Lynn

I have been totally immersed in nutrition and wellness for a long time, however now I feel like I am truly honing in on what actually works, what’s innate to human health, and how to truly live your best life. And that starts, in part, with what we eat. The gut is the second brain – haven’t you heard?

Hippocrates said over 2,000 years ago that all disease begins in the gut. And it’s also clear that health begins in the gut.

Over 80% of the immune system resides in our gut and the gut produces 75% of our neurotransmitters! SO…we need to take care of our precious guts. {via}

Ok, now let’s get really specific on bacteria AKA gut flora in the gut. We are made up of over 100 trillion microorganisms, or bacteria, which reside in our gut. That’s 10 times more bacteria than all the human cells in the entire body. Having lots and diverse gut flora promotes healthy gastrointestinal function, keeps us protected from infection and illness, helps to regulate metabolism, and recent research has even shown that a healthy microbiome can reduce anxiety. {via}

A lot of people suffer from not so ideal gut flora due to stress, antibiotics, Overuse of NSAIDs, eating a poor diet, and chronic infection.

Ok, so how the eff do we take care of our gut flora? The answer can be complex, but some general tips include:

♡ Consume whole foods

♡ Reduce inflammation by eating turmeric and ginger and remove or reduce foods that are inflammatory from your diet

♡ Take a probiotic

♡ Eat gelatinous foods

…AND here’s where we get into gelatin and specifically, the GUMMIES. Which is why you’re here, right?

Eating gelatinous foods can help protect you from getting a leaky gut. More health benefits of gelatin:

♡ Gelatin contains 18 amino acids which help balance your diet

♡ Reduces wrinkles and cellulite – like HELLO, sign me up! {via}

♡ Supports digestion

♡ Helps to build strong muscles

♡ Enhances gastric acid secretion and aids in restoring a healthy mucosal lining

♡ Reduces joint pain {via}

If you would’ve asked me months ago if I would go out of my way to purchase gelatin or gelatinous foods, I would have said “fuck no”. But referencing the beginning of this blog post, I have realllly begun to dig deep into what is best for optimal health. And I need to put my neurotic disgust with certain foods aside. And yeah, I’m still working on that. I am having a lot of issues with dairy mentally…not physically. I can’t stomach the THOUGHT of it. Gelatin is similar but not quite as bad. I’m telling you this because you might be like me. Sensitive mentally to certain foods. But I am putting my own neuroticism to the side to benefit what’s best for me. Kind of similar to what I did when I stopped being vegan.

ANYWAY.

After looking into the best ways to get gelatin, I came across gummies. Like gummy bears but healthier. The deets on the ingredients:

THE GELATIN

I did what I do best and I researched the hell out of what kind of gelatin to get and I decided on Perfect Supplements Unflavored Gelatin to make the gummies I’m about to share with you. So many gelatin brands add fillers and cut corners but Perfect Supplements does not. It’s important to purchase the right type of gelatin with abundant nutrients and amino acids. It’s rich in amino acids, minerals and is 98% protein. Gelatin is sister to collagen which is the only thing I use to up the protein in bars, shakes and smoothies. They’re nearly identical in amino acid profile, the only difference is gelatin “gels” and collagen does not.

Perfect Supplements Gelatin is exclusively sourced from pastured cows, is non-GMO and is free from hormones and pesticides.  

TART CHERRY JUICE

I knew I wanted to make gummies that were kind of sour, like sour gummy worms but without all the refined sugar. Tart cherry juice is perfectly tart and it is also rich in phytochemicals such as melatonin, the natural sleep hormone. So eating these in the evening may help you sleep in addition to healing your gut. Make sure you buy a tart cherry juice with no additives. I got mine at Whole Foods and it’s the 365 brand with zero additives or preservatives, including sugar.

HONEY TO SWEETEN

I love using a local honey to help with allergies and also to support local businesses. Honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness to your gummies.

