My Ugly Rosacea Face Rash – Learnings PART 2

This is a continuation and update from my first article about The Rash: My Ugly Rosacea Face Rash is Making Me a Better Person, if you’d like to read that first. But it’s not essential, as the story and learnings here are huge on their own!

Bex Rash Before and After Keto OS
The Rash – 2 Months Ago                                              The Rash – Today

The Rash has been with me on and off again for the last 2 years, and I’ve gotten to know it as one of the key signals my body gives me to let me know how it’s feeling inside.

When I’m stressed and/or make wrong food choices for a while, etc, The Rash makes an appearance and then I know it’s time to rebalance myself, my mind and my habits. Just like a stomach ache, headache, fatigue, or any other symptom, The Rash is a gentle friend showing me that I’m off course. I also realised my stress was largely due to my focus on my diet, and my world travels reminded me that food is only #4 of The Primal 6, NOT #1.

Thoughts are Most Important

After traveling in Europe and Mexico, I noticed how people didn’t obsess over food like we do, and how their health and vitality seemed to be well maintained by their mindset. They focused more on family, enjoyment, passion, purpose, contribution, relaxation, and community.

So that’s where I turned my focus. I took a break from Primal Health, reading articles, seeing health practitioners, monitoring my diet. And I turned my attention to my own family, enjoyment, passions, purpose, contribution, relaxation and community.

It was this change that led me to start my own Reconnect To Your Joy business, with in-person group courses that reminded the myself and others that the joy we are looking for is not outside of us, it’s already within us. I had reconnected to my joy and now I’m sharing it!

Thank you Face Rash for taking me on a health journey that led back to #1 – Thoughts, and living my purpose and contributing in even more ways!

I recently had a few sessions with a naturopath friend and got two great things out of it.
1/ I’m drinking infused herbs like Nettle, Clover and Oatstraw to give my body extra nutrition it misses because of poor digestion. I’m also taking bitter herbs before eating sometimes, to help me digest.
2/ When I started keeping a diary of my symptoms for our sessions to see what helped and hindered, I got stressed again about everything I ate, sleeping habits, toxins, and The Rash. This led to another huge learning from The Rash:

What We Focus On is What We Get

The minute I started focusing on my symptoms again, to try to fix them, they got worse. I was bloated more often, The Rash got redder. In my Reconnect To Your Joy courses, I teach others that what we put our attention on is our intention. Like attracts like. The Law of Attraction. I had practiced this so much with my thoughts and yet hadn’t realised I was doing it with my health.

How long had I been telling myself that my gut is damaged and leaky, that I have poor digestion, that I can’t absorb nutrients well, that I have lots of food intolerances, and that I have The Rash? A long time!

So I’ve changed my tune. My body is actually incredibly healthy. I am a healthy weight, I have beautiful skin on 99% of my body, I have tons of energy, my mind is clear, I am strong and getting stronger and healthier every day! This mindset has led to me finally wanting to use my body more for physical fitness, and I think that’s helping The Rash too!

Movement is Not Just For Weight Loss

My naturopath friend suggested that it would really help my digestion to move my body more. Of course, Brad had been ‘nagging’ me about that for years, since I became more and more inactive, but I’m often stubborn about accepting hubby advice. 🙂 This time though, hearing it from an outsider who wasn’t a fitness professional, a light bulb went off.

For years, I’d been focusing so much on my diet, sleep, water, breathing, and mindset, but had largely ignored the 5th component of the Primal 6 – Movement. Aside of dancing in the kitchen sometimes, and occasional phases of going to yoga classes, I wasn’t regularly moving my body with purpose.

I knew I liked walking, so I started taking my walking shoes with me in the car each day, as a reminder to go for a walk in nature. Immediately, my moods perked up huge, my digestion felt great, and I could swear The Rash wasn’t as flared and red as often.

I signed up for the Coastrek 30 km walk as further motivation to continue increasing my fitness. It was going to take a lot of positive thinking though, as staircases still left me panting, and weight training with Brad would surely leave me sore for days. But then I had another learning…

Modern Life Requires Flexibility on Being Primal

Around the same time, my husband Brad came across a natural supplement that puts the body into a state of Ketosis in less than an hour, something that you have to be incredibly disciplined to do with diet, but is extremely beneficial for the body. Ketosis is a state our primal bodies would have been in a lot in primal times, due to intermittent fasting when there was no food supply, and from hunters and herdsmen consuming lots of fat and minimal carbohydrates.

We haven’t used a powdered drink supplement in many years, preferring to focus on the Primal 6 with whole foods, and at first it just didn’t seem Primal enough to take this powder from a packet. But hey, I eat and do plenty of unprimal things in this modern world! And I’d taken plenty of other supplements during my gut healing protocol.

I was seeing that because our lives and environments are not very primal anymore, supplements can be a great support for our health. Plus, I couldn’t ignore the results people were getting, so I tried the Keto OS.

After only a couple of days taking it, I was stoked with the energy and stamina I had for exercise (since I hadn’t in ages!), and how my muscles don’t hurt after doing weight workouts and circuits with Brad.

AND guess what, The Rash started changing immediately! I’ve now been taking it for a couple of weeks, and my digestion is getting better, my mind is even more clear and focused, I’m not craving my intolerant foods as much AND look at The Rash – it’s nearly gone!

Bex Rash Before and After Keto OS
The Rash – 2 Months Ago                                              The Rash – Today

So, What Heals My Rosacea Face Rash?

The simple answer is:
Continuing to focus on thoughts and actions that make me feel good, which leads my body to find its balance.

The complex answer is:
Here are the thoughts and actions that I feel are leading my body to finding balance and my rash disappearing –

1/ Positive thoughts and talk about myself, my life, my body, my health and The Rash. Gratitude, Appreciation, and Anticipation for wonderful things to continue to come.

2/ Following my purpose in life, helping others and bringing people together in joy and health.

3/ Nurturing my relationships with myself and others, and my connection to my tribes and my community.

4/ Eating intuitively. Asking myself if I really want it, or want to continue eating it. Does it spark joy? How does it make me feel right now? Enjoying food and removing guilt and not using labels like ‘bad’ or ‘junk’ with foods that I like to eat occasionally.

5/ Drinking infused herbs to offer my body extra nutrients to be and feel the best it can. Using digestive enzymes, slippery elm, digestive teas, and other aids to support my body when it feels right. No protocols, no rules, just love and support.

6/ Drinking Keto OS to give my body exogenous ketones which are helping my gut health and movement abilities, which in turn puts my body and skin into a balanced state!

Want Some Help With Your Rash and Your Health?

