Anxiety

Pause and Pivot to Reduce Stress

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I wanted to give a quick tip, in the form of a 5-minute video, that you can use to transform uncomfortable feelings and react differently to hard situations.

You can use this technique in any situation, from complaining mother-in-laws to general anxiety. One thing I didn't emphasize enough in the video is that you don't necessarily need to say something in the moment. You can slow down time, so to speak, by taking a walk, leaving a conversation, or choosing your reaction after more time to reflect. If you're a firecracker like me, it's nice to practice this option sometimes!

This technique stemmed from work with my 'transformation coach', Toni St. Clair. If you'd like to find out more about Toni or schedule a discovery session with her, go here. Toni definitely got some stuck things to shift for me!

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If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening!

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative  

Ease Anxiety & Support Immunity In a Disaster with Mira Dessy

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Mira Dessy is the Ingredient Guru and a Houston area resident whose home was flooded in Hurricane Harvey. She is a practicing holistic nutritionist and meditation expert.

She’ll share both how she remediated her home and some of the emotional and physical health challenges she handled with nutrition, supplements and mindfulness.

We cover:

  • The DIY actions she is taking to restore her home
  • How a community can come together in a crisis
  • The symptoms she’s noticing right after the hurricane
  • The emotional toll of losing your possessions and your home
  • How even junky food, given with love, can be nourishing!
  • How to kick a sugar habit if you’ve relied on it through a disaster
  • The supplements Mira uses to stay healthy
  • How quick and simple meditations can help for sleep and stress

Resources

Download notes from this interview HERE.

Get Mira Dessy's free ebook: Eating Out Healthy

Moisture Meter - to make sure all surfaces are dry enough before beginning the rebuilding process.

To learn more about Mira Dessy, visit her website here and follow her on social  media:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Pinterest

You can listen to this and all other episodes on the podcast or watch directly on our YouTube channel here.

 

Please enjoy these articles from our friends Trudy Scott from Every Woman Over 29 and Jodi Cohen of Vibrant Blue Oils:

Nutrition Solutions for Psychological Stress After a Natural Disaster

3 Steps to Combating Mold with Essential Oils

Essential Oils to Modulate the Toxic Effects of Mold

Tomorrow we’ll have our final day of Mold Week with Ryan James, teaching you how to get the most out of an insurance claim.  Home remediation can be quite costly; let Ryan keep you from getting the short end of the stick from your insurance company.

Audio Only Version

If you are on the go or have a poor internet connection, it will be more reliable to play the following audio-only version.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter 

If you have not yet joined our community, be sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

Thanks for listening!

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Healthy Fats for Happy Hormones

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In this article, we’ll be focusing on fats that increase the production of prostaglandins, which are not hormones, but are powerful, hormone-like agents that do important jobs such as regulating inflammation and stimulating hormone production. (1) So if you want to have regulated hormones and managed inflammation, read on to learn about your helpful prostaglandins and how to support them.

Are you dealing with symptoms like:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Irregular periods
  • Heavy periods
  • Anxiety 
  • Weight Gain
  • Menstrual migraines

These are all potential symptoms of inflammation and hormone imbalance that may benefit from the prostaglandin lovin’ you’ll learn about today.

What are Prostaglandins?

Prostaglandins are lipid compounds produced throughout the body, derived from fats and produced by an enzymatic process. They are made from Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats, plus some micronutrients and minerals are needed in their production as well.

Prostaglandins can both initiate and reduce inflammation. (2) Inflammation is a normal process in the body, but too much inflammation causes pain and hormone dysregulation. 

Since prostaglandins can be inflammatory or anti-inflammatory; one way to reduce symptoms is to increase anti-inflammatory prostaglandins by consuming the fats that are needed to make anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.

If you’re nutritionally savvy, you may have learned that Omega 3 fats are good and that Omega 6 fats are bad. This is somewhat true, but there’s more to it.

