Why Should You Care About Cortisol?

Since cortisol is termed the stress hormone, it might be intuitive to think the less of it the better. However, cortisol has functions beyond the stress response and we need it to survive our daily lives. High cortisol can lead to many unwanted symptoms, but low cortisol is also an unfavorable, and potentially dangerous, situation. As with most things in life, it’s about balance.

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Why “Adrenal Fatigue” Starts in the Brain

Many of us have probably heard of the term “adrenal fatigue.” Endocrinologists and Western medicine typically take the stance that adrenal fatigue does not exist. It’s true that the term is not recognized in the medical literature. Typical symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue include tiredness, poor sleep, anxiety, cravings for salty or sweet foods, or otherwise feeling run down and lousy, making it hard to get through the day.

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Letting Go in Fall

According to Chinese medicine, fall is all about letting go. Letting go can seem scary, but it is necessary. Think of fall leaves. They fall off the trees, nourish the ground below through the winter, and support the regrowth that happens in the spring. Letting go of the old, helps make room for the new. Is there anything old holding you back in your life? Anything new you'd like to make room for? Is there anything you have been holding on to (a belief such as "I'm not worthy," a bad habit, too much "stuff," old regrets, etc.) that you know you should let go of but you're afraid of what life would be like without it? Fall is a great time to ask yourself these questions.

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Fragrance: Anything but Fresh

“Fresh scented” laundry detergent might get oils and dirt out of your clothing, but the chemical soup it’s comprised of is anything but fresh and clean. Fragranced products release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which lead to compromised air quality, negative health outcomes, and decreased job productivity and societal wellbeing (Steinemann, 2016). When you see the term “fragrance” on any label, it is in your best interest, and the interest of others and the environment, to leave the product on the shelf.

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Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

I used to have a huge sweet tooth. Sometimes I now catch myself by surprise when I find the majority of desserts too sweet. I still identify as a sugar addict but my taste buds have moved on. That is just one benefit of transitioning to a whole foods diet. Eventually, your palate does change and you find yourself craving foods beyond your wildness imagination. Anyone craving collard greens yet? I do...

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Is Your Anxiety and Depression Really a Cytokine Cascade?

The immune system is an unbelievably intricate web of interactions. It helps determine what is us or non-threatening from what is dangerous. It helps us fight infections through cascading reactions. It facilitates healing from injuries. It knows if the foreign microbe we are dealing with is a bacteria, virus, parasite, allergen, or food and mounts the appropriate response for each. It is located all over the body, but mostly in the gut.

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My Health Story

For as long as I can remember, I have felt like crap without knowing why. It started when I was born with severe adult form eczema. Doctors told my mom that I would never outgrow it, that I would almost certainly develop asthma, and that there was nothing to do about it but manage symptoms with toxic cortisone cream.

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Symptoms: Common But Not Normal

Symptoms are often the manifestation of a deeper problem. The brain and body are in constant communication with each other, through neurotransmitters, hormones, nerves, gut microbes, and immune molecules, to maintain proper function of the whole organism—that’s you! When there is proper function, the body is in a state of ease, that is to say, symptom-free. If someone is experiencing symptoms, it means that mal-function is occurring which creates a state of dis-ease.

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What is Functional Medicine, Anyway?

Dr. Mark Hyman, one of the pioneers of the Functional Medicine movement, said it best: “Functional Medicine is the opposite of dysfunctional medicine.” What a concept, right? In all seriousness, and also quoted from Dr. Hyman, “Functional Medicine is the science of creating health and when you create health, disease goes away as a side-effect.” Functional Medicine uses “systems thinking” to rethink disease based on root causes [...]

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Hello and Welcome!

Hello and welcome to my blog! This has been a long time coming with multiple people suggesting on multiple occasions for multiple years that I really ought to start a blog. Ah, resistance. I know it well! But, now is the time.

As a health coach and food lover, I’m excited to share what I’ve learned (and I’m still learning!) about health and nutrition.

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