I’ve decided that I want to help others know about the Keto OS supplement, to help with their health goals, whether it’s a rash, energy, weight loss, better sleep, digestive support, brain fog, hormones, mood swings, physical pain, recovery, athletics…I’ve seen Keto OS helping people with all these things and more. So I’ve become a promoter of this product and receive commissions for sales, which help me keep running this free website and giving free advice, so we can all live a healthy and vibrant life! I would only recommend and promote products I truly believe in.

If you’d like to know more or sample Keto OS, just click here: Get your Keto OS sample*
*(If you live outside the US or Canada, you’ll have to contact me to get your sample)

Even better,  PM me on Facebook (Bex Rasmus) and I can add you to a Customer Experience Page on Facebook with tons of great links, testimonials and videos.

I’m here to help others, that includes you! We can thank The Rash for bringing us together through this article. 😉

Recommended Purchases

Keto OS
Keto OS

How My Body Swelled Up From Sleep Stress

How My Body Swelled Up from Sleep Stress

How does stress affect your body?

Do you get back pain? Headaches and migraines? Skin problems? Weight gain? Weight loss? Funky inflammation to all parts of your body? Don’t ignore your body – listen to it! It’s telling you something.

I’d like to share with you how sleep stress affected my body when I first became a father.

Stress = ‘Your body’s reaction to change’.

Stress is therefore positive and negative in its effect on the body.

Any movement from a state of health and balance to a state away from what you consider to be healthy for yourself, indicates that your body is under a form of negative stress.

Everybody’s body exhibits stress in different ways.

I’m sure you have friends that live similar lives to you, eat similar foods, participate in the same sports as you and have the same general stressors as you. I’m sure you also find that those same people’s bodies might react totally differently to your body when it comes to body shape, pain levels and general health.

Let me share with you my own story of a stressful inflammatory issue I was having with my face. Check out the photo!

Stress = swelling in Brad's case!

I was waking up with lips that felt like I’d been stung like a bee! It was so uncomfortable and embarrassing to say the least. For the first time in a long time I was having to cancel / reschedule clients to avoid seeing them! This continued on for around 8 months or more to my lips, cheeks and even eyes, hands and feet! So what’s it called? Who cares what it’s called! No need to box myself in as having a syndrome or disorder so as to make me think I was a slave to it. Quite simply, my body was under STRESS. Higher amounts of negative stress than what my body liked. I was creating an inflammatory response in my face to deal with something affecting my body at that current time in my life. My body did not have a lack of Benadryl or some other pharmaceutical ingredient needed to reduce inflammation. It lacked attention to what I was putting my body through.

What was happening during that time in my life? What was the ‘change’ occurring that created such a reaction?

My first year of fatherhood. Severe lack of consistent sleep. Within our Primal 6 philosophy of health, SLEEP is the 6th key. After so many months not getting a full nights sleep, my body was trying to talk to me and get my attention. It sure did.

From a physiological perspective, my pineal gland was crying out for help. As we explain to our clients, the external part of your body tends to be a reflection of the underlying internal parts of your body due to the close association of nerves and hormones that service the same area. Hence my lips and face were a reflection of the Pineal gland that resides in my brain. From an Eastern perspective, my 6th Chakra or third-eye was pissed off!

The answer was simple to me but not so easy. Get more sleep!! My daughter wasn’t quite sleeping solidly though each and every night. Even if she woke up for 5 min at 2 am, that sleep interruption would sometimes keep me up for hours before I could drift off again. My brain would switch on and I’d start thinking about work and anything on my mind at the time. Therefore, my sympathetic nervous system was always working overtime and producing way too much cortisol, stimulating me to stay awake. So in order to change this I’d go to bed a lot earlier, have power naps in the day and then in the very end when was I was desperate, slept on the massage table at work! It finally worked. I became human again, was a lot less stressed and so was my daughter who is very susceptible to change based on her parent’s stress levels. Less stress with daddy meant less stress with Kaiya, so she slept better, then so did I.

To summarise, my message is this:

Don’t ignore your body’s stress signals. The answer is not a pill for an ill.

Everything happens to your body for a reason whether it’s from a physical, emotional or spiritual standpoint. Don’t wait for the next prescription of pills. Reduce your stress levels and your body will thank you by feeling good.

What physical reaction to any life changes have you experienced?

Parasites 101

Don’t freak out, but you should know it’s very possible that you have a parasite. You may only think of parasites as something that gives you diarrhea on holiday in a tropical third-world country, but actually, parasites are just as rampant in the Western world, and are related to illness and disease of ALL kinds. Yes, even we, your gurus for all things Primal, have both had parasites that have significantly affected our health.

Parasites have been a subject of interest for many years now, especially since Brad started studying the work of Paul Chek and obtaining many certifications as a CHEK Practitioner. To learn more about parasites, we met with a legend in the world of Parasitology, Dr. Omar Amin. He’s the Professor of Parasitology and founder of the Parasitology Center, Inc. (PCI) in Scottsdale, Arizona. Arizona just happened to be our last stop on a 7 month world trip, and we knew that we had certainly picked up some new bugs whilst traveling in Japan, Europe, Mexico and the USA. We left Dr. Amin’s office with a wealth of new information AND a specially formulated botanical remedy to give us relief from our own parasites. Brad has had issues with pinworms/threadworms on and off for many years and Bex more recently with Dientamoeba Fragilis.

Mr parasites himself, Dr.Omar Amin, with Bex and Brad at his home in Scottsdale Arizona.
Bex and Brad with Dr. Omar Amin (center) at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Symptoms of Parasite Infection

The most common indicators that you may have a parasite are: diarrhea, constipation, bloating, cramps, indigestion, mucus, fatigue, nausea, skin rash, dry cough, headaches, allergies, joint pain, memory loss, and brain fog.

But it hardly stops there. Other symptoms can include:

Abdominal pain, lethargy, excessively dry or itchy skin, itchy nose or anus, depression, chronic mood swings, anxiety, insomnia, waking a lot during the night, grinding teeth during sleep, inability to lose or gain weight, uncontrollable hunger OR loss of appetite, muscle pain or cramping, numbness of hands and/or feet, arthritis, fast heartbeat, bad breath, excessive body odor, anemia, hypoglycemia, sexual impotence, yeast and urinary tract infections, cysts and fibroids.

How do parasites cause illness and disease?

They take nutrients away from their host (you, in this case), and produce toxic waste called mycotoxins. Parasites can occur anywhere in your body – every organ, tissue and even in your blood – and they can cause symptoms that mimic other disorders. So you may have been treated by your doctor for many different problems over your lifetime, but because they were never diagnosed as being parasite related, the parasitic infection may continue to affect your health in various ways.

How do we get parasites?