The Fats

Omega 3 and 6 fats are both polyunsaturated fatty acids, and the numbers 3 and 6 refer to the location of a double carbon bond within the structure of the molecule. Omega 3 and 6 oils are considered ‘essential’ to consume because the human body cannot make them.

The Omega 3s

Omega 3 oils are anti-inflammatory which means they reduce the unwanted symptoms of inflammation like headaches and acne. Their anti-inflammatory effect even helps in treating the autoimmune diseases that are becoming so common in women by regulating the immune system.  

The three types of Omega 3 fatty acids involved in human physiology are α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA comes from plant sources and DHA and EPA come from marine sources.

ALA sources of omega three can be converted in EPA and, less efficiently, to DHA. There has been some debate about the rate of this conversion.  It appears that women, as a result of higher estrogen levels, convert ALA to EPA at a higher rate than in men. (3)

EPA is what we are focusing on in this article, as it is converted to a prostaglandin.

From the Omega 3 category, consume foods such as:

  • Wild, fresh salmon
  • Grass-fed beef and lamb
  • Pastured chicken or duck eggs
  • Fish eggs
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Oysters 
  • Shrimp
  • Anchovies
  • Flounder 
  • Bass
  • Mackerel

These vegetarian sources of Omega 3s are awesome additions to your diet:

  • Fresh ground flax seed
  • High lignan flax oil (use for dressing, not for cooking)
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Sea vegetables 
  • Hemp seed and oil

As a supplement, you can take 1,000 mg /day of high quality fish oil, like this one we carry from Designs for Health.  You can also find an algae-based Omega 3 oil as well, like this one from Nordic Naturals.

 

The Omega 6s

While all clean sources of Omega 3's are good, Omega 6's are more of a mixed bag. 

Omega 6 oils include linoleic acid (LA), an essential fatty acid, and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).  Similar to the conversion process of the Omega 3 ALA into EPA, it is possible to CONVERT LA into GLA, but there can be snags in the process.  Another downside of linoleum acid is that too much is inflammatory.

So it’s best to get your linoleum acid from clean sources, and also to add in the lesser-known and potent GLA oils below.

The Bad Boys

Some Omega 6 fats are dangerous, like the ones coming from canola, corn, safflower oils. These processed vegetable oils often are derived from non-organic, genetically-modified seeds, and the oil can only be extracted from a series of complex steps.  In other words, they are not real food. The resulting product is inflammatory, can contribute to leaky gut, and can actually block normal hormone production and function, contributing to things like cramps and infertility. (4)

These oils are prevalent in processed foods like bakery items, margarines and most prepared foods, whether from the grocery store shelf, the deli section or a restaurant. When you use these oils to fry things like french fries, they become really bad, as the extra heat exposure creates even more free radicals.

Please do not use vegetable oils in your home cooking and avoid all margarines.  Minimize processed foods and cook at home much more than you eat out.  

The Good Girls

Clean sources of linoleic acid (LA) include:

  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Brazils nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pecans 
  • Pine nuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Organic organ meat

Great sources of gamma- linoleic acid (GLA) include:

  • Borage oil
  • Evening primrose oil
  • Flax oil
  • Olive oil
  • Hemp oil
  • Spirulina (5)

As mentioned earlier, LA can be converted to prostaglandins, but too much compared to Omega 3 ALA can be a problem. (6) So watch your ‘bad boy’ oil consumption. And do get your extra special GLA fats, as these are not inflammatory and tend to be the most overlooked in our diets.

It can be easy to increase good fats in your diet.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Drizzle hemp, flax or sesame oil over your cooked food or salad.
  • Buy raw nuts and mix with coconut flakes and dried berries for a trail mix/ easy snack. (Store in fridge.)
  • Add nuts and seeds to your morning smoothie.
  • Make a chia/ seed porridge.
  • Find a clean source of fish and learn to cook it!
  • Learn about sea vegetables and how to use them.

Stay tuned for a partner article to this one where I’ll talk about what can help or hurt prostaglandin production!  And please share any comments below!