THE RECIPE:

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan, pour half of the juice and sprinkle gelatin over the juice to “bloom.” Whisk to combine and set aside. It will become very thick – that’s a sign that the gelatin is blooming. 
  • Set the saucepan on medium heat, add the remaining juice. Bring to a gentle simmer, while consistently stirring to make sure all gelatin is dissolved. Set aside for a few minutes to cool. FYI this will smell like a barnyard. Not going to sugarcoat it. It’s pretty nasty…a huge turnoff. And at this point I thought, I will not be able to eat these gummies if this is how they taste or smell.
  • When gelatin and juice is slightly warm to the touch, add honey and stir well. You want to make sure not to denature the honey, so letting it cool is important before adding it in.
  • Pour in silicone candy molds – I bought these cute heart molds on Amazon and they work great. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes, then transfer to refrigerator for 2 hours to set.
  • Invert the silicone molds to remove the gummies. Store in air-tight container for up to 2 weeks. Best be kept in refrigerator.

I’m pleased to tell you that the nasty barnyard smell goes away once the gummies are cooled and set, but if they do warm up, like if you leave them out for a bit, the flavor will creep back in so I like to eat mine cold. And they taste like delish tart cherry gummies!

Eating gelatinous foods like these gummies with muscle meats (think steak, chicken thighs, bacon, etc etc) is so important because it balances out the amino acids we eat when we eat meat.

Peace, love, and GELATIN!

xx, Lynn

A couple of months ago I had Brittany Ford on the All Gussied Up podcast and she really rocked my world when she brought it to my attention that everyone should be getting in organic movement daily.

As in, your 30 minute dedicated workout is not enough. When she told me this, I was like…FUUUUUUUUCK. For most of my adult life, I’d gotten my workout in in the early morning for a good 45 minutes and then called it a day. HOWEVER. Recent research has shown that that is simply not enough. And living a mostly sedentary day is as bad for your health as smoking a pack of cigs. SAY WHAT?!

There’s no end to the studies that link the power of regular physical exercise—regular meaning throughout the day—to maintaining health, weight and a general sense of well-being. Conversely, more time spent sitting increases the risk for developing dozens of chronic conditions, from cancer and diabetes to cardiovascular disease, circulation problems, obesity and greater total mortality. {via}

Research Pandey has been involved with at University of Texas suggests people should exercise for closer to two hours per day—or break it up throughout the day—to decrease risk of heart failure. The U.S. minimum recommended levels of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week triggered only mild physical reactions in participants’ bodies. People who did two to four times more exercise lowered their risk of heart failure by 20 percent and 35 percent, respectively, the researchers found. {via}

So, let’s fix this, k? If you’re like me, you probably want to add in more movement throughout your day. Here are my favorite ways to add in movement on top of your ‘regular’ workouts:

♡ Yoga: There are so many kinds of yoga that are easy to incorporate into your daily life. Whether its restorative, HOT, yin, etc. – there is a kind of yoga practice for you. I love restorative and yin yoga because they both preserve joint mobility and center the mind. I now practice either form of yoga at least once per day. All you’ll need is a mat and a tiny bit of space.

♡ Fascial release: Using a foam roller for myofascial release can reduce muscle tension, which can help lengthen a muscle. Fascia is a webby tissue that starts in your skin and wraps around and layers deep into the body, organizing all parts and systems and building your body’s shape and form. But most importantly, fascia is an entire body system unto itself—which is why a daily ritual can be so nourishing. I like to roll once a day using this roller.

♡ Dance: Dancing is SUCH a powerful way to tap in to your physical and emotional well-being. It can be so therapeutic. I have always felt like such an awkward dancer but when there is no pressure put on you in a social situation, dance is so powerful. I personally love free-form dance and how it brings us to our fullest expression.

♡ Hourly jumping jacks: I saw an Instagram challenge recently where you do 10 jumping jacks every hour during every waking hour of the day and I have adopted this method of ongoing movement throughout the day. If you have a trampoline, you could do this instead. It’s really mood-boosting, too.