Parasites are all around and can enter your body through food, water (drinking/touching), insects, air, pets, people and soil. There’s no use worrying excessively about trying to avoid them, but there are lots of simple sanitary precautions and lifestyle habits that will minimise your risk of contracting a parasite, such as washing your hands and vegetables, drinking filtered water, chewing your food well, avoiding antibiotics, taking care of your digestive system, and not biting your nails or kissing your pets. In general, the stronger your immune system is to prevent parasites creating a home within your system, the better the chance you have of preventing them from getting too comfortable within your internal environment.

How do you know if you have a parasite?

If you are suffering from some of the symptoms above, take this Parasite Questionnaire. If your score is 15 or higher, parasites may be affecting your health.

It would be wise to then contact PCI directly or an integrative doctor or naturopath for further consultation and possible lab testing. The ‘Full GI Panel’ is the number one test Dr. Omar Amin offers.

One thing to be aware of with parasite testing is that results can often be inaccurate. You may get an incorrect negative result, as many types of parasites are not detected by common stool tests, and parasites are cyclical so may not show up every time. Or you may get an incorrect positive result as undigested food particles can look like certain parasites, as you can see in these parasite test photos at the bottom of the page. For this reason, it’s best to test with experts in parasitology, such as PCI. Or if your symptoms have been chronic for a long time, then consider starting parasite treatment even if your test results are negative. As Brad has learned from Paul Chek, there are over 1000 parasites that can affect the human body. Common stool tests may only test for 9-12 of the most common ones.

How do you treat a parasite infection?

The million dollar question. Even when people finally discover that a parasite is the cause of their problems, figuring out how to safely and effectively treat the infection can be an even bigger challenge.

Antibiotics
Parasites are often treated with antibiotics, but these drugs are harsh on your system, weaken your body, and kill off the beneficial bacteria in your system which helps keep the parasites at bay in the first place. So the parasite may go away for awhile after antibiotics, but re-infection is common. A vicious cycle, really.

Bex experienced this personally when she took antibiotics to treat her Dientamoeba Fragilis. Her parasite seemed to go away, and symptoms were temporarily relieved, but have now returned. We also learned from Dr. Amin that D. Fragilis is a type of parasite that ‘sits on the line’, so often only an immune compromised person will show a positive result. So maybe her parasite never actually left.

Dietary changes
Following a primal diet of real whole foods is definitely key in preventing and treating parasite infections. However, once the infection is deep and long-lasting (usually when the symptoms get worse/obvious), most people find dietary changes alone can’t treat the parasite problem. You can be assured, however, that if you take a medical or botanical remedy but don’t also change your diet and lifestyle, parasite reinfection is very common.

Natural Remedies
For years, we have tried using many natural anti-parasitic substances as part of level 3 and 4 of our Primal Cleanse. These include oregano oil, wormwood, detox teas, Naturopathic Tinctures, Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide and Diatomaceous Earth. Other known remedies are black walnut hulls, cloves, pumpkin seed oil, garlic, neem, thyme, and marshmallow root. However, knowing how to use these properly, in what combination and proper dosages is really just a guessing game for people like us. And we’ve heard that many of the expensive commercial formulas in the shops don’t work very well. Dr. Amin also warns, “The body understands and wants consistency. When you try too many things all the time, it confuses your body.”

This is what we are currently taking for our parasite infections

Needless to say, we were really excited to meet a holistic-minded parasitologist who has worked hard to create completely natural and plant-based formulas which are helping thousands of people all over the world get relief from their parasite infections. We decided to take Dr. Amin’s formulas, called Freedom, Cleanse, Restore, for 3 months. At the time of writing, we’ve been taking it for 2 months.

Freedom, Cleanse, Restore parasite protocol.
Freedom, Cleanse, Restore parasite protocol.

As mentioned, we’d just returned from traveling the world for 7 months. We could certainly recognise the return of our previous parasitic symptoms, so we are looking forward to seeing how this remedy works for us. If Dr. Amin’s credentials and the testimonials are anything to go by, we think we’ve found a winner.

Note: We do not receive any commissions for mentioning this remedy, and are not qualified to prescribe anything to you. We simply believe in natural health solutions and are happy to recommend good ones when we find them!

Dr. Amin told us that this treatment is designed to work for all known species of parasites, including single-celled organisms, worm parasites, fungus and pathogenic bacteria. However, he greatly advises parasite testing to be sure that your symptoms are parasite related and also to see what type and how chronic the infection is, to regulate dosage and length of treatment.

He recommended no less than 3 months of taking the remedy, which may seem long to you and so many of us who are used to quick fixes. But the body is complex, and slow and steady often wins the race, especially when it comes to healing.

When you might have to keep your parasites

Dr. Amin corrects us when we say ‘eradication’, as there is no such thing. Only homeostasis, or balance. If we can keep parasites at low levels (and our system strong), they don’t cause problems.

You see, our bodies are designed to live in balance with low levels of foreign bacteria, which we accumulate from our environment after birth. It is only when this relationship becomes ‘imbalanced’ – that is beneficial for one but detrimental to the other – that it becomes parasitic.

In some instances, however, Dr. Amin warns that fungus and parasites can actually be beneficial to your body and should not be treated yet. The example he gives us is of Candida, which can be very harmful to the body. However, candida protects against heavy metal poisoning by metabolising the heavy metal and carrying it out of the body. So people with heavy metal poisoning would actually benefit from having candida!

It gets worse before it gets better

As often occurs in healing, once you start a remedy, you may feel worse at first. As your parasites die off and your body slowly flushes them out, you may experience more severe symptoms such as sharp intestinal pains or cramps, fatigue and grogginess, nausea, swelling, and foul smelling gas. Be assured that this is only temporary and is actually a good sign – it means that the remedy is working! Relief is on the way :). Brad has had this happen several times during our Primal Seasonal Cleanses, resulting in large amounts amounts of inflammation and swelling around the lymph node areas, and even the face.

Whatever you do, don’t discontinue the remedy as soon as you start feeling better. The danger is that there is still a residual population of parasites which can mutate into drug-resistant strains which are extremely hard to treat.

Paul Chek’s ‘Healing Fungal and Parasite Infections’

If you want to know more, save yourself thousands of dollars in course fees that Brad has spent learning about this stuff from CHEK Institute courses, and go straight to Paul Chek’s DVD series to give you all you need to know about Parasites. Well worth the investment.

Have you had a parasite and have some pertinent information to share with the Primal Health community?

Sources:
http://www.parasitetesting.com/
https://www.humaworm.com
http://www.undergroundhealth.com/eliminating-intestinal-parasites/
http://www.chekinstitute.com/Advanced_Training_Programs/HLC.php

Bex and Brad – Parasites 101 – 2015

POOP: What To Do if You Don’t Have At Least One a Day

Poop: What to do if you don't have at least one a day

In a perfectly primal world where our bodies thrive in pristine health, this is something that comes as naturally as breathing, and we wouldn’t ever have to think about it. But today, millions of people develop disease which often starts from not doing this incredibly important daily ritual: pooping.

