6 Dietary Practices to Elevate Mood | with Free + Native

 

It's a true honor to be featured for the second time on the journal of a woman I admire so greatly, Lacy Phillips of Free + Native. Based in L.A., Lacy is my manifestation advisor, serving as the go-to consult for anyone looking for guidance within the realm of attainment. Having developed her own genius method around manifestation, Lacy has become the leading force in the industry of intuitive guidance + coaching. She is wise, sweet, and generous beyond measure, and a total queen when it comes to holistic living. Today, I am honored to share with Lacy, her F+N community, and all of you the science behind eating for elevated moods and more balanced emotional health.


So much of what we experience on an emotional, cognitive, and mental level is a result of what we are putting into our bodies. Yet, we often look elsewhere when it comes to bolstering + elevating our emotional states: we up our self-care regime, meditate more frequently, or consult a healer (or manifestation coach ;). All of these practices are beautiful, beneficial, and healing, but I think an important piece of mental health that so many people overlook is the diet. What we eat is intimately connected to how we feel, and much of what we perceive to be emotional imbalances actually originate and develop because of what we may (or may not) be feeding ourselves.


To read the remainder of this article, head over to the Free + Native journal

 

Solar-Powered Health | The Truth About Vitamin D + Sunshine

 
bella hadid for porter magazine, summer 2017 by terry richardson

bella hadid for porter magazine, summer 2017 by terry richardson

This summer season, I'm declaring an end to the 'War on Sunshine'. It's becoming truly ridiculous. There are some wild misconceptions in regards to the Sun and our health, many of which are perpetuated by Western medicine and mainstream media. In an attempt to clarify much of the confusion and misinformation surrounding this topic, I've composed this thoroughly-researched piece, and hope it will lessen the collective fear of the Sun. We are, after all, beings who live by the Sun, relying on it entirely for life in so many different ways. 


According to recent government estimates, the average American spends 90% of their life indoors. YIKES, on so many levels. Is it any wonder that we are experiencing the highest rates ever of heart disease, cancer, and mental illness? 

The Sun is our greatest, most-reliable, and most bio-available source of vitamin D - a vitamin that is needed at virtually every level for optimal health. It is the only vitamin not produced in a mother's breast milk, and is nearly impossible to get through our diet alone, as very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. Instead, vitamin D is produced within the body once the skin is exposed to sunlight. Of course, most Americans are dangerously deficient in D, as evidenced by the statistic above. There is a pervasive fear within our culture of the Sun, for fear of skin cancer. And I get it, to an extent. But even so, we must realize that the body was designed to recharge and restrengthen in the Sun, by way of vitamin D synthesis. 

Every single tissue within the human body contains vitamin D receptors - including the brain, heart, muscles, and immune system - making it absolutely essential for brain and body health. When the body is fueled adequately in this way, we experience:

  • Strengthened bones and teeth, as vitamin D must be present in order for calcium and phosphorus (essential minerals for developing and maintaining bone strength) to be absorbed and utilized within the body.
  • Reduced levels of inflammation, subsequently lowering our risk for a host of inflammation-related diseases (including heart disease, arthritis, depression, digestive complications, and cancer).
  • Improved respiratory health and function.
  • Dramatic strengthening of the immune system.
  • Regulated blood pressure and improved cardiovascular function.
  • Significant decreases in blood cholesterol levels.
  • Heightened cognitive function and elevated mood.
  • Reduction in our risk of cancer.
  • Improved muscle function, and decreased risk of multiple sclerosis.

Whew. All of this from some simple sunshine. And without adequate Sun (and as a result, inadequate levels of vitamin D), we put ourselves at greater risk for asthma, type-II diabetes, cancer, acne, high blood pressure, depression, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and type-I diabetes, among other disorders and dis-eases.