Off to do some twerking!

xx,

Lynn

This post is so timely, IMO. And it’s a journey I am personally on and I want to take you along for the ride. The world is so loud and that can get very overwhelming. I can tell you from experience that you can find peace when you stay true to yourself. This is a practice I have been working on for many months and I feel like a new person. I look back at myself in March and ask, “who was she?!”

So, let’s chat about how you can practice staying true to yourself in very easy steps. 

Hold up. First…what the eff does it mean to stay true to yourself?

Staying true to yourself means honoring what your needs are, surrounding yourself with people that support you, not defining yourself by what outside influences think or say, and doing what feels right to you.

I don’t know about you, but I have certainly abandoned myself before. That means repressing feelings which can lead to anxiety and disease and betraying myself to please others ← this was a BIG ONE for me. Denying or betraying yourself just diminishes your energy…it’s so depleting. Do you ever feel exhausted when this happens? Yeah, me too. You are here to experience happiness and grow, not to get smaller. 

Living your life for others doesn’t work long term. It works until the emotions you’re ignoring start to affect your health, and when you start to feel overwhelmed because you’re trying to please other people. Are you going to just exist, or live fully?

Before I give you five tips on how to stay in alignment with yourself,  ask yourself: “Am I staying true to myself daily?” If not, read on & then GET ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF.

1. Spend time alone every single day

This is my favorite tip ever. When I don’t spend time alone, I feel emotionally drained and overwhelmed. 

I LOVE BEING ALONE.

Some of my favorite things to do alone are to work out and run errands. And sometimes eat alone. I love going to grab lunch and maybe a glass of champagne or coffee + bring my laptop. tIt brings me so much JOY. 

When we spend time alone, the mind can relax and drown out the noise of the outside world and connect with your intuition and what you know to be true for you.

2. Let go of emotions

Reading the Untethered Soul coupled with therapy taught me this tool. 

Here’s what I learned: You are not your emotions. You simply experience them. 

When you hold on to your emotions, they can make you sick. Instead, feel them, and release them. 

I’ll give you an example. When I feel anxiety, instead of just trying to ignore it or distract myself, I will let it in. I notice where I feel it in my body, let it do its thing and then I focus on separating the anxiety from myself. How? My therapist taught me this amazing tip: Close your eyes and imagine you are looking at yourself through a window with this anxiety. Can you move a foot back? 10 feet back? 100 feet back? Simply closing your eyes and focusing on it getting smaller and smaller works serious wonders. You can do this with sadness, anger, literally any kind of emotion you are seeking to release.

3. Question everything.

I had and have beliefs that I accepted as true without questioning them. We pick up these beliefs along the way as we get older and they’re hugely influenced by adults around us when we were kids…because those beliefs were true for them. 

Ask yourself if these beliefs serve you. If you’re not buying a certain “truth”, buh-bye. You know that saying “you can build your own reality”…it’s true! 

Check in with yourself before you buy in to outside perspectives and beliefs.

4. Stay in the present

Have you heard this truth? “Anxiety is a feature of the future and depression is a feature of the past”? It’s so true. Your true self does not live in the past or in the future.

Your true self is right here, right now. At peace.

I’ve been spending time meditating, which keeps my mind in the present moment. I resisted trying to meditate for so long because I am one of those who always said “I can’t sit still or keep my mind still”…but what’s worked for me is focusing on the things around me as well as my body. Doing guided meditations on YouTube has been a gamechanger.

Meditating has helped me to see through eyes of compassion, joy, and love.

I hope that you guys found this helpful. I feel so calm just having written this all out.

xx, Lynn

With everything going on in the world right now, taking care of our mental health is so important. And I’ve been on an affirmation kick over the past couple of weeks which has improved my mental wellbeing tenfold. My healthy mindset has improved my energy, optimism, focus, and relationships. It’s magical, really. 

The reason I love doing affirmations in the morning is because they are a powerful way to start your day and something intentional you can do to direct how your day will unfold. 