Why must we poop every single day?

We often say, “You are what you eat.” But I’d like to contend that we actually are not so much what we eat, as what we hold on to. On one hand, this can refer to emotional baggage that we hold onto which creates physical illness. On the other hand, this means that it’s not only the food that determines your health, it’s what your body does with the food. When your system is running smoothly, it digests the food completely, absorbing (holding on to) all the nutrients and eliminating the leftover waste. However, when your system is malfunctioning, it not only doesn’t hold on to all the nutrients, it doesn’t eliminate the waste.

What happens if you don’t take out the trash? It rots! It continues to decay, making your house a toxic dump. And it’s exactly the same in your guts. If your body doesn’t ‘take out the trash’ by expelling waste every day, your guts become a toxic dump of decaying waste matter, inviting fungus and parasites to come feast on all the ‘crap’. Yes, it’s digusting and yes, it’s deadly!

Poop: What to do if you don't have at least one a day

What causes constipation?

Infrequent pooping is called constipation. I have read definitions of constipation as pooping less than 3 times a week, but since I’ve just told you that you must poop at least once a DAY, let’s forget about definitions and start listening to our body if it’s not pooping every day. Ok? So, if constipation is a symptom of a sluggish bowel, what is the cause? There are many, including but not limited to:

– Poor diet
– Poor sleep
– Poor breathing
– Dehydration
– Medications
– Hormones
– Stress

As with addressing all symptoms, this means you must look at how you are attending to your Primal 6. In addition, here are some quick and effective ways to get those bowels moving again!

10 Ways to Ensure You Poop Every Day

1/ Don’t rush through your morning.
Morning is the body’s favourite time to eliminate waste, usually right after waking up or right after breakfast. However, if you spend your morning rushing around and out of the house, your body won’t have time to take out the trash!

So wake up earlier, schedule things later, prepare clothes and breakfast the night before…whatever it takes to have a more relaxing morning for your bowels.

2/ Drink a glass of water right when you wake up. Then all day long.
One of the most common causes of constipation is dehydration, and it only takes one day of low water intake to have a dehydrated colon.

So drink plenty of water all day, starting right when you wake up to signal your bowels of new things entering, so it will get old things exiting! More stubborn bowels may need warmer water, and a squeeze of lemon in the water can help too.

3/ Do belly breathing first thing in the morning.
Lie on a foam roller or just sit quietly for 5 minutes and breathe deeply through your nose, expanding your belly with each breath. This will send more oxygen into your system to get things working better, and also stimulate flow in your digestive area.

You can do this anytime during the day, but upon waking works best as it stimulates that perfect morning poo.

4/ Do holding squats and/or breathing squats. Get moving!
Get down into a full squat (if you can), holding onto furniture if you need to keep from falling backward, and stay there for several minutes or as long as you can.

You can also try breathing squats, breathing out through your nose as you squat down and breathing in through your nose and you stand up. Continue to stand and squat in rhythm with your breathing rate.

Keep moving your body in any way throughout the day. A good brisk walk is often enough to get your bowels moving. Here are ways to get more movement into your day without making time for it.

5/ Squat at the toilet
Get a squatty potty, or simply put a wide stool under your feet when you are sitting on the toilet. This puts you in a squat position, opening up the bend in the lower part of your colon so the waste can easily slide right out. Until you have a stool, lean forward, rest your elbows on your knees and lift up onto your tiptoes.

6/ Eat a big ass breakfast
This is especially crucial for people who tend to poop after breakfast instead of upon wake-up (though good for everyone!). Sit down while you eat and don’t rush out the door too soon after – give your body time to digest, relax and let go of yesterday’s waste.

Don’t forget that processed grains like instant oats, commercial breads and breakfast cereal are not a healthy meal, but rather are often a cause of the constipation in the first place. If you need more convincing, read my article on breakfast cereal.

7/ Eat a balance of animal and plant food all day
If you’ve heard anything about constipation, it’s fiber, fiber, fiber. Let me set this straight. Yes, a diet rich in fiber is an important part of maintaining healthy bowel movements. However, there are two caveats.

One, there is far more fiber in fruits and vegetables than in grains, and far less digestive issues resulting from the fruits and veg. Two, if you are already constipated, adding more fiber is likely to plug you up more, as shown in this study on fibre and constipation.

So, avoid processed grains and fiber supplements. Get your fiber from vegetables and fruits, and balance that with good quality protein and fat.

8/ Manage your stress
Assess your emotions, schedule, personal needs, finances, relationships, beliefs and  health obsessions. Stress is a leading cause of constipation and other digestive issues and diseases.

Learn simple meditation, try Qi Gong, change your work mindset, and get some sleep!

9/ Take magnesium before bed
Magnesium relaxes the bowel muscles and also attracts water to the bowels, softening the poo for easier elimination. Therefore, magnesium supplements have a great reputation for relieving constipation. Just ensure you choose a high quality supplement with little to no fillers. Take your magnesium right before bed, so you can have a nice poo in the morning.

10/ Swallow some slippery elm
If you are still having constipation issues, there are a couple natural supplements that you can take for a short time to unblock your bowel. One tablespoon of slippery elm in water before bed can be very effective. For severe or prolonged constipation, Cascara Sagrada has a laxative effect. Both can be purchased over the counter at most health food/vitamin stores, and are for short term use only, while you get busy with your Primal 6 so you don’t get constipated again.

 

Do you have another natural remedy for constipation? Share it with us in the comments!

 

Luxury or Community: Which Do You Really Need?

Luxury or Community - Which Do You Really Need?

Luxury, of course, right? We’d be so healthy and rejuvenated if only we had more money, comforts, alone time, and maybe some pampering. That’s definitely what I used to think…

Don't forget the important ingredients of Community and Love
Answer: Community (& Love!)

I have listened enviously to friends tell me about their retreats at health centres. They stayed in luxurious accommodations where all their needs were taken care of while they focused on their chosen wellness program. They were served gourmet meals cooked by qualified chefs, and treated to healing treatments by beauty and wellness therapists. They came back from these retreats feeling so pampered and relaxed. But experiencing it for myself always seemed out of my reach due to the very high prices for accommodation and food, plus any extra costs for treatments.

So I had to pinch myself this morning when I woke up early to the sounds of roosters and chirping birds to join a morning meditation before my green breakfast smoothie and yoga on the roof, overlooking a lush tropical beach village in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. I am nearing the end of my own week ‘away’ at a wellness retreat, and what an amazing week it has been. But it didn’t cost me much at all, and instead of luxury and pampering, I was treated to something even more valuable…a community.

