How Your Diet Affects Your Stress Level

Let’s face it, we have our work cut out for us when it comes to stress management. Pandemics, politics, climate change, feeling time crunched, processed food, pollution, lack of sleep…good grief! We are dealing with chronic stress and its health implications at new all-time high levels.

And your diet is a big one!

The phrase “You are what you eat” applies to your stress levels…What you eat affects your stress hormones.

Before we talk about stress any further, I am including a cute puppy picture for you to enjoy so that all this stress talk doesn’t stress you out! 

While cortisol is the most famous stress hormone, typically released in higher amounts when you are in the fight-or-flight response, insulin is also involved in the stress response. You see, when you get stressed by something, your cortisol and some other stress hormones (i.e. adrenaline, norepinephrine, catecholamines) go up. One of the effects on your body when these hormones are released is for your blood sugar to go up (to give you energy to fight or flee)…and when blood sugar goes up, insulin goes up too.
This is a crucial point for any of you who are eating a healthy diet yet dealing with blood sugar imbalance, weight imbalance, high blood pressure, or energy imbalance. Independently from your diet, your stress response raises your blood sugar!

So it becomes even more important that your diet not become a source of stress.

Tip #1: If you are used to eating a diet that is high in sugar, it’s time to cut back on it. A high-sugar diet is associated with brain fog, low or inconsistent energy, fat storage around your organs, memory loss, and an increased risk in dementia. An increased blood sugar level increases the chance for insulin resistance, meaning, it will take a longer time before we can utilize the glucose/energy you take from the food you eat.

 Tip #2. Eat when you are actually hungry and not out of habit.

Snacking bumps up your insulin level. Remember that insulin affects all your other stress hormones. So the more you snack, the more insulin increases and too much of this pattern increases insulin resistance (a cell desensitization to the impact of insulin). High insulin and insulin resistance wreaks havoc in your entire body, affecting your mood, gut health, immune system, and stress levels.

Depending on your particular situation, you might try practicing intermittent fasting, in which you go without food for a slightly longer time period (12-16 hrs, including overnight sleep time). This gives ample time for your body to use ketones, instead of glucose, as fuel; helps restore healthy insulin levels, and increases cell repair.

Tip #3. Choose high quality food. Foods grown with artificial fertilizers and loaded with pesticides contain toxins that disrupt your hormonal balance. Meat coming from animals that have eaten toxic food also plays a role in disrupting your hormonal system. So opt for the cleanest, best quality food you can as often as possible.

 Tip #4. Make meal time pleasant and calm…and choose good company.  No matter how appetizing or healthy your food is, when you eat with people who stress you out or talk about stressful things while eating, it becomes a lot harder to keep your own stress level down. So make sure that you eat with the people you care about and try to discuss things that help you feel happy and safe.

I hope these tips are helpful to you! Want to learn even more? Join me next week for my free online class Stress & Digestion: How Stress is Wrecking Your Digestion and What You Can Do About It!  (register here).

It is my passion to work with people like you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

Science-Backed Benefits of Gratitude

Did you know that practicing gratitude every day can change you and your brain?
 
It’s true. Developing the habit of gratitude has immense benefits to your physical, social, and psychological well-being. Let’s dig into them one by one.

  • According to neuroscientists, focusing on positive things activates neurotransmitters branded as “happy chemicals.” (i.e. dopamine and serotonin) This makes gratitude a natural antidepressant.
  • Robert Emmons, a scientific expert on gratitude, states that gratitude is “….an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received.” Feeling good reinforces doing more things that keep us feeling this way. Meditation, prayer, journaling, and exercise are some of these things that keep us feeling good. You don’t need to do ALL of them, and depending on your energy, you may do better to stick to 1 or 2 consistently to support your mood and energy.
  • Generally, gratitude improves your well-being. When we think of things that we are grateful for, the parasympathetic response (rest and digest) is activated, contrary to when we focus on negative thoughts. The rest and digest response is essential to relax and improve sleep quality, boost the immune system, and alleviate illness.
  • Gratitude changes your brain’s neural pathways. Constant repetition forms a habit. So the more we practice gratitude, we become better at it. Being intentionally grateful helps rewire our brain to be more positive and resilient so that stress won’t get to us.
  • According to the HeartMath Institute’s vast research on this topic, renewing feelings such as gratitude help improve the balance between cortisol and DHEA. By plugging emotional energy drains, you have more energy and attention to spend on the things that are important to you.

