were not lost on parents–and in some cases, before the medical establishment had full control over their doctors’ muzzles, were admitted to by doctors. Here are a few among many pictorial examples and their heart-breaking stories:

Public Gatherings

At a time when mainstream media, government, and the medical establishment were not the well-oiled machine of elite propaganda they are today, public outrage and attempts to mobilize against compulsory vaccination were squarely in the public eye:

Anti-Vaccine Literature And Images

Like today, there were professionals and researchers speaking out against the dangers of vaccination, and probably suffered from the same lack of funding to proliferate their message.

Comparisons With Today

One would imagine that if the early vaccine industry actually cared about public health, that even the death or crippling of ONE CHILD that occurred directly after vaccination would cause them to shut down operations until they could verify that this death was not caused by vaccines. Alas, these pictures demonstrate otherwise. And if it did not happen then, it certainly is not happening now.

The outright lie found on government medical websites that ‘vaccines are safe and effective’ belies the fact that a special fund and a special court was set up by the government to issue compensation to sufferers of vaccine injury that has already paid out over $3.7 billion dollars. The fact is that this court was set up to prevent people from being able to sue vaccine companies directly, because it was forecast that all the vaccine manufacturers would go bankrupt if they were not protected from being sued. That’s how ‘safe and effective’ vaccines have proven to be.

Sure, today there is less of a push towards compulsory vaccination–but that is in part due to the awesome and tireless work of enraged citizens at the turn of the century as evidenced in these pictures! All that happened was that the vaccine industry realized that they could better ply their trade by focusing not on forced vaccination and the obvious resistance it generates, but rather by controlling the narrative with well-funded propaganda through coordinated efforts of the medical establishment, government, and the media. Part of this effort is hiding the history from us that we see in the pictures featured here.

If we are to become clear as a collective about the big picture of what is going on behind government and industry policy today, sometimes a brief look at history is all it takes.

 

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Awareness

10 Ways To Boost Serotonin Levels Without Medication

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Millions are diagnosed with depression every year, and people can begin feeling better without medication by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Some lifestyle changes and food adjustments can help solve this.

  • Reflect On:

    Is your diet truly helping you feel good? We sometimes think 'we only live once, I should eat what I want!' but how do you want to feel while you're alive: Vital or foggy?

As defined by psychologists, a person has a major depressive episode when he or she has symptoms of major depressive disorder, including depressed mood or feelings of emptiness, hopelessness or irritability, that last for two weeks or more.  And, according to the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS), the number of people diagnosed with depression has increased by 450% since 1987.

It is often recommended that we start taking a medication to reduce symptoms. However, medication often comes with sometimes dangerous side-effects. Here are some simple ways to feel happier without needing to take a pill.

1. Get Enough Vitamin B6

Foods like spinach, turnip greens, garlic, cauliflower, mustard greens, celery, and non-factory farmed fish (especially tuna, halibut, salmon, cod and snapper) can be great sources.

2. Eat Brain Boosting Seed Grains Instead of Wheat

This includes: Amaranth, buckwheat, millet and quinoa are seeds with grain-like taste and properties. These are healthy, high-protein carbohydrates and small amounts of the right carbohydrates are critical to boosting serotonin.

Not only will you improve your mood, you will Sleep better too. A nice dose of serotonin in the early evening will help you sleep better at night.

These grain-like seeds also provide important B vitamins. As just mentioned B vitamins play a critical role in brain health and in the manufacture of all your neurotransmitters including serotonin. Vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B6 (pyridoxine) as well as vitamin D, folic acid and selenium plus calcium, and magnesium are needed to make serotonin.

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For protein meals: focus on digestion and food combining – Eating foods that are high in protein – and specifically have a higher percentage of tryptophan (like sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds), will provide much-needed tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin. But beware: because research shows that eating protein with carbohydrates actually works against your ability to make serotonin. 

Good to know: Plant-based protein helps to create more serotonin than animal protein does.

To boost your mood and immunity naturally, protein and probiotics – is the delicious natural answer!

3. Include Fermented Food & Drinks In Your Diet

Fermented foods and drinks greatly assist in digestion and assimilation of all the important nutrients you need for serotonin. Additionally, they boost the nutrients in your food by at least a hundredfold.

4. Get Massages & Other Forms of Body Work

We’ve heard about the healing power of touch, but now research backs it up! A study conducted by the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine shows that massage increases serotonin by 28% and decreases cortisol (the stress hormone) by 31%.

5. Have Fun in the Sun

Early morning sunlight is more intense and this can boost your body’s production of melatonin in the evening. Serotonin converts to melatonin for a great night’s sleep. Getting outside for a 20-minute walk in the early morning sunlight can boost your mood and improve your sleep!

6. Remove Toxins From Your Health That Interfere With Brain Health

Eat foods like dandelion and citrus fruit to help detox daily. Detoxing is about increasing the effectiveness of your detox pathways so unnecessary toxins don’t get stuck in your body. Although the medical field keeps saying detoxing is a myth, lack of proper detoxing is a common challenge.

7. Reduce Stress

Prolonged physical or emotional stress produce adrenaline and cortisol, which interfere with serotonin. Shifting your lifestyle and adding more relaxation into your week can make a huge difference. Focus on Emotional Healing – Reducing stress and focusing on spending more time relaxing is a first step to boosting serotonin. You can take this even further by taking action in key areas to remove negative emotions like fear, guilt and anger. Meditate & do yoga!

8. Exercise

A comprehensive review of the relation between exercise and mood concluded that antidepressant and anxiolytic effects have been clearly demonstrated. In the United Kingdom the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which works on behalf of the National Health Service and makes recommendations on treatments according to the best available evidence, has published a guide on the treatment of depression.

9. Eliminate Processed Sugar (or at least drastically reduce it)

If you have low serotonin, you may have intense cravings for sugar. This is your body’s way of trying to increase serotonin because eating sugar produces insulin, which helps tryptophan go into your brain. However, too much sugar can eventually cause addiction to sugar, insulin resistance, hypoglycemia and type 2 diabetes.

Instead, satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way with pure maple syrup, coconut sugar or pure honey.

10. Give More Hugs, Love More & Fear Less

Human connection, living in the heart, being connected to self. All of these things are natural to us and yet we have become quite disconnected from it all in our modern world.

Listen to CE Podcast episode Treating Autism Naturally w/ Jennifer Kozek


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.

Get Your FREE In Depth Numerology Reading

Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

With the ancient science of Numerology you can find out accurate and revealing information just from your name and birth date.

Get your free numerology reading and learn more about how you can use numerology in your life to find out more about your path and journey. Get Your free reading.

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