  1. Before the Change: Taking Charge of Your Perimenopause by Ann Louise Gittleman, Harper Collins 1998
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3081099/
  3. http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Omega-3-ALA-intakes-enough-for-EPA-DPA-levels-for-non-fish-eaters
  4. https://wellnessmama.com/2193/never-eat-vegetable-oil/
  5. https://wellnessmama.com/4738/spirulina-benefits/
  6. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-the-omega-3omega-6-ratio-may-not-matter-after-all/
Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP  Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Bridgit Danner, LAc, FDNP

Founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative

Bridgit Danner is at the author of this article and the founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative.

She designed a private, collaborative coaching service exclusively for women which utilizes the accuracy of functional medicine for outstanding results.  

  • To learn more about our Spark Case Review, the first step in our Restore Your Radiance program, click here.
  • If you haven't yet taken our peri-menopause quiz, you totally should do it here.

What in the World is Peri-menopause?

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If I were to ask 10 women on the street, “what is peri-menopause?”, I would probably get just 1 out of 10 who would know the answer, at best.

Peri-menopause is the about 10 year period before the full stopping of your period, called menopause. The stopping of your menstrual period doesn’t just come out of nowhere, it happens after a slow decline of ovarian function.

Your ovaries, the two little organs that shoot out an egg every month when you ovulate, come to life at puberty, and peak around 27 years of age.  After that, their function starts to decline very gradually, and then much more rapidly.

If you recall your teenage years, you may remember having acne, mood swings and irregular periods.  This was because your brain was learning to work with your newly active ovaries together.

At peri-menopause, you may also have hormonal symptoms, that could include:

  • Heavy periods

  • Early periods

  • Missed periods

  • Anxiety

  • Insomnia

  • Weight Gain

  • Forgetfulness

 

So why do the symptoms of peri-menopause happen?  

Sadly, you can’t live forever, or make babies forever. Your genes are programmed to turn on your reproductive powers at puberty, and gradually fade them before menopause.

As you entered puberty, your ovaries started making estrogen, the dominant female hormone, like crazy. You grew breasts and hips and your periods may have been really intense.

You rode this nice estrogen high with gorgeous skin and a healthy sex drive in your 20s. But as you aged, your ovarian function declined and you made less estrogen, slowly.  

Just like in puberty, the brain is trying its best to work with the ovaries at peri-menopause.  Some months it's pushing them to work harder, and estrogen level go up. Other months estrogen levels are low.  This is a normal aspect of peri-menopause, but it can result in symptoms.

Because the eggs in the ovaries aren't as prime in our older years, their function is less robust. This leads to less progesterone production, the hormone that is made after your ovulate, in the second half of your cycle. It is also normal that progesterone declines, but this change can again cause symptoms.

Here’s one last detail: you make a certain type of estrogen, estradiol, in your reproductive years.  As you shift towards menopause, another type of estrogen, estrone, becomes dominant. But that shift is a little rough on your body, because it got used to using estradiol for many years.

You don’t have to be a victim of your changing hormones. Once you get to know your hormones and what they need, you can be the hero in your own hormone story.

Stayed tuned for information on how to best take care of yourself in these years to avoid symptoms as much as possible!


Bridgit Danner is at the author of this article and the founder of Women's Wellness Collaborative.

She designed a private, collaborative coaching service exclusively for women which utilizes the accuracy of functional medicine for outstanding results.  

 

  • To learn more about our Spark Case Review, the first step in our Restore Your Radiance program, click here.

 

  • If you haven't yet taken our peri-menopause quiz, you totally should do it here.

The Origins of Anxiety and Emotional Eating with Roy Nelson

I had a really amazing conversation with author and addiction counselor, Roy Nelson. Roy came from humble and violent beginnings. He joined the military and married at a young age.  Though he went on to have success in business, he was plagued by phobias, panic attacks and disordered eating.