When I found the website for The Sanctuary, the ‘healing haven’ looked like a wonderful place to relax, detox and get away on my own for a while. The prices were so low, that I thought there must be a catch. Ah yes, Guests have to work or contribute their time one hour per day, Seva Guests work 2-3 hours per day, and Volunteers work even more, serving as longer term staff.

I can hear you say, “Work time at a health retreat? Didn’t you go there to get away from work?”

However, isn’t a wonderful concept? The guests working together lowers the costs of running the place, so that lower rates can be offered for accommodation, food, treatments, and activities. This way, a health retreat is accessible to people of all budgets, as it should be.

Contributing to a community boosts your health!
Contributing to a community boosts your health!

And as I found out, this concept offers something even deeper and more valuable than getting a good price on a holiday.

After morning yoga on the palapa (roof veranda), we have our work time for an hour or two. Today, Barbara does some gardening, grinds some spices, and sews a ripped cushion cover. Eva waters the pot plants and sweeps the verandas. Tony puts away the clean dishes, feeds the cat, and fills up the water filter. I get to work making some signs for the bedrooms and bathrooms.

On the surface, we may seem like unlikely companions, varying widely in our ages, belief systems, experiences and personalities. But working together like this gives us a community feel that filters into the rest of the our day. It creates deep conversations, friendships, support-systems and connections that help us heal and grow.

Under the guidance and generosity of our host, Pete, we are learning to heal ourselves and others. Instead of having professionals take care of us, we are learning how to do our own detoxification rituals, meditations, and emotional healing techniques. We are learning much more about healthy cooking, supplements and food than if we never went into the garden or kitchen. This way, our physical and emotional health continues to improve even after we leave the retreat.

On Sunday when our young local cook Jose takes the day off, we all make lunch together in the kitchen, sharing ideas and expertise, and experimenting with flavours – all the while enjoying each other’s company and putting lots of love into each dish. When it’s done, we feel very proud of our meal, and the contributions we’ve made to our temporary home.

It doesn't take long to form tight bonds in a community setting
It doesn’t take long to form tight bonds in a community setting

You see, here we are working together. We are contributing our various talents and ideas, feeling useful and needed, being a part of something bigger than ourselves. We are learning that whether we are in our 20’s or 60’s, whether we live a life of struggle or privilege, whether we are in good or poor health, we are all people with the same needs of love, cooperation and community.

This large Mexican style home called The Sanctuary is a place for relaxing, centering, and healing, yet there are no qualified ‘healers’ here, no gourmet cooks, no luxurious suites or professional body treatments. But what I realised this week is that sometimes the best treatment for our minds and bodies comes not in getting, but in giving and sharing with others.

See a video of me at The Sanctuary Healing Haven!

Do you feel rejuvenated and healthier from some community activity or group? Please comment and inspire us with your experiences!

Contradictions of The Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle

Contradictions of the Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle

Smoking, drinking, late nights, no breakfast and tons of bread! We were shocked by some of the Greek diet and lifestyle habits which strongly contradict their traditional healthy Mediterranean diet. Are we wrong in what we think are healthy choices? Or are we forgetting the most important key to good health?

 

 

 

 

Contradictions of the Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle

Smoking, coffee & other favourite Greek pastimes

As I explain in What We Can Learn From The Mediterranean Diet, the Greeks have a beautiful real food traditional diet. However, when it comes to toxins and poor health habits, the Greeks have their fair share.

Smoking up a storm

We have never, ever, been in a country where people smoke so much (and we’ve traveled a lot!). The Greeks love their cigarettes and smoke anywhere and everywhere, with little consideration for other people or any health risks. A couple Greeks we met said they quit smoking years ago and now they suck candies instead, but no one ever talked about smoking as a problem, or talked about trying to or wanting to quit. Yet they are known for their longevity. Hmmm…

Raki, Ouzo and Wine…for good health

Drinking is also never frowned upon. On the contrary, alcohol is thought of as healthful. When you toast, or cheers, you say “yamas”, which translates as “to your health”. Greeks are very proud of their strong local spirits raki and ouzo, which are served at the end of every meal and called a ‘digestive’. And with all those grapevines growing madly, they have beautiful wines, which taste great with all their food. A book we found even shows the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid as including alcohol.

However, maybe this mindset about alcohol is what keeps it healthy, because it’s only ever consumed in great moderation. There is no social rebellion in drinking alcohol, so binge drinking and alcoholism is highly uncommon. Men sit in cafes sipping the same tiny shot of raki for hours, wine is served by the ½ liter for a few people to share over a meal, and beer is rarely drunk at all. And the rebellious youth? They drink coffee…

Raki alcohol is a post-meal 'digestive' in Greece
Raki alcohol and dessert is served free as a post-meal ‘digestive’ in Greece

Caffeine all night long

Coffee is clearly the favourite national drink, and the social drink of choice for everyone from young Greeks in trendy city bars to old men in the village square. Frappes are the favourite – a combination of Nescafe and plenty of sugar whipped or blended until frothy. Though the old men may sit and sip the same coffee all afternoon, the younger generations seem to drink a huge amount, and well into the late hours of the night, since they go to bed so late.

Late dinner, no breakfast

In The Mediterranean, our primal pattern of sleeping and waking in rhythm with the sun is completely disregarded. Instead the Mediterranean sleeping and eating schedule goes like this:

7-10 am – Wake up and eat nothing except maybe a sesame bread ring
2-6 pm – Light lunch and a 2-3 hour nap
9-10 pm – Large dinner
1-2 am – Go to sleep

Instead of a nutritious breakfast, healthy lunch and light dinner, the Greeks are eating nothing until mid-afternoon, then eating their main meal after 9 o’clock at night! And aren’t they missing hours of restorative sleep by going to bed so late? Even the little children are out late with their families, eating at 9-10 pm and playing in the village square while their parents chat all evening. They still have to get up for school in the morning too…

The beloved bread

If the Greeks do grab a tiny breakfast, it’s usually koulouri on the run, a bread ring covered in sesame seeds sold at vendors on the streets. At lunch and dinner, giant loaves of sliced bread are served before or with every meal, to be dipped into a plate of fresh olive oil and maybe some dried oregano. Even if you order something that comes with bread already, like the popular gyro pitas, there will be a basket of bread on your table.

Bread is on the bottom of that Mediterranean food pyramid, along with rice and pasta, as the primary food group, just like on the USDA food pyramid. Though flour is not in everything, like in some cuisines, bread is always on the table and in the home, and many traditional foods incorporate filo dough and pita bread.

Traditional Greeks take pride in having fresh bread, and it’s still often home-baked or bought fresh-baked from the bakery. And bakeries are absolutely everywhere, chock-full of breads, pastries, cookies, mini ice creams, chocolates and candies.

