Nourishing Brain Bowls – the Non-Recipe You Need to Make Life Easier

It is hard to keep whole food nutrition in mind during stressful times. Often it seems easier to rely on takeout and pizza delivery than cooking, but I want to share my favorite method for stress-free cooking – Brain Bowls!

I could call it the “throw it in a bowl” method of cooking, but it doesn’t have quite the ring to it. I love a good acronym, so I’ve broken down the word BRAIN to help you build your own easy, nutrient-dense, brain-fueling bowl.

Easy Brain Bowls

B – base of greens or grains. I like quinoa, rice, or chickpea pasta. When I don’t want the heavier carb load, I use kale or arugula. Spinach is a great option for those who can tolerate it as well!

R – rainbow of veggies. Sauté, roast, air fry… throw on some avocado oil, your favorite seasonings, and cook them to your preferred texture. It can be a mix of raw or cooked veggies. I always aim for a minimum of three different colors or types. Frequent flyers are bell peppers, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, white potatoes and sweet potatoes.

A – add your protein. Quality is important here to maximize nutrients. I love grass-fed ground beef, organic, pasture-raised chicken or eggs, or wild caught salmon or other fish.

I – include your favorite sauces, dressing, or spices. Stay away from any sauce/dressing that is made with vegetable, canola, or soybean oil. Those oxidize under high heat temps (like your digestive system), which sends free radical damage through your body – something your brain doesn’t need. I love Primal, Siete, Tessemae’s, and New Primal brands.

N – nuts or seeds for some crunch! I love throwing on pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, slivered almonds, chia seeds, etc. Get creative!

The best part of this recipe is that you don’t need to be a chef or even follow a recipe. The more comfortable you are with throwing things together, the more you’ll sustain it – and the more you’ll get more creative as you go!

Want more food support? Registration is open for Feast 2 Fast Back-to-School Reboot, starting August 16. Feast 2 Fast is my four-week online coaching program that enables you to tune in to the needs of your body and learn to incorporate a wide variety of foods into your diet to optimize your metabolic health. No counting, tracking, or starving. Click here to learn more information and sign up.

How to Train Your Brain to Beat Depression, Anxiety, and Toxic Thoughts

The inner dialogue you engage matters for the health of your whole body. We have so much science to support that what you think affects the health of your entire body. Dr. Caroline Leaf is a pioneer in neuroscience research and she is changing the way we think about brain health.

In this episode, we explore her recent research and dig into neuroplasticity and why you aren’t stuck with the brain you have. Download here or download wherever you get podcasts.

Continue reading “How to Train Your Brain to Beat Depression, Anxiety, and Toxic Thoughts”

Tips for Kids’ Back-to-School Anxiety

It’s back to school time – which means a time of heightened anxiety for some kids.

There are so many supportive tools to help with a “brain that is always awake” (to quote one of my children, when explaining his overactive, sensitive mind).

Because our calming neurotransmitters are formed in the gut, optimizing nutrition makes a huge impact on brain health, so it’s a bottom-up approach as well as top-down. Remember – if your child isn’t getting or digesting protein well, he or she may not be making the neurotransmitters they need for calming/stress relief. So sometimes a little support can help, but nutrition is key!

There are so many safe, evidence-based tools to help our children thrive during times of anxiety.

Continue reading “Tips for Kids’ Back-to-School Anxiety”

A Functional Medicine Approach to Making Changes that Stick, Without Dieting

Are the lights on your dashboard going off? Meaning, is your body giving you warning signals that you continue to suppress? This podcast episode is for you!

Jennifer Pickett is a Dietitian turned Functional Wellness Coach. She helps spiraling moms overcome the overwhelm through Functional Wellness coaching for the body, mind and soul so they can transform their health and live a deeply fulfilled life of freedom and harmony. She believes that to make the shift from “knowing” to “doing” you must apply mindfulness, address what is driving the behavior, be intentional and practice self compassion.