In response to this, many are supplementing with vitamin D in pill-form, as well as in the form of vitamin D "enriched" processed foods. Unfortunately, synthetic vitamin D is not bioavailable within our bodies, making it highly unlikely that we are even able to use it. The Sun is truly the best and most effective way. Doctors and researchers in the field recommend 15-30 minutes of sun exposure each day. Sunscreens block 99 percent of the UVB rays our skin needs to produce D, so allow your arms and legs to go unprotected during this time. After the allotted time period, head into the shade or reach for a natural, mineral-based sunscreen

Sun exposure plays a particularly important role for those with heart disease and high cholesterol, disease that are deeply understood within our modern culture, yet are easily reservable through diet and lifestyle practices. In way of heart disease, recent research indicates that many cases of what appear to be cardiovascular disease are actually the result of the body’s attempt to compensate for a lack of cholesterol sulfate. Cholesterol sulfate is produced in your skin when it is exposed to sunlight, and is absolutely critical for brain and heart health. When you are deficient in cholesterol sulfate due to lack of sun exposure, your body is forced to employ a different method to produce it. 

Your body is able to produce the cholesterol sulfate it needs by taking LDL (bad) cholesterol and turning it into plaque. Within the plaque, blood platelets separate out the beneficial HDL cholesterol, and through a process involving homocysteine as a source of sulfate, the platelets go on to produce the cholesterol sulfate your heart and brain needs. However, this production and accumulation of plaque also causes the unfortunate side effect of increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease.

How do you avoid this? By getting adequate sunlight. Through sun exposure, your skin will naturally produce cholesterol sulfate, which will then flow freely thru your blood - not packaged up inside LDL cholesterol. This process allows your liver to decrease its production of LDL, therefore decreasing the amount of LDL cholesterol in your blood and body. In fact, there is an inverse relationship between sun exposure and cardiovascular disease - the more sunlight, the less cardiovascular disease.


Do I advocate throwing away your sun protection and allowing yourself to irresponsibly bake on the beach? No. But I am encouraging you to embrace our native roots, which are that of a solar-powered being. This summer, begin to reframe how you view the Sun, and use it as it was intended by nature: a tool to allow us the experience of more thriving physical and emotional health. 

bella hadid for porter magazine, summer 2017 by terry richardson

bella hadid for porter magazine, summer 2017 by terry richardson

 

5 Foods to Elevate Your Spiritual Practice | with Free + Native

 
photo by  coco prop shop

It's a true honor today to be featured on the journal of a woman I admire so greatly, Lacy Phillips of Free + Native. Based in L.A., Lacy is my manifestation advisor, serving as the go-to consult for anyone looking for guidance in this realm. Having developed her own genius method around manifestation, Lacy has become the leading force in the industry of intuitive guidance + coaching. She is wise, sweet, and generous beyond measure, and a total queen when it comes to holistic living. Today, I am honored to share with Lacy, her F+N community, and all of you the science behind eating for an elevated spiritual + intuition practice. 


What we eat is so intimately connected to how we feel - on every level and in every realm. Though modern medicine denotes otherwise, what we put into our bodies affects far more than just our physical health + appearance. Because the gut is constantly in contact with our nervous + endocrine systems, what ends up in our digestive system fuels not just the body, but also the mind (and beyond). Each time we sit down (or more realistically, stand/walk/drive/work) and eat something, we are contributing to how we will feel in the coming minutes, hours, and days on yes, a physical level, but also just as directly + powerfully in our emotional, cognitive, hormonal, and spiritual realms. 

Chances are, if you’re reading this beautifully modern yet cosmic + esoteric Journal, you have a firm grasp on the whole mind-body connection as it relates to diet. Yet so many of us fall short in our understanding and implementation of this connection as it relates to our spirituality. Because spirituality is viewed as intangible, conceptual, and beyond the physical realm, it can appear to “function” independently of the body + mind. And while I agree with that to a degree, we have to understand that our souls are currently housed in these physical forms and how we feel in our mind + body when we sit down to meditate, practice yoga, pray, breathe, and/or manifest will affect our ability to tap into our Higher Selves and connect with our spiritual practice. 