It is true that the Mediterranean societies have always been agricultural, and that grains, especially wheat, are an integral part of not only their cuisine, but their culture. So maybe their metabolic type is suited to eating so much bread? We do know many Europeans who eat bread and cheese all their life, but it’s only when they move to Australia or America that they easily gain weight from eating these things. So maybe it’s a matter of traditionally made breads versus commercially processed versions.

Sugary coffee and cigarettes are favourite Greek pastimes
Greek shopkeepers pass the time with sugary coffee and cigarettes all day

So how do the Greeks stay healthy?

Despite all these factors, the Greeks remain on all the long life-span lists and are known to be in general good health.

Maybe these contradictions are a sign of modern commerce crowding out traditional ways, or maybe the Greeks and other Mediterranean peoples have just found a balance in diet and lifestyle that works for them. Some of these habits may well be moderated by their stable traditional food culture. Or maybe we are simply wrong in our own assumptions about what is a healthy lifestyle, and the Greeks have it all figured out. 

The Greek mindset is a healthy one

It’s probably most likely that the Greeks have simply found a balance in their Primal 6 – Thoughts, Air, Water, Food, Movement, Sleep. And since Thoughts are the most important, how about we look to the Greeks as a model for healthy Thoughts, as much as we do with their Mediterranean diet.

The Greeks prize family and community. They work, rest, play and eat with their large families, friends and community. They leave work for several hours in the afternoon to eat and nap with their loved ones, then meet up with the whole community again in the village square for dinner, playing and talking all evening. Meals are usually long, social or intimate affairs. They take care of the elderly in their family, including them in home and social life. Their Greek Orthodox Church brings a sense of community to the people, without obligation or guilt. And there’s no guilt, stress, or remorse felt about eating, smoking, drinking and indulging…only enjoyment.

Thoughts are more important than diet and lifestyle

It’s these thought principles that create contentment and a healthy, happy mind, which in turn keeps the body strong and vital. In many young societies like America and Australia, we are so focused on diet that we fail to see how unhealthy our modern thought principles are making us.

Almost every story I have read about a person who has lived beyond 100 years old without serious illness or disease reports that they are surrounded by friends and family and have regular social plans and gatherings. Many of them have paid little attention to their diet and exercise, and even regularly smoked and drank alcohol. There is definitely a pattern showing the power of Thoughts, and our month in Greece has reminded us of this most important aspect of our health.

Are the Japanese the Healthiest People in the World?

Are the Japanese the Healthiest People in the World?

According to the WHO stats, the Japanese are some of the longest living people in the world. But a long life doesn’t necessarily mean a healthy one. Personally, we would rather add life to our years than years to our life, so we like to study healthy people and copy what they do. Here’s what we found when we lived in and visited Japan and analysed their diet and lifestyle…

Are the Japanese the Healthiest People in the World

Is the Japanese diet really that healthy?

Seafood and processed food

Most people attribute the long average lifespan of the Japanese to a mostly primal diet rich in seafood. While it is true that the Japanese do eat a good amount of seafood, including various types of nutrient-rich seaweeds, these days their traditional foods are very processed and often replaced with modern commercial western foods.

Breakfast gone bad

We have only lived in the Tokyo area, and I would assume the big cities suffer more from this food commercialisation than the rural villages and countryside towns. However, in the Tokyo area, Japanese people often eat a breakfast not unlike the SAD (Standard American Diet) breakfast: boxed cereals, processed milk, bakery goods, or just coffee and toast. There are bakeries absolutely everywhere, offering sugary processed alternatives to the traditional Japanese breakfast of rice, fermented soybeans, fish and vegetables for many city-dwelling Japanese.

Dessert

In addition to fancy cakes, crepes, profiteroles and other European sweets, there are plenty of traditional Japanese desserts, mostly made from rice and beans, which makes them seem much healthier, even though they are sweetened with sugar. When not homemade, however, they are laden with the usual preservatives, additives, and processed sugars and syrups.

Traditional Japanese food is processed and packaged all over Tokyo
We thought there were healthy food selections at 7-11, like this spinach and pork, until we translated the long ingredient list on the back of the package.

Traditional foods all wrapped in plastic

The same goes with pre-packaged bento boxes, sushi rolls, rice balls, and even salads. At a glance, they are traditional healthy goodness. Fish, seaweed, rice, radish, ginger, fermented veggies and the like. And yes, if Japanese meals are home-cooked with traditional ingredients, they are surely the staples of long-living, healthy people. But in bustling Tokyo and its sprawling suburbs, these traditional meals are packaged up with long ingredient lists that include stabilisers, preservatives, artificial colours and flavours, MSG, and various sugars. I talk about this in my article about eating gluten-free in Japan, as many traditionally gluten-free Japanese foods are now full of processed wheat. As in many other societies, traditions are not being passed onto the new generations, who only know a world of ready-made food.

Organic food in Japan

Driving or taking a train through rural Japan, you can see plot after plot of home-grown and community-grown fruits and vegetables. I have no doubt this is a key factor in Japanese longevity. These days, however, a great number of Japanese buy most of their food from the supermarket, where the produce comes from heavily chemical sprayed farms and the meat is mostly factory farmed. There is also tons of imported food in the shops – American pork, bananas from the Philippines, Aussie beef, Vietnamese farmed fish – which our Japanese friends say is because it’s just so much cheaper to import.

Trying to find local or organic produce in a Japanese supermarket
One Tokyo suburb supermarket had a section showing pictures and locations of the farmers who grew the food. But no information on chemical use.

Our few health-conscious Japanese friends have sourced organic or spray-free produce, through a weekly farm box delivery, but properly raised meat is hard to find and very expensive, so they just don’t eat too much of it. There doesn’t seem to be many places to buy organically grown/raised plant and animal food in Tokyo, though the magazine for the English-speaking community lists 4 weekly farmers markets, touting either organic, farm fresh or just local.

One friend is very vigilant not to buy fish caught anywhere near Fukushima, for fear of radiation levels from the nuclear plant. Other people, however, say they heard on the news that people over 20 years old are not affected by radiation, so they don’t think about it. Hmm…

Finding certified organic food in a Japanese supermarket
The symbol at the bottom is one of the logos for Japanese certified organic food

My lifestyle determines my death style

Ok, that line is a bit dramatic, but it’s a favourite from a Metallica song and has a great ring of truth to it. For the Japanese, just as with the contradiction between their traditional and modern diet, there is a great gap between the traditional lifestyle which clearly promotes longevity, and the modern lifestyle which leads to rampant disease and untimely death.