Download here or find and listen wherever you get podcasts!

Continue reading “A Functional Medicine Approach to Making Changes that Stick, Without Dieting”

Parents, It’s Gonna be OK: Safe, Evidence-Based Tools for Kids’ Mental Health

Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge is a mental health trailblazer, founder of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann & Associates, who FORBES magazine called, “A thought leader in children’s mental health.”

Her new book, “It’s Gonna Be Ok: Proven Ways to Improve Your Child’s Mental Health” is available now.

In this episode we discuss her book and why her information and methods have been helpful and life-changing for so many parents and children. Download here or find wherever you get podcasts!

Key Topics:

  • Symptom reversal and reduction in kids
  • Pros and cons of labels
  • The latest research on meds and kids
  • How to change the dialogue on kids’ mental health
  • Eight pillars of mental health
  • How to regulate your child’s nervous system
  • The foods that power up kids’ brains
  • How low fat foods increase depression
  • How 100% of people on ADHD meds have side effects
  • How to improve sleep habits

For more information, follow Dr. Roseann on social media @drroseann or at her website drroseann.com.

Proven quality sleep is life-changing sleep. Special offers at sleepnumber.com/wholeness

How to Regulate Your Endocannabinoid System with CBD

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a recent scientific discovery that has many researchers digging in on new ways to find homeostasis in the body and restore balance. This episode covers all the way CBD can benefit the body and the current research on the topic.

Sean Gale is known as The CBD Pharmacist. He is an American board-certified pharmacist, author, speaker, and online course creator. Sean began studying CBD over 2 years ago when he started selling it in his pharmacy. By using a combination of his pharmaceutical training and 26 years of real-life experience in retail pharmacy, Sean has formulated a unique perspective on CBD that cannot be found anywhere else.

Download and listen to this episode here or find wherever you get podcasts!

Continue reading “How to Regulate Your Endocannabinoid System with CBD”

How to Make Childbirth Less Painful and Have the Best Birth You Can Have

Medical grade, somnambulistic hypnosis is a way to make childbirth less painful, more comfortable, shorter, and empowers women to have the kind of birth they want to have.

This interview with Kerry Tuschhoff, Founder of Hypnobabies and renowned speaker and writer covers how Hypnobabies is on a mission to make childbirth less traumatic.

Hypnobabies allows moms to have a less painful, more joyful experience by learning techniques through its natural childbirth education course.

Download and listen to the episode here or find wherever you get podcasts!

Key Topics:

  • Kerry’s background in childbirth education and how her own traumatic childbirth inspired this program
  • What medical grade somnambulistic hypnosis is and how it is used as an alternative for anesthesia
  • When expecting mothers can best utilize this program
  • How Hypnobabies is different from meditation or relaxation
  • The prevalence of birth trauma
  • Different types of benefits for all different moms
  • Religious misconceptions and hesitancies
  • How it helps people have more relaxed pregnancies and less painful birth
  • Hypnofertility program

For more information on Hypnobabies, or find a class in person or online, head to their website here.

Get $100 off your first month of online therapy with Talkspace when you use the code sparkingwholeness at Talkspace.com

For stronger, healthier hair, go to nutrafol.com and use the promo code spark to save $15 on your first month’s subscription.

Movement Matters

You have the freedom to move your body in a way that feels good for you!

If you want to lift weights, lift weights. If you want to run, run. If you want to dance, dance. If you want to practice yoga, practice yoga. If you want to hit snooze, or take a nap, you have freedom to do that too.

Your body loves movement. Our ancestors weren’t sitting in cubicles under artificial lighting all day. Movement is crucial for detoxification, heart health, stress management, sleep support, blood sugar regulation, and all that other stuff other people have already written articles about.

The problem is that because we have all the information and all the experts talking about it, most of us engage in exercise as a “have to,” and not as a “want to.” We let other people tell us what’s best for our bodies, or we use it as punishment for caving into a craving or to beat our bodies into submission to our idealized versions of ourselves.