To read the rest of this article, head over to the dreamy Free + Native Journal! xx

 

Chocolate-Covered CBD Energy Bites

INTRODUCING A NEW KIND OF EDIBLE

Sharing a groovy new recipe today that *just happens* to coincide with April 20th. I actually choose not to partake, but am a really big advocate for medicinal herbs, in whatever form they may come. I rely heavily on my growing home apothecary of herbs + plant medicinals, and these days rarely prepare a meal or snack without them. CBD piqued my interest a few months ago, and it's potent medicinal benefits have landed this cannabis-derived supplement a spot in my daily regime. I have witnessed firsthand the extraordinary medicinal benefits of cannabis via the use of family members + clients struggling to cope with and cure debilitating diseases (chronic pain, ALS, paralysis, and mental health issues), so was more than open to give CBD a try within my own body. 

WHAT IT IS

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis. In belongs to a class of ingredients called cannabinoids, to which THC also belongs. However unlike THC, CBD produces no mind-altering effects and is highly medicinal. It's the major non-psychoactive compound of the plant, and is responsible for the majority of positive health benefits marijuana smokers experience. In it's isolated state, CBD is an incredibly effective (and virtually side effect free) natural treatment for an ever-growing list of mental and physical health concerns. 

THE BENEFITS

It sort of feels like the benefits of CBD are never-ending. To date, researchers are found CBD to be an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticonvulsant ,antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent. It's proven to be a remarkable treatment for those suffering from: chronic pain (whatever the cause), chronic inflammation, mental health imbalances, anxiety + panic disorder, cancer, nausea, epilepsy, migraines, neurological disorders, ALS, diabetes, and heart disease. There's a plethora of medical + scientific research documenting these claims, much of which is linked accordingly in this article. 

Personally, I use CBD as an anxiety treatment. If you've been reading the Journal for a bit, you've heard me mention my struggles with anxiety, panic, and general mental health ups-and-downs. Though I am well on the road to recovery and generally feel better-than-ever, I continue to have my great days, my okay days, and my not-so-okay days. Coincidentally, I'm currently experiencing a bout of the latter. Our health ebbs and flows, and for this reason it's very important to me to have an ever-expanding arsenal of tools to naturally help ease discomfort and restore balance. Whether I am feeling stressed + ungrounded at the end of a long day, or dealing with something a bit deeper, CBD has become a go-to for reeling in the wild thoughts + feelings and promoting a greater sense of relaxation + wellness.  

HOW TO USE

CBD is most typically found in oil form - though there's some really rad topical products available here that I also love and use. For daily use, I usually opt for a dose of the oil under my tongue, or blend it into a smoothie or tonic. However, it's especially fun to mix the oil in when making sweet treats for an ultra-medicinal take on "edibles".


IMG_5301.JPG

CHOCOLATE-COVERED CBD ENERGY BITES

Grab-and-go snacking is my jam, and there's nothing better than a fresh batch of energy bites to fuel a busy day. This particular mix tastes like cookie dough, and is completely refined sugar- and gluten-free, as well as vegan and paleo. I spiked the recipe with a few doses of CBD oil for a feel-good boost, but this can be left out if you prefer. A bit of mucuna puriens was added as well because it's a potent mood-booster and bio-avaiable + natural source of neurotransmitter L-dopa. Also *technically* optional is the raw chocolate coating, but it takes like 1 minute to whip up and don't be insane - the chocolate is necessary. 

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tbsp almond meal 
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 5 pitted medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp mucuna puriens (optional)
  • 3 droppers (about 2100 mg) of CBD oil tincture 

TO MAKE: Combine all ingredients into your food processor or high-speed blender. Blend and combine until mixture forms a "dough". Using your hands, roll segments of the dough into small balls, and place on a flat surface. Allow the energy bites to chill covered in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Optional (but so worth it): whip up a quick batch of raw chocolate sauce and drizzle over to your energy bites. You may need to do a few coats to form a thick chocolate shell. Again, cover and chill for a few hours.

Will last up to 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. Recipe makes 10 energy bites.


I love seeing what you create and getting your feedback on recipes! Leave any comments below, and be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag photos you post of my recipes with #SOLFULhealth so I can see!