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My Orgasmic Birth Story

Disclaimer: If detailed accounts of childbirth squeam you out, click away before it’s too late! I’ve hesitated telling this story in public for over a year, because of its personal nature. It felt as though sharing my story would open it up to the scrutiny and ridicule of others, and that, somehow, documenting it would cheapen my sweet memories. I’ve chosen to push past this fear and share it anyway to preserve it in my own memory. Since giving birth to my son almost 4 years ago and then my daughter last summer, I’ve become aware of the culture of fear and anxiety that surrounds the deeply feminine and spiritual act that is childbirth. My story is one of millions of stories, some documented in writing and others only in the memories of those mothers who were there. It’s often that the stories that get told and retold are the…

How to Get Healthy and Feel Good Doing It

Underneath all of the goals we set for our health and our lives, we really all want one thing: to feel good. This means feeling great physically, enjoying our life more, having the capacity to be there for our friends and family, and being able to pursue our passions and dreams.  We work hard because it feels good to see the results of that hard work. We work out because it makes us feel sexy and strong and fit, which makes us feel good. We eat tacos with friends because it feels good to eat delicious salty food and laugh. We daydream because sometimes, it feels good to escape. The “No Pain, No Gain” myth If feeling good is a core driver for us, why do we so often think we can improve our health by making ourselves chronically miserable? We often pick foods that don’t taste good (looking at…

Top 10 Supplements for Anxiety

Anxiety and stress related issues are an increasingly pervasive part of our society today. Memes about anxiety get thousands of likes because just about everyone can relate, and a whopping 75-90% of doctor’s visits are for stress related complaints (yes, you read that right). I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard stories of people going to the ER with chest pains thinking they were having a heart attack, only to find out it was a severe panic attack. What’s the deal? So what’s going on? Why is everyone so stressed out and anxious? And what can we do about it? Well, it’s impossible to give a definitive answer, but I have a few theories. Our modern high speed + high information lifestyles, paired with assault from environmental pollution in our homes and food, plus more disconnection from family, friends, and nature than we’ve ever dealt with before…

Reishi: The Adaptogenic Magic Mushroom

I get a warm feeling in my heart whenever I talk about the reishi mushroom. I have personally felt more positive physiological benefits (specifically regarding stress and sleep) from welcoming this magical mushroom into my life than just about any other substance! One of the feelings I like to compare it to is getting a big, warm hug and an “it’ll all be okay” from a kind grandma after you bomb an important exam.  In fact, a common anecdotal experience among reishi users is an increased sense of peace and well-being. Since I mention reishi often and use it frequently, I am going to give you some background on The Queen of Mushrooms so you can decide for yourself if it’s right for you! Background Reishi, also known as Ling Zhi, is well loved in traditional Chinese medicine. It is known as “the mushroom of immortality” because of its powerful anti-aging abilities and its…

23 Tricks for Mythical Princess Sleep

Good, deep sleep is extremely important if you are concerned with the quality of your life. During sleep we rebuild our bodies and clean out our brains and other body systems. Poor sleep (and poor sleep habits) can lead to many negative symptoms including brain fog, moodiness and irritability, strained relationships, daytime fatigue, depression and anxiety, and poor blood sugar control. It also affects your appearance, leading to weight gain, reduced muscle tone, and increased aging. I am no stranger to insomnia. Lying awake in bed for hours wondering if I might be going crazy with sleep deprivation used to be a nearly nightly occurrence for me. I experienced many of the negative effects from not getting enough sleep Now that I’ve changed a few key lifestyle habits, I get MUCH better sleep and feel so much better! Occasionally I will still have a rough night of sleep (or several…hello…

Turmeric: The Indian Spice Your Brain Craves

What if I told you that there’s a spice from India that scientific studies have demonstrated: 1. Is as effective as Prozac at relieving depression symptoms 2. Reduces social anxiety* 3. Increases your long-term memory 4. Protects your brain from alcohol-induced neurodegeneration 5. Increases neurogenesis These effects are just a small fraction of the overall effects of this spice. In addition it has been shown to aid in healing and recovery with the following: 1. Inflammatory diseases 2. Cancers 3. Diabetes 4. Arthritis 5. Obesity 6. Pain 7. Skin conditions 8. High cholesterol At this point you’re probably wondering: “So, what is this magical, mythical spice that has all these benefits? How does it work? And how do I get some of it into my belly?!” Patience, young apprentice. We will explore all of this in this article. But to answer your first question, this magical spice is turmeric and…

7 Ways to Trick Yourself into Cooking More

As “wellness culture” keeps exploding in popularity, so too have the many mostly true, but nearly useless health advice cliches. “It’s not that hard to eat healthy! Just eat whole, unprocessed, organic foods! Incorporate movement into your life! Stop eating out and cook at home and eat as a family!” Those are all good things, but it’s not useful advice if you’re not already in the habit of doing them. Each of those “tips” involves changing a lot of ingrained habits. In this article, I’m going to outline some of the practical tips that have been the most useful for tricking myself into cooking at home more often. The problem with eating out Eating out is one of those conveniences of modern life that can free up so much time and energy for us, but can also be detrimental to our long term health. The infamously large portion sizes, oxidized…

4 Ways to Deal With an Unsupportive Tribe

How many of you have had the lovely experience of making positive lifestyle changes such as eating better, exercising more, or quitting bad habits, only to have the people closest to you make fun of your efforts, put you down about it, or even start treating you differently as a person? As it turns out, this is an incredibly common situation. One of the biggest challenges that people face when trying to get healthier can actually be their own friends, coworkers, and family! (As a disclaimer, the purpose of this is not to complain about how “everyone is holding you back” and how “they hate me cuz they ain’t me” but to explore how to navigate this common social phenomenon. We want to change, but those closest to us might seem to discourage it, especially if it’s a positive change. However frustrating it is, this is totally normal.) Say you…

Grape Seed Extract: Protector of Brain Cells and Cognitive Function

Could grape seed extract be a worthy addition to your mental health arsenal? Read on to find out! History’s Sexiest Fruit The small but mighty grape has long been a symbol of youth, beauty, wealth, and sex. Would a Rennassaince painting be complete without bunches of grapes draped artfully over a bowl or body part, or pouring from a feast table? The Hebrew Bible constantly references grapes and vineyards in reference to blessings and wealth, and the Greeks and Romans had a major god dedicated to the fruit (Bacchus/Dionysus). They were a luscious, juicy fruit, with thick, bitter skins and tiny hard seeds. Now, fallen from their former glory, the antioxidant-rich skins and seeds have been mostly bred out to make them more palatable to the delicate sensitivities of the general public. You find them not on the feast tables of demi-gods (unless we’re talking about Chris Hemsworth, amirite?), but…

14 Ways I Beat Anxiety Without Medication

Disclaimer: Mental illness is a serious issue so if you need help, please talk to a professional. This is my personal story that I’m choosing to share in hopes that it encourages someone else on their journey. It was my own decision to tackle anxiety without taking medication, and I am not in any way telling you to do the same thing or passing judgment on those who take medication. If you have a desire to discontinue psychiatric medication, please talk to your healthcare provider about tapering off. I am not a doctor and these are my own opinions–not medical advice. In our overstimulated Western culture, most of us suffer from one form of anxiety or another at least some of the time. We stay up too late watching violent TV shows, we eat food that makes us feel bad, we lack intimate social connections, our jobs are stressful and…