How affirmations work

Morning affirmations powerfully work because they actually rewire your brain in a positive way. When we have a thought, there’s a burst of neurochemicals in our brains. Patterns form between brain cells, which are connected by synapses. The more we have a particular thought, the quicker and stronger the synapses pass along that message. In addition, the emotions we attach to specific thoughts become more automatic and powerful the more often we repeat those thoughts. That’s how positive affirmations can affect our brain’s natural processes to alter our experience of life. {via}  

A recent study published in the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Journal found that self-affirmation activates well-known reward centers in the brain, as well as increases activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate. These areas are connected to self-related processing and act as an emotional buffer to lower states of vibration.

Affirming to yourself what you want to experience in your life helps you to step into that perspective, and when your perspective changes, your whole reality shifts.

How to start daily affirmations

Morning affirmations are still new to me, and I’ve found that starting with ‘lighter’ ones works well in the beginning. They easily and quickly begin to lift your vibration, which puts you in the frequency of everything that you want.

So, here’s my routine and the ‘light’ affirmations that I have been repeating.

I wake up, make a cup of coffee – this week I’ve been loving Nespresso’s Costa Rica coffee. It’s creamy but still bold, just how I like my coffee. I light a candle or turn on my diffuser and get cozy on the couch or sitting on the bed. I have been writing my affirmations down in a journal, but you can do this however you want – whether it’s saying them outloud or writing them down…or both. 

My favorite light affirmations:

  • Today I wake up filled with gratitude 
  • I choose to love myself today
  • Today I get to give love and spread positivity to those around me
  • I will not worry about the things I cannot control
  • My possibilities are endless

I hope that you have a magical, positive, and kickass day! Please feel free to use my affirmations above or create your own. <3

xx, Lynn

If you know me you know I love to do my research – this means really digging, understanding biases, agendas, you know the drill. 

WAY back in 2009 I wrote a blog post about sunscreen. That is when I learned that not all sunscreens are created equal and wrote about the benefits of using a physical sunscreen vs. a chemical sunscreen. But now, I’ve learned that there is a lot more to the picture and a lot more to consider even buying physical sunscreens, because some are still filled with toxic chemicals. 

Almost every health and/or women’s magazine will advise you to wear daily sunscreen in an effort to protect us from skin damage and skin cancer. Until a few months ago, I followed this advice. Once I learned about the toxic chemicals in most sunscreens and humans’ need for unprotected sun every day, I now only wear sunblock (and yeah, there is a difference between sunscreen and sunblock) when I will be out in the sun in the middle of the day for an extended period of time. 

Ok, now back to sunscreen vs. sunblock. The difference is simply that a sunSCREEN will screen out the sun with chemicals. Chemical UV filters penetrate the skin, enter the bloodstream, and can wreak havoc on our bodies. 500 of the most popular sunscreens actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer. {via} SCARY SHIT, right?! {via} SunBLOCK is a physical block, such as Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide. You will need to work a little harder to blend sunblock into your skin, but it’s SO WORTH IT. 

Not only is sunscreen (the ones with toxic ingredients)  mostly just not great for you, but we actually need to be able to produce Vitman D naturally for optimal health. {via}

So what’s a girl to do? How can we protect ourselves from sun damage?

  1. Eat a nutrient-dense diet and avoid polyunsaturated fats which will help your body protect itself from disease. {via}
  2. Dress well – A hat and longer sleeves protect the body without any chemicals.
  3. Use a natural, non-toxic sunblock when you will be exposed to the sun for an extended period of time. My favorite is Juice Beauty’s Sport Sunscreen. The only ingredient is Zinc and it blends into my skin really well. No breakouts, either. I apply it anywhere and everywhere that I need it. 
  4. Use coconut oil as a backup – I just learned that coconut oil has a natural SPF of 4, and I’ve put it on my arms for early morning hikes and no burns here. 

Since most of us are working from home right now, I feel like we should make it a mission to get outside for at least 30 minutes each day and get that Vitamin D! Being in the sun also just puts me in a good mood.

Off to do some sunning…

xx, Lynn

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