We get on running kicks, weight lifting kicks, kickboxing kicks, Zumba kicks, or whatever seems to be the trending activity of the season. We go hard on one activity, make our exercise schedule, then don’t sustain it.

This month, we celebrated freedom. Yet I know so many people who live enslaved to other people’s instructions and expectations about what they need to do for their bodies.

I want you to realize that you have freedom to choose what is best for your unique body – in movement, nutrition, activities, routines, relationships, whatever it is you are doing!

You are the expert on your body. Nobody else knows your body like you do, and nobody else has walked the same road that you have walked with your body. Depending on where you are in your life, the movement you choose can change. It can change seasonally. And that is OKAY!

I used to think running was the ultimate exercise for me, and it was therapeutic for me during a season in my life. Now, I like to change it up, and I like to make sure I’m incorporating some kind of movement once a day, most days. Yoga has been a beautiful way for me to tune in with the needs of my body and slow things down. Instead of running away from my problems with cardio, I’m forced into stillness and awareness. I feel the same about walking. I’m tempted to pick up the pace and start jogging, but being intentional with walking, staying present, is a good way to keep my mind engaged and my inhales and exhales in a rhythm.

It isn’t about weight maintenance or about needing to “make up” for what I eat. Some of my favorite benefits of movement that have zero to do with how I look include and everything to with my brain include: endorphins, dopamine, tryptophan, serotonin, BDNF, autophagy, GABA, glutamate, and oxygenation of the prefrontal cortex.

Different life seasons call for different solutions. Movement is a wonderful way to find awareness and peace in the body you have, so find that thing that you love to do… and do it!

You’re Not Fat, You’re Inflamed: The Latest Science on Losing Weight

Fat cells are really amazing protective organs, and contrary to what you’ve been told – you can’t burn them. New research changes the way we approach weight loss and addressing inflammatory fat cells.

Dr. Tracey Stroup is a naturopathic doctor who has been in the health and wellness industry for over 25 years. She joins the show for a second time in order to break down common weight loss and exercise myths.

Download and listen here or find wherever you get podcasts!

Key Topics:

– Weight loss myths (including calorie counting and the phrase “burning fat”)

– What fat cells are and how they are protective

– Reasons for rapid weight gain and what to do to treat the root cause

– Nutrient deficiencies, medications, gut dysbiosis and the role they play in weight gain and loss

– How being 15 pounds overweight or more makes your body pro-inflammatory

– Stress and the impact on exercise

– How to work out without stressing your body out

– Optimizing detoxification and products that can aid in the detox process

Learn more about Nutritional Frontiers and their products here.

Thank you to our sponsor:

Get 20% off your first order of Ancient Nutrition products at ancientnutrition.com with the code sparking.

Reimagine what a book club could be. Redeem your 30 day trial for only 99 cents at Literati.com/spark

How to Boost Your Fertility Through a Natural and Holistic Approach

Sarah Clark is the author of “Fabulously Fertile – Supercharge your Fertility Naturally,” “Fabulously Fertile Cookbook” and creator of the Fertility Preparation Program.

In this episode, she shares how she uses a functional medicine coaching approach and natural fertility solutions in an effort to reverse infertility through natural, holistic methods!

Download here or listen wherever you get podcasts.

Key Topics:

– Dropping fertility rates

– What does it mean to be diagnosed with infertility?

– The connection between gut health and fertility

– Issues with the birth control pill

– Best foods for fertility

– Environmental toxins and endocrine disrupting chemicals

– The impact of stress on fertility

– Tips to de-stress and the importance of sleep and relational support

Learn more about Sarah at her website here. Listen to Sarah’s podcast Get Pregnant Naturally wherever you find podcasts.

Get your proven, quality sleep with a Sleep Number bed at sleepnumber.com/Wholeness

Get $100 off your first month of therapy with Talkspace at Talkspace.com with the code sparkingwholeness.