 There are many ways to practice mindful gratitude. Here are several suggestions you can try:

  • Keep a gratitude journal – Every day, especially right after getting out of bed in the morning or before going to bed at night (that’s peak time for neuroplasticity!), write down at least three things that you are grateful for–best if you choose different things every day. At the end of the week, read these things so that you are reminded.
  • Write thank-you notes – Send the notes to your loved ones or leave them at a place where they can easily see, like the fridge or their desk.
  • Fill a gratitude jar – Write gratitude notes on small pieces of paper and put all inside a clear jar. When you feel low, get one note from the jar to remind you to be grateful.
  • Let others know that you appreciate them – You can show people you appreciate them in many ways. One example is to call/text/tell them in person that you appreciate them and why.
  • Take a moment to appreciate your surroundings – Be aware of what’s around you by pausing for a while and appreciate every good thing such as the birds outside, the beautiful weather, the blooming flower, and more! When you are looking for blessings, you will find them (sometimes in surprising ways!). 

I hope that these suggestions are helpful to you!

It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!

Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

Soothe Your Upset Stomach with Coriander

Having an upset stomach is awful–no one wants to experience queasiness, vomiting,  or diarrhea. But you’ve heard the expression “don’t kill the messenger”, right? When your body has a symptom, like an upset stomach, it’s your body telling you that something isn’t working well for you or that something is wrong.
 
Sometimes we need to develop our detective skills to be able to discover what is wrong–much as we’d like it to be, it’s not always simple or quickly fixable.
While you’re exploring the root cause of your upset tummy (or other symptoms), it’s great to have some relief.
 
Coriander oil comes from coriander, also known as cilantro seeds, or the Coriandrum sativum plant. The essential oils and the chemical compounds in coriander oil make it helpful in soothing an upset stomach and its accompanying symptoms.
 

 
Some of these compounds are:

  • Cineole (eucalyptol) – a compound that eases pain in the joints. Since stomach upset may produce pain in other areas of the body, it helps when joint pain is one of your symptoms.
  • Borneol – an upset stomach with diarrhea may be caused by harmful microbes and fungi. Borneol aids in digestion, peristalsis, and has antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties.
  • Citronellol – this compound is both antiseptic and antimicrobial. It also promotes healing especially if you have ulcers.
  • Magnesium – an upset stomach can cause muscle spasms. Magnesium eases the spasms by relaxing the muscles.
  • Antihistamine – multiple studies have shown that coriander can help with seasonal allergies by acting as an antihistamine.

 Aside from treating an upset stomach, coriander oil also comes with many other benefits that it earned the nickname “The Wonder Herb.”
 
Coriander can be consumed as a spice in your cooking, put into a tea, or taken as a concentrated an oil that you can add into your food or just on its own to support your body’s natural healing process.
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. 👉 bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

The Benefits of Strengthening Your Core

Hi y’all!

Please enjoy this great infograph by JSculpt Fitness on the benefits of strengthening your core!

How to Naturally Lose Weight without Counting Calories

Yes! You read it right. You can actually lose weight–naturally–without counting calories. As discussed last week, the technique “calories in, calories out” is oversimplified and fraught with myths.
 
Instead of putting a lot of time, energy and attention on calorie counting, I invite you to start learning another approach to weight loss (or as I prefer to call it, weight release). 


 
What you need are foods that do the following:

  1. Balance your blood sugar levels
  2. Increase your metabolism

And the result of eating these foods on a daily basis are:

  1. A boost in energy
  2. Adequate sleep — goodbye insomnia!
  3. No more unnecessary cravings
  4. Normal bodily functions

With this in mind, let me share with you some foods that could do this!