He sought out help from psychologists to no avail. He finally had a breakdown/ breakthrough that gave him the realization that the source of his pain and suffering was feeling a separation from spirit.

For the next many years he sought out teachers and resources that help him reconnect with spirit. He found that when this connection was intact, disordered behaviors fell away.  Eventually people started coming to Roy and asking for help. He has spent the last 30 years helping others to overcome their own addictions.

"Disordered thinking leads to disordered living which leads to disordered eating." Roy Nelson

Even if you don't suffer from disordered eating or addictions, I think you will enjoy this interview. 

"This episode is really about the deep underlying thing that causes pain and fear in our lives." Bridgit Danner

Roy shares some things you can start to do right away to quiet your own anxieties.

Find out more about Roy's program for addiction here.

Find his book, Love Notes from Hell, here.

To get a new interview delivered to your phone weekly, subscribe to our podcast at iTunes or through most podcast players.

If you have not yet joined our community, we sure to grab our hidden Hormone stressors quiz here, and come on board!

You are welcome to leave your comments below or to share this blog on social media!

Testing and Supporting Your Neurotransmitters with Cammi Balleck

I think you're going to like this episode!  Cammi Balleck really brings it with great information on women's health, focused on brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) and their relationship to our hormones.  

When our hormones ratios are off, our neurotransmitters will likely get affected. Cammi has worked exclusively with female health and hormones for 13 years, and has developed a testing strategy and treatment strategy that get her clients great results from anxiety, pain, food cravings and more.

Learn more at CammiBalleck.com.  You can download detailed notes and links below. Thanks! Bridgit

Listen to Episode

 

Download Notes

 

Feel free to share your comments below.  And if you are not yet subscribed to Women's Wellness Radio, you can do so at iTunes or most podcast players.

Overcoming Anxiety Without Medication with Dr. Kim D'Eramo

I really enjoyed interviewing Dr. Kim D'Eramo.  For one thing, she is incredibly lively and fun.  For another, it's exciting to think that we have way more ability than we realize to heal ourselves.

She had a career as an emergency room physician, but meanwhile, since her teenage years and her own experience with anxiety, she was learning about how to harness the power of her own thoughts.  Over time, her friends would send their friends with anxiety to Kim to learn about this mind-body stuff that she does.  

She practices, among other things, emotional freedom technique, also known as tapping.

She no longer works in the ER, but has dedicated herself to mind-body medicine, and established the American Institute of Mind-Body Medicine, where she teaches both physicians and individuals how to heal with these simple tools of which we all have access.

So many of my female clients over the years have complained of anxiety.  Some men too, but more often women.  So I looked it up, and here is what the Anxiety and Depression Association of America had to say about it:

From the time a girl reaches puberty until about the age of 50, she is twice as likely to have an anxiety disorder as a man. Anxiety disorders also occur earlier in women than in men.
Women are also more likely to have multiple psychiatric disorders during their lifetime than men. The most common to co-occur with anxiety is depression.
Differences in brain chemistry may account for at least part of these differences. The brain system involved in the fight-or-flight response is activated more readily in women and stays activated longer than men, partly as a result of the action of estrogen and progesterone.
The neurotransmitter serotonin may also play a role in responsiveness to stress and anxiety. Some evidence suggests that the female brain does not process serotonin as quickly as the male brain. Recent research has found that women are more sensitive to low levels of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a hormone that organizes stress responses in mammals, making them twice as vulnerable as men to stress-related disorders.

Dr. Kim is offering a series of free videos right now where you can get techniques to use right away to deal with anxiety.  Click on the images below to access these videos.  What do you have to lose?!

 

 

If you have had successful with wrangling anxiety, please share your wisdom below!

Nourishing Broth: A Get Started Guide with Dr. Kaayla Daniel

Bone broth, or meat stock, is an ancient food that is regaining popularity today.  If you are curious about broth - how to make it and what the value is - then tune in to today’s guest, Dr. Kaayla Daniel.