How the Japanese live so long

The traditional lifestyle, still followed by millions of rural Japanese, is one of organic farming, affirming spiritual beliefs, and strong family ties. The elderly are cared for by their families, and continue to proudly work in their gardens and fields despite their age. With a traditional, unprocessed Japanese diet, you have a winning combination for a long, healthy life.

And why so many die young

Modern times, however, has brought great economic and social pressures. The Japanese are very proud people, who would rather die than feel as if they have disgraced their company with poor performance or let their family down with less than the best success. Consequently, Japanese mothers feel it their duty to push their children hard into academic excellence. From a very young age, study hours are long, tutors are many and pressure is high.

Once in the workforce, businessmen are slaves to their company, if only shackled by pride and obligation. After long work hours and uncompensated overtime, workers are expected to socialise with colleagues over drinks long into the night. After a long train ride home, and a short sleep, they do it all over again, usually 6 days a week.

Japanese people sleep everywhere, probably due to overwork and stress.
Japanese people sleep everywhere throughout the day, probably due to overwork and stress.

This lifestyle doesn’t allow much time at all for sleep, self-nurturing, exercise, or for family bonds to develop. Many times the pressure, fatigue and loneliness are so great, it leads to suicide. There is even a Japanese term that translates as “death from overwork”.

Learning from a land of contradictions

It’s all these contradictions that make Japan so interesting and mysterious. The crossing over of ancient tradition and high technology, quiet rituals and chaotic cities, primal vs. modern diet and lifestyles.

It’s really never enough to look at a list of the longest living peoples and make assumptions, as each country and culture is so complex, and true health is gained from a combination of factors which are never clear cut. However, by looking at the various cultures of the world – their traditions, daily habits and contradictions – we can begin to learn what may be best for our own health.

 

Do you think the Japanese diet and lifestyle are good models of health of longevity? Why?

 

 

Test Your Thyroid at Home

Blood tests are notorious for missing all but the most extreme cases of thyroid dysfunction. Most thyroid issues go undetected for decades because they are low level issues that don’t show up on conventional medical tests, even though they are causing major imbalances in the body. If you’ve had this happen, you can now take your health into your own hands and test your thyroid at home!

Test Your Thyroid at Home

This article is our Primal Health notes from part of The Thyroid Sessions interview with Dr. Dan Kalish. Learn more about Dr. Kalish and The Thyroid Sessions at the bottom of the article.

3 main triggers for thyroid problems:

Inflammation – Can result from dietary issues, lifestyle choices and stress. Inflammation signals the body to make more cortisol, and results in a block of the thyroid hormones.

Toxins – Such as heavy metals, mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium. Every American adult has between 400-700 toxins in their body right now. We are saturated with toxins from our modern environment. These toxins are endocrine disruptors: once they get into your tissues, they mess up the way your hormones operate. Impossible to avoid completely, but can be minimized.

Stress – External stress: job deadlines, financial pressure, relationship challenges, parenting, aging family members AND internal stress: not living the life we want, not satisfied, unfulfilled, not at peace with ourselves. Another main trigger of cortisol release. When cortisol levels go up, thyroid hormones drop. The more stressed you are, the more of a thyroid problem you will have.

But my thyroid test came back normal!

People come in to their doctor with symptoms that point to the thyroid, so the doctor orders the blood test, but when the results come out ‘normal’, the thyroid is thought to be healthy and fine, and the doctor and patient continue wondering what could be the problem.

Scientist and conventional doctor, Dr. Brodo Barnes, published an article in the Journal of American Medical Association in the 1940’s about these undiagnosed thyroid conditions.  For many years, he studied thyroid issues and successfully treated many patients with thyroid problems. He treated them for adrenal insufficiency, which means he knew that there was direct correlation between high cortisol levels (which exhausts the adrenal glands) and thyroid problems. Eventually, he developed a more thorough thyroid test that could be done at home and would pick up all thyroid problems, whether minor or severe.

So if your doctor has run a blood test and your thyroid levels have come up as normal, try this home test.

The Thyroid Home Test

When your thyroid is weak and underactive, you will feel tired, be putting on weight, have dull hair and skin, feel cold all the time…this is all because your metabolism has been slowed, which will also decrease your body temperature. So a consistently low body temperature can correlate with a sluggish thyroid.

You will need:

– Old-fashioned basal mercury thermometer
– Supplements. See next section for details.
– Chart to record daily results. Make your own – something like this:

Part of example thyroid home test chart
Part of example thyroid home test chart by Kalish Wellness

What to do:

A/ Do steps #1-3 below for 5 days (noting the different timing for women still menstruating). Make sure that you take your temperature BEFORE getting out of bed, before checking your phone messages or anything. While the thermometer is under your armpit, do nothing but lay there for 10 whole minutes. Don’t read, use your phone, talk or anything.

If your armpit temperature (only use the armpit) is in the normal range stated in #5, your thyroid is ok, and you can stop testing. If your temperature is below the normal range, continue to part B. If you do not see a clear trend in your temperature yet, try another 5 days until a trend of low or normal temperature becomes clear.

If your temperature is higher than the normal range, HYPERthyroidism may be a possibility, or you may have an infection.

Thyroid home test instructions from Kalish Wellness
Thyroid home test instructions from Kalish Wellness

B/ If your temperature is below the normal range for the first 5 days, continue testing for 21 more days while also taking these supplements recommended by Dr. Kalish (they can be ordered online), or other thyroid supplements/medication.

Thytrophin PMG made by Standard Process. Dosage is 6 pills at breakfast, or 3 at breakfast and 3 at lunch.
OR
Thyroid Synergy by Designs for Health (better for vegans as not animal based). Dosage is 4 tablets, 2 at breakfast, 2 at lunch.

The supplements reduce inflammation, lower cortisol, stabilise blood sugar and provide nutritional support to the thyroid. Therefore, as it says above in #5, if your temperature is low at first but rises while taking the supplements, you may have a weak thyroid.

Two ways of treating the thyroid

1/ The only conventional medical solution is medication, which is usually recommended to be taken for life. This is because if the inflammation, toxins and stress are not being kept under control, the thyroid problem will remain and continue to need the medication. So this is like putting a bandaid on the thyroid, without actually addressing the cause of the thyroid problem or fixing it.

2/ In the alternative medicine world, there are many other solutions. There are natural remedies, and there are also general treatments to greatly minimize the inflammation, toxins and stress, so you never have to directly treat the thyroid, just the cause of the thyroid imbalance.

As discussed above, a main trigger for thyroid dysfunction is stress and the biggest emotional stressors for most people are emotional. The top 10 emotional stressors in the human life span relate to grief or loss such as divorce, loss of a loved one, death of a spouse, marital separation, retirement, loss of a job. Often these emotional stressors lead to physical illness within a couple years.