  1. Black coffee — Oh the perks of being a coffee drinker! Aside from the burst in energy and concentration, coffee boosts metabolism for a short time.
  2. Green tea — It is rich in antioxidants and is associated with many health benefits, including increased energy and selective fat burning.
  3. Spicy foods — The natural chemicals in spicy foods increase your metabolic rate.
  4. Fiber-rich foods — These foods cause you to feel full because they help release satiety hormones: you will naturally eat less without even trying! Aside from that, fiber feeds the good bacteria in your gut so you’ll reap more benefits. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber.
  5. Probiotics — Obese people have different gut microbiome patterns than normal-weight individuals. One way to nurture a healthy gut microbiome is to take probiotics from food sources (like sauerkraut, kim chee, yogurt, etc), make sure you feed your gut flora with prebiotics, and consider probiotic supplements.
  6. Protein — A high-protein diet gives you that feeling of fullness and reduces your appetite. Protein also boosts metabolism for up to 80-100 calories a day. Eggs, meat, seafood, poultry, tempeh, cottage cheese, certain nuts and seeds, and a variety of high-quality protein powders are great sources of protein. 

In addition to choosing the right foods for your body (which is best done with metabolic pattern testing!), hydration, sufficient sleep, managing your day-to-day stress, and moving your body throughout the day are hugely important not only for the weight release but also for your physical, mental, and emotional health.
 
Another tip I can share is to practice mindful eating, meaning you have to be conscious of your food choices, increase your awareness while eating, and listen to your body’s needs. By doing so, you will be able to choose the right foods for you and combat emotional eating and overeating.

It is my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms–like low energy, gut/digestive issues, excess weight, mood imbalance, chronic infections, and skin & sleep problems–are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’d like to learn more about how you can discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health
~Rebecca

Surprising Benefits of Eating Kimchi

Today we’re going to dig into an awesome gut healing food called kimchi. Kimchi is a world-famous traditional side dish in Korea.This food has rich historical roots: It is mentioned in many ancient Korean journals dating back thousands of years ago!


 
From being incredibly sour to crazy spicy, accompanied with that pungent odor–kimchi has a unique and delicious taste. In addition, kimchi is a fermented food and is therefore helpful to the friendly bacteria in your gut.

And your gut is at the root of your health! 

Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, think clearly, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, fight infections, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive. 
 
So it’s great to know about different foods that you can eat to add to the diversity of friendly bugs in your gut…like kimchi! So, kimchi is made from fermented Napa or Chinese cabbages along with other veggies, onion, garlic, spring onions, and gochugaru (ground Korean chili powder).
 
Let’s look at some benefits in the research of regularly eating kimchi:
 

Improves Digestion

Improved digestion is the first obvious benefit of regularly eating kimchi. The lactobacilli (one of your good gut bugs) gets depleted when you are stressed and have an unhealthy lifestyle (eating processed foods, not drinking enough water, not getting enough sleep, not exercising regularly) causing you to have indigestion or diarrhea. Kimchi is rich in fiber and lactobacilli that help restore proper digestion.
 

Boosts the Immune System

Did you know that 75% of your immunity is found in your gut?! Your gut, which is home to countless microorganisms, is your very first defense against disease-causing microbes that enter your body through the mouth.
 
Eating fermented foods, such as kimchi, strengthens immune system
 

May Slow Down the Aging Process

Kimchi is rich in antioxidants–the secret to slowing wear and tear on your cells resulting in fewer outer and inner signs of aging. Think of oxidative stress like this: you know when you cut open and apple and shortly afterward it turns brown? That’s oxidative damage/stress.  Antioxidants fight this rapid aging brought on by stress and pollution from the environment. 
 

May Help With Weight Release

Kimchi is created with ingredients that are densely packed with nutrients: Napa cabbage itself contains vitamins A and C, at least 10 different minerals, and more than 34 amino acids!
 
What makes the vegetables in kimchi good for weight loss is that they are low in calories but high in satiating fiber–meaning you get full more easily. The lactobacillus in kimchi may also support weight balance.
 

May Fight Inflammation and Cancer

The ingredients in kimchi have anti-inflammatory properties and, as mentioned, are full of antioxidants. They promote your overall health and fight inflammatory illnesses and cancer. Cabbage in particular contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful drug against colon cancer.
 
