Are You in a Relationship with a Narcissist?

This is the first “listener request” episode! Many listeners asked for an episode on the topic of dealing with narcissists, and this one is powerful! Download and listen here or get wherever you get podcasts.

Sandra Beck is an author, coach, speaker, radio, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and also an expert on narcissism. She has done countless trainings and written much on the subject.

Continue reading “Are You in a Relationship with a Narcissist?”

Why Are Our Kids So Anxious And How Can We Help?

I have been so ready for this latest episode of the podcast to air! If you are a parent, caregiver, teacher, or if you have any proximity to kids at all – download this episode ASAP!

Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge is a mental health trailblazer who Forbes has called “The leader in children’s mental health.” She has helped thousands reverse the most challenging conditions, such as ADHD, anxiety, mood, autism, learning disability, Lyme, and PANS/PANDAS using proven holistic therapies.

In this episode, we discuss the anxiety epidemic affecting our children, why it has been happening, and what we can do about it.

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Stress Awareness Month: Products I’m Loving to Support STRESS Management

April is Stress Awareness Month, and wow, what a year for stress, right? After devoting several presentations and podcast episodes to the importance of stress management, I’ve learned that the topic never gets old…because as much as we can manage it, stress never goes away.

Your body experiences stress on a physiological level. Every thought you think is a chemical messenger to your body, so when you are in “fight or flight” mode in your brain, the rest of your body listens and acts accordingly. Digestion may shut down, reproductive function can be altered, your blood sugar response may be affected, and your blood pressure will send signals as well.

Learning to manage stress matters, and it’s not something we are taught growing up. In fact, we often get the opposite messaging. Culture tells us to push through, work harder, and there aren’t enough hours. We’re led to believe that poor sleep, afternoon fatigue, and relying on caffeine for energy is normal. It may be common, but it should never be normal.

I say this all the time, but if we don’t learn to manage stress, our stress WILL manage us. It will show up in our bodies and cause all kinds of health problems. Stress creates inflammation, and inflammation creates chronic disease.

This is why I’ve created a list of my favorite stress-supporting products. If we can decrease our response to stress, we can decrease the effect stress has on our bodies.

To be clear, I often get to to try out lots of cool new products, whether it’s for social media promotion or podcast sponsors or podcast guests’ companies or suggestions. I’ve sorted through what I’ve been trying lately, and what follows are my favorites. Do you have to try them all, like me? Of course not! There is no one size fits all to health, and our bodies will all respond to products differently. I believe many supplements should be rotated seasonally, and sometimes it will even depend on the time of month – or even what phase of your menstrual cycle you’re in.

Continue reading “Stress Awareness Month: Products I’m Loving to Support STRESS Management”

How to Find Out What Foods Are Harming Your Health

Dr. Brent Dorval is the creator of the Food Inflammation Test. He was involved in the creation of the first HIV/AIDS rapid diagnostic assay and held a number of management positions and served as an adviser to the World Health Organization committee on vaccines and diagnostics. He has several patents covering rapid assays, novel biomarkers and a novel polio virus vaccine.

In this episode we discuss the patented food inflammation test that has helped many people get to the root of their health concerns, including IBS, brain fog, headaches, skin issues, and mental health function.

Key Topics:

  • The difference between an allergy and an delayed food sensitivity
  • How an inflammatory response from food shows on a blood test
  • Why there is an increase in food sensitivities
  • How food sensitivities impact brain health and how leaky gut = leaky brain
  • Why KBMO FIT test is different than any other sensitivity test
  • The independent clinical studies showing the effectiveness of using the FIT test

To watch the entire interview and view the PowerPoint presentation, click here.

To learn more about the FIT test or set up a provider account, head to kbmodiagnostics.com

To get the FIT test for yourself and a customized plan, contact me!

Don’t forget to get $15 off your first visit with a board-certified dermatologist at apostrophe.com/sparkingwholeness and use the code sparkingwholeness.

How to Break Free from Yo-Yo Dieting and Live Your Life in the Body You Have Today

What does it mean to make peace with food and your body? Why doesn’t restriction work? What does it even mean to give yourself “unconditional permission to eat?”

Holly Toronto has 4 years of experience helping highly driven women stop dieting and build resilience to toxic beauty messages. She uses an intuitive and spiritual approach that guides her clients towards self trust, confidence and Sovereignty over their entire being; body, mind and soul.

In this episode, we discuss how to break free from the back and forth cycle of dieting for GOOD, how to live your life in the body you have without judging or objectifying it.

Download here or listen wherever you get podcasts!

Continue reading “How to Break Free from Yo-Yo Dieting and Live Your Life in the Body You Have Today”

Five Triggers for Anxiety (That Your Doctor Might Not Tell You About)

What’s Behind Your Anxiety?

If you struggle with anxiety or depression, you know it affects your entire life. It affects how you move (or don’t move), your concentration, your ability to sleep, your interactions with others, even your bathroom habits. Because anxiety is on the rise, and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, I want to share some little-known triggers for anxiety that you may not be hearing about from anyone else!

Like everything I share, remember that your body’s response to food or internal/external stressors is individual to YOU. What is a trigger for one person might not be a trigger for you. Being aware of how your unique body responds to this world is only something you can determine.