Therefore, effective thyroid treatment can be through emotional and spiritual healing, which contributes greatly to the body’s ability to stay strong and heal. For example, in Eastern Medicine, the area of the body where the thyroid gland is, relates to the human emotional need of communication. So looking at communication issues in one’s life can give much insight into contributing causes of the thyroid malfunction.

How to heal your thyroid holistically

For more guidance on how to heal your thyroid through emotional and spiritual wellness, diet and lifestyle choices, and alternative therapies, get yourself The Thyroid Sessions. We can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone struggling with thyroid problems.

Sean from Underground Wellness has compiled all 24 of his “Thyroid Sessions” into a user-friendly digital collection of thyroid-healing information that will put YOU in charge of your health.

You get LIFETIME streaming and downloadable access to:

* 11 high quality on-camera video sessions of Sean getting all the thyroid info. from the experts
* 11 Google Hangout expert interview sessions
* 2 cooking videos with Recipe Guide for thyroid healing foods
* easy-to-download mp3 audio files for each interview session, so you can listen while you commute or do the dishes
* 600-plus pages of transcripts, if you prefer to read all this good stuff
* 10 incredible bonus items

Get The Thyroid Sessions HERE (affiliate link helps Primal Health keep running and keeping you get healthy) 🙂

This article is our Primal Health notes from part of one of these amazing thyroid sessions interviews, where Sean interviews Dr. Dan Kalish. Dr. Kalish gives even more awesome detail about the thyroid home testing and emotional healing in his video interview (more than I could possibly type up here for you!), which is included in The Thyroid Sessions.

Dr. Dan Kalish   Dr. Dan Kalish, DC

– Founder of “The Kalish Method”
– Teaches medical doctors Functional Medicine

6 Things To DO Before Bed, For a Good Night’s Sleep

6 Things to DO Before Bed...for a Good Night's Sleep

If you don’t think that going to bed late, sleeping lightly or waking up in the night is affecting you, here’s your wake-up call (pun intended). Regular poor quality sleep WILL slowly ruin your health. We’ve showed you 6 things to AVOID before bed, now here are 6 things to DO before bed, if you are tired of being tired, having broken sleeps and suffering with other sleep or energy problems.

6 Things to Do Before Bed for a Good Night's Sleep

1/ Turn off the wireless, power points and mobile signal

The frequencies from man-made electro-magnetic devices can interfere with our natural frequencies and bodily rhythms, including our circadian rhythms, aka sleep cycle.

There is much debate in the scientific community about how much electro-magnetic frequencies (EMFs) and electric fields affect us. However, there are several international studies which suggest that they pose a significant threat to our health, and tons of anecdotal evidence of people feeling the negative effects of EMFs. This should not be ignored. If you want to research this topic more on your own, start with the non-profit organisations Power Watch and H.e.s.e. Project.

In the meantime, instead of waiting decades to see what the long-term effects really are on us, how about just limiting your exposure whenever possible? Especially at a time when it doesn’t inconvenience you, like when you are sleeping.

We have had several clients report an immediate improvement in their sleep or their child’s sleep when they removed electric items from their bedroom, pulled the plug at night, turned off their wireless modem before bed, turned off the mobile phone signals at night, and/or re-routed any electric cords that were running under or around their bed.

2/ Take a shower

Several sleep research organisations suggest cold showers for insomniacs, while other research and testimony swears by the sleep-inducing effects of warm showers. Either way, it seems a shower will relax you and help regulate your body temperature for sleep. So what have you got to loose? Just your poor sleep habits.

3/ Have Sex (alone or with your partner)

We already know that men have no problem falling asleep quickly after orgasm, but did you know that sex or masturbation ensures deeper, more restful sleep for both sexes?

Sex boosts the production of sleep and relaxation hormones such as oxytocin, prolactin and estrogen, and decreases the production of cortisol – the hormone that prevents relaxation and sleep. So now you have another good reason to have sex or masturbate. Your Primal Health coach has prescribed it to you!

If your sex drive is low, you better read this!

4/ Write your thoughts

Even if you are laying in bed exhausted, if your mind is still active, it will keep your body awake. And it’s usually when you finally stop and do nothing, that all the good ideas come to your head and you remember all the things that you want to say and need to do. Therefore, by writing your thoughts at bedtime, you benefit twice: you get tons of great ideas and organised plans, and once you get all that clutter out of your head, your mind and body can finally get a restful sleep.

I recommend laying in bed for a few minutes with your eyes closed to let all the ideas and mind chatter flow. Then using a dim light, write down as much as you need, whether as lists, notes or in journal form. Then enjoy your blissful sleep.

5/ Eat, swallow, rub or spray Magnesium

Research has shown that magnesium deficiency and chronic insomnia go hand in hand, and even marginal deficiency can prevent the brain from settling down at night. On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep. This was proven in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota, and is constantly backed up by numerous testimonials of people who have finally gotten the rest they need after taking magnesium supplements before bed.

Of course, you can get magnesium from real foods, and that is the optimal scenario. Good sources include green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and almonds. However, many of us have compromised digestive systems which lead to mineral deficiencies even with a nutritious diet. Therefore, a good quality magnesium supplement may be needed to greatly boost intake and sleep health.

One of the most absorbable forms of magnesium is magnesium citrate powder. Other good chelated forms of magnesium are ascorbate, orotate, glycinate, or ideally a mix of them. Some sensitive people get diarrhea from higher doses of the citrate form, so listen to your body. Additionally, if you have long-standing digestive issues, you may not absorb oral supplements so well, and instead can look at magnesium creams or sprays. Many good health food/supplement shops have naturopaths in-store which can assist you.

*Note that a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium is important to overall health, and these two minerals should be taken together for best results.

6/ Breathing exercises and/or meditation

You might be getting tired of me talking about meditation and breathing. But when you find something that is so easy to do, costs nothing, and is so beneficial to your health, you want to spread the word! These practices, even when done for as little as 5-10 minutes, can have an extremely relaxing effect on your bodily systems and prepare you for the best sleep ever.

You can sit up straight or lie in bed, dim the lights or turn them off, use a guided audio meditation or just take some deep breaths feeling your belly expanding and your body relaxing. It doesn’t matter so much HOW you do it, just that you DO it. Regularly.

You can let Brad’s soothing voice guide you in his Meditation Made Simple video, try any of our 10 Easy Ways to Meditation, or simply lie in bed doing alternate nostril breathing.

How to do Alternate Nostril Breathing for Relaxation, Concentration and Sleep

 

Other sleep articles by Primal Health:
6 Things to Avoid Before Bed, For a Good Night’s Sleep
Are Your Daily Habits Affecting Your Sleep Quality? Take the Quiz.
How My Body Swelled Up From Sleep Stress

 

Which of these or other pre-sleep rituals have helped you get a better night’s sleep?