I did a little search and found this easy recipe on how to make kimchi. If it interests you, head over to this blog and learn to make kimchi on your own. It is also sold in many stores (look for organic and preferably in glass jars).
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

Why Counting Calories Doesn’t Give You the Results You Want

Before diving into the flaws of calorie counting, I made a special announcement last week. If you missed it, you can check it out here. 📣

So back to calories. If you’re struggling to lose weight or have struggled in the past, you’ve likely heard more than you ever wanted to about calorie counting. We’ve been told that counting calories is the surest way to lose weight and regain health. Just exercise more and eat less, right?!
Wrong. It is NOT that simple.
Here are some reasons why.

Inaccurate Food Labeling

There’s no way to know the exact calories you’ve absorbed.
In an article in Berkeley Wellness, they discuss the discrepancy of food labeling. The calories reported on food packages can be as far as 20% off in either direction! 
Currently, there’s no way we can exactly quantify the calories we take in or absorb. It’s an educated guess at best.
 

The 3,500 Calorie Myth

The “One pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories” is a myth.
 
According to many weight loss experts, in order to lose one pound of fat in a week, you have to remove about 3500 calories per week or 500 calories in a day. That is supposed to mean that one pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories.
 
However, the result is not all the same to all people. But you probably knew that if you’ve ever counted calories before!
 
A researcher named Dr. Zoe Harcombe found out in her research that one pound of fat is equal to a range of calories between 2843 and 3752, not exactly 3500!
 
This is another reason why counting calories to release weight does not always work for everyone.

 
Scarcity Mindset

Ever wonder why most people who strive for weight loss and good health by counting calories continue to struggle? 🤔 
When you count your calories, you tend to develop a scarcity mindset–a combo of focusing on restriction…what you “can’t have” which leads to choosing foods that are less nutritious and satisfying because they are lower in calories.
 
For example, you choose carbs over fats because carbs contain only 4 calories per gram while fats have 9 calories per gram. But a high-carb diet increases sugar levels in the blood. It makes you hungrier and slows your metabolism. The end result of which is weight gain! 
 
On the other hand, although fats have more calories than carbs, they are often a healthy choice because they are a better source of fuel for your body and they balance blood sugar levels and decrease cravings. Vegetables are a great source of carbs because they pack in a lot of nutrition and most of them won’t throw your blood sugar levels off.
 
Next week I’m going to share some tips on how to eat well to release weight without counting your calories! And if you’re not trying to lose weight but instead you’re trying to build your health in another way, these tips will be great for you too.
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. 👉🏻 bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

Are you ready to move your “health needle?”

Hi there!
Today I have a special announcement to share with you. 📣

Since 2001, I have been helping folks to feel healthier and more at home in their bodies.
Ever since I was a kid, I watched my Dad and other relatives struggling with their weight and other symptoms ranging from anxiety to heart conditions…and I saw a whole lot of unhealthy habits too. As a kid, I didn’t know how to help. I didn’t understand that almost all of those awful symptoms were linked to habits…choices that got made over and over again every day that were keeping the people I cared about sick or unhealthy and definitely not showing up in the world as their best selves. Sound familiar?

Clearly this struggling fueled me to want to be able to help make a difference in people’s lives and to help them discover how they could feel better in their own skin.
As many of you already know, this is the mission that I’ve been on most of my life. 😍

I’ve helped a lot of people over these decades through customized programs, testing, and one-on-one coaching. But there are people (maybe you’re one of them) who just aren’t ready to take that next step to do that level of work either by yourselves or with someone to support you. And that’s okay. I really appreciate that you are part of this community and reading these newsletters and thinking about how you can move your health needle. 🙏🏻

Because of you, during the pandemic, I decided to create a program called Unstoppable Health Basics. 🎉

If you think about health building as climbing a ladder, this is the rung on which we all need to start.
The purpose of UH Basics is for you to start to lay the most essential health foundations so that you can have the physical, mental, and emotional vitality to show up as your best self. In this program we will explore the essential strategies, tools and habits you need to start steering your health in the direction that will lead to long-term, sustainable results. This is a group based and self-paced program which allows me to offer it very affordably and for you to participate flexibly on your own schedule.
Enrollment is officially open!!! 🥳

If you’d like to learn more about it and see if it’s a good fit for you, I invite you to apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session with me. 