Five triggers for your anxiety that your doctor might not tell you about: 

  1. Artificial sweeteners and dyes – not only do they disrupt nervous system function, but sucralose decreases beneficial gut bacteria and aspartame increases anxiety and depression (just another reason to lay off the Diet Coke). Sweeteners can also negatively impact blood sugar – which can increase panic attacks! Food dyes may trigger “mind-storms,” which are issues with the brain’s wiring or electrical activity. No bueno!
  2. Too much screen time – blue light from screens can suppress the hormone melatonin which is needed for restful sleep. Screens can also disrupt the calming neurotransmitter Gaba, along with serotonin – the happy one.
  3. Magnesium deficiency – magnesium calms your nervous system and prevents the creation of excess cortisol, the stress hormone. Some call it “nature’s Xanax.” It’s needed for just about every process in the body. It’s found in nuts, seeds, legumes, and leafy greens, but it’s also an inexpensive supplement! Two of my favorite formulations are the Plexus one, here, or Nutritional Frontiers, here.
  4. Excess caffeine – a little is fine, but too much can stimulate the fight or flight response and trigger racing thoughts, or even panic attacks. Some people metabolize it slower than others, so keep that in mind when you have your afternoon coffee or tea break – your mind might be racing at 1 am!
  5. Stored trauma that hasn’t been addressed – trauma can keep our bodies in that constant fight or flight state, which can lead to poor sleep, inability to concentrate, and panic attacks. Fortunately, there are a wide range of trauma therapies, and many mind-body strategies available to help your body unlock trauma and heal! EMDR and EFT (tapping) are two of the most popular. The wellness center I work with has some amazing trauma therapists and resources here.

Honorable mention:
Blood sugar issues: when we’re riding that blood sugar roller coaster it can cause all sorts of poor mental health symptoms. Limit sugar consumption to limit the swing. Consume plenty of fiber-rich vegetables, brain-boosting fats and quality protein with each meal. Many times we fail to fill up on necessary nutrients so we stay hungry, reaching for quick fix glucose fuel and perpetuating the cycle of brain fog and hunger.

Poor digestion: If you can’t digest protein, you can’t make the neurotransmitters needed for mental health. Period. You know that old saying, “you are what you eat?” It’s not true. It should be, “You are what you are able to digest.” When we can’t create serotonin from our food nutrients, we can’t access melatonin either, which affects mood AND sleep. Taking digestive enzymes and working on gut health can help, something I love helping people with!

The next round of Feast 2 Fast, an online coaching group that pairs science-based nutrition principles with timeless spiritual truth to reset your mind, body, and soul starts May 3. Join the wait list here.

How to Get Organized and Get Rid of Clutter

Spring cleaning doesn’t just help with the physical clutter, there are mental health benefits as well. In this episode of the podcast, professional organizer Dana Hentschel of Arranging Joy shares her passion for organizing and how we can create spaces in our homes that reduce clutter and bring us joy!

Download here or find and listen wherever you get podcasts!

Key Topics:

  • Creating a warm environment for the home
  • Understanding the emotional attachment to our things
  • Creating systems that work – How to de-clutter in an ongoing way
  • How to stay organized with minimal steps
  • Dana’s 3 L system
  • How to find the time to make it work
  • Finding organizational systems that kids will follow through with

Learn more about Dana at her website here, or follow her Instagram for ongoing tips at @arrangingjoy.

*Get a FREE $75 credit to upgrade your job post on Indeed at indeed.com/spark.

A Glimpse into the Mental Illness Memory Vault

“Sometimes I feel like being me takes up too much energy.” – me, 20 years ago.

In 2001, I started documenting my journey with what we then called “manic depressive illness,” after being unable to return to college with my friends due to my instability and frequent med changes. I forgot about the following journal pages, but they are so telling. I struggled with intense lows, wanting to leave this earth and end my pain, then I would experience shooting and soaring highs where I wanted to conquer every goal in a day.

Here are some of the entries:

8/27/01: “All I want to do is cry. I haven’t told my friends that I’m not coming back this quarter… What kind of trick are you playing on me, God? What lesson am I going to learn from this?

9/5/01: “Sometimes I really do wonder if I should just end it all. I really do. Even when I’m stable, taking my 600 mg of Lithium, 100 mg of Topomax, and 25 mg and counting down of Zoloft (I’m hopeful that one day soon I’ll end this vicious charade with Zoloft).

What good am I doing here? What help am I to myself? Honestly? Why must I keep keeping on? Isn’t it ironic that the most inspiring thing I heard the other day came from the stupidest move, Joe Dirt. The main character, who lives a life of utter hopelessness, keeps quoting, ‘Life is a garden – dig it!’ I thought, that’s pretty inspiring. Unfortunately, I feel like any garden I’d be digging would only end up looking like weeds.

Continue reading “A Glimpse into the Mental Illness Memory Vault”

Changing the Conversation on Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a tricky subject. While on one hand, there seems to be a greater awareness of what it is and how to find support, it still carries a bit of a stigma and there are many misconceptions. For that reason, I don’t approach the topic lightly. Like all mental health issues, there is no one size fits all cause OR solution.

Walker Ladd, Ph.D. has been a thought leader in the field of maternal mental health for nearly two decades. Her writing and research challenge paradigms of motherhood and mental illness, using women’s stories to reveal the hidden truths and extraordinary dimensions of the lived experience of motherhood.

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How Stress Makes You Close-Minded

Brain health truth bomb: When I am living under chronic stress, in “fight or flight,” I am physiologically incapable of accepting other perspectives and showing empathy. My brain can’t make sense of new information, especially information that is contrary to what I believe is necessary for my survival.

This is becoming more and more apparent to me, this year especially. I typically love welcoming other perspectives and opinions, which is the reason I will interview anyone and everyone on my podcast, no matter what side they are on for any issue.

So when I’m feeling triggered by something someone says, it’s a sign to me that I am not carefully self-regulating or taking care of myself the way I need to.  I have to do a self check-in.

Continue reading “How Stress Makes You Close-Minded”