👉 bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Again, I’m so grateful that you are part of this health building community and I’m thrilled by the possibility of you moving your health needle to the next level! 💗

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

The Secret to Healthier Skin

I’m going to make today’s newsletter short and sweet. We’re going to explore something called the gut-skin axis and how you can support BOTH!
 
Sure, there are tons of skin care products on the market, and some of them are undeniably better than others, but none of them are going to override the impact of your primary beauty secret–your gut!
 
Why?
 
Because when your gut is healthy, it shows on the outside in every way, including your skin.

Because your gut is at the root of your health. 



Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, think clearly, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, fight infections, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive. Let’s go deeper.
 

The Gut-Skin Axis

The digestive system and the skin have both endocrine, neurological, and immune functions. They are closely related to each other–so close that a number of studies have shown that gut health affects the skin. How do these two organ systems communicate with each other?
 
Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders are often accompanied by skin manifestations. When your gut microbiome is not healthy, gaps are created in the intestinal lining where your gut bacteria and their metabolites can escape to the bloodstream. They then accumulate in the skin and disturb its homeostasis, resulting in inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema, acne, psoriasis, and rosacea.
 
We also clear toxins out through our digestive pathways–if not, then they must get out another way and your skin is a major organ of detoxification.

Another way the gut and skin communicate is through their immune function. It’s not only the gut that contains microbes; the skin does too! The skin microbiota maintain skin homeostasis by preventing the growth of pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms as well as inflammation.
 
The gut microbes seem to play a role in the health of the skin microbiota. When fiber is fermented in the gut, the gut microbes produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) which promote the growth of skin microbes, thereby increasing the skin’s immune function.
 
The relationship between the gut and skin is undeniable. And the secret to healthier skin can be found in your very own kitchen. Feed your gut with fiber and probiotic foods, fresh veggies, and clean protein, and drink plenty of clean, filtered water daily and see for yourself –it’ll show!

It is my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms–like low energy, gut/digestive issues, excess weight, mood imbalance, chronic infections, and skin & sleep problems–are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’d like to learn more about how you can discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health
~Rebecca

Healthy “Ramen” Noodle Recipe

I’m going to make today’s newsletter short and sweet. Simply, I want to share a recipe I recently created that is tasty, comforting, and gut friendly.

Why am I ALWAYS going on and on about gut health?!

Because your gut is at the root of your health. 

Your gut is where you take all the good stuff you eat and drink and transform it into the many building blocks your body needs to make energy, think clearly, sleep well, maintain a healthy weight, build muscle, fight infections, and clear out toxins that need clearing out daily so you can thrive. 

Healthy “Ramen” Noodle Recipe

In past newsletters, I have shared my love for shiritaki noodles made from the Japanese Konjac root. They are extremely low in calories, provide dietary fiber (which feeds a healthy microbiome) and the best thing is that they don’t really taste like much on their own, so you can use them in SO many recipes as a far superior noodle alternative!
 
So last weekend, I decided to try them with some organic, free-range chicken broth and it reminded me of healthy ramen (I ate the crappy, processed version on occasion growing up). Deelish!

How to:

  1. Get some organic broth of your choice (veggie, chicken or beef) (OR powdered miso soup is very tasty too!). I really like the Imagine brand or Butcher’s Broth brand. Pour a cup or two of the broth into a small pot.
  2. Thoroughly rinse the shiritaki noodles (my favorite brand so far is Better Than Noodles. They aren’t clear like Miracle Noodles so they look just like ramen noodles and I think the texture is great.). Pro tip: when you open up a package of these noodles, don’t smell them, lol! They don’t smell awesome, but they are great stuff.
  3. Add the desired amount of noodles to your broth (around 3/4-1 cup is good). Heat on low-med heat to just warm it up and then, if you like, add a dash of black pepper and dried parsley for a bit of extra flavor (or season it however you want, really). That’s it! Pour into a mug or bowl and enjoy!




It is my passion is to work with people like you whose health symptoms–like low energy, gut/digestive issues, excess weight, mood imbalance, chronic infections, and skin & sleep problems–are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’d like to learn more about how you can discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health
~Rebecca