Meet the Woman who Believes Mental Illness Should Not be Medicated. [WATCH!]

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Meet Kelly Brogan MD.

Kelly is a holistic psychiatrist who talks openly against the negative effects of pharmaceutical drugs and how she successfully gets her patients off of them.

Kelly believes that most (if not all) mental illness stems from things like poor diet, artificial lifestyles, and stress, and that people can be treated naturally, even in extreme cases of mania.

As a mother, I have been obsessing over Kelly’s blogs because we really align with our views on things like childbirth, antibiotics, stress, etc. Check out Kelly’s website to read all of her amazing articles that I have been reading and sharing in recent weeks.  There is a whole section dedicated to mothers and how we can take back our power in terms of our children’s health, as well as our own.

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Finally, watch this amazing video interview that Kelly did with Marie Forleo. She goes in depth about why she believes so many people (especially women) struggle with depression and why/how she thinks mental health can be treated without drugs. Here is a sneak peek quote from the video:

“–it’s become my belief that the body is one of the most sophisticated, you know, mechanisms on the planet. And we are just beginning to look through the keyhole of how it does what it does. And so, it doesn’t really make mistakes. Any time you have a symptom, anything from a sore throat to a headache to something like, you know, mania, it’s actually an expression on the part of the body. It’s attempting to get your attention so that you can look at different areas of imbalance in your life. And those can be nutritional, they can be environmental or they can be psychospiritual.”

And please check out Kelly’s book, “A Mind of Your Own,” to learn the truth about depression and how you can treat yours.





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Curing Infertility: How I Treated My Hormonal Imbalance and PCOS, Naturally.

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By: Shelby Salinas of Sunshel.com

In my previous post, I talked about my struggle with hormonal imbalance (PCOS) before my pregnancy. In this post, I’m going to get into the details of what worked for me. Please keep in mind that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all prescription. I put this plan together after a lot of research and close attention to my body and symptoms. My advice to you is to take some of my ideas, do your own research, and begin introducing these things into your daily routine. See what works and what doesn’t. Journal and keep track of your symptoms. Get to know your body!

Note: A lot of the focus here was on healing the gut. This is absolutely crucial if you want to get your hormones back in sync. You have to work holistically and the gut is usually the best starting point.




Herbs & Supplements

  • Vitex also known as Chaste tree berry (I started with a tincture from a local herb shop and then moved on to capsules).
    • Supports the body in sustaining and increasing progesterone levels. Many women with PCOS have low levels of progesterone due to unopposed estrogen. Vitex helps the body to balance estrogen and progesterone for a healthy, regular menstrual cycle.
  • Maca Root (capsule or powder form)
    • Supports healthy progesterone levels in the body. Maca is an adaptogen. It helps to balance hormones, but does not contain any hormones itself. It is able to do this by nourishing and balancing the endocrine system. And it’ll give you an energy boost!
  • L-Glutamine
    • Supports gut maintenance. Plays a critical role in digestive and brain function.
  • Ceylon Cinnamon (organic; in my morning smoothie)
    • Increases the hormone progesterone and decreases testosterone in women, which helps balance hormones. It also stabilizes blood sugar and aids in the treatment of insulin resistance.
  • Coconut Oil (organic, raw, unrefined; 1 T in my morning smoothie)
    • The caprylic and lauric acid in coconut oil play a key role in protecting the digestive tract, helping with inflammation and the gut.
  • Vitamin C (prefer the powder because you get a higher dose without swallowing a handful of capsules)
    • Mood and immune booster. Beneficial for those with low progesterone. I could go on and on about C, really. It was a no-brainer to add it to my regimen.
  • Turmeric (capsules and powdered spice when cooking; you can also buy raw turmeric root and add slices to your smoothie)
    • Amazing, amazing, amazing. Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune-boosting, and a major digestive aid.
  • Probiotic (I used Garden of Life Women’s formula)
    • (Duh!) Anyone trying to treat PCOS and build/maintain a strong, healthy gut needs to include a high quality probiotic and fermented foods in their diet.




Morning Green Smoothie

This was the most important part of my routine because it gave me a healthy start each and every day. I used berries as my fruit of choice, because they are low-glycemic and lower in sugar than tropical fruits like mangos and pineapples. This was an important shift for me and I still choose berries to this day.

  • 1/2 cup organic blueberries
  • huge handful organic greens (spinach, baby kale, etc)
  • 1/2 cup hemp or almond milk
  • 1 T organic, unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 scoop Vega Protein Powder
  • 1 dose of my L-glutamine powder
  • organic cinnamon powder
  • water + ice to desired consistency

 

My Diet

I stuck to my vegan diet, of course, with a bigger focus on organic whole foods. The main components were beans, whole grains, vegetables and seeds. Low sugar is a must for getting rid of candida and other issues surrounding leaky gut. Low to no gluten was important for me, as I noticed that it aggravated my body. This was clearly evident on my skin–and still is. I get little flesh-colored bumps on my cheeks and arms. No caffeine. It is highly acidic, elevates cortisol levels and isn’t at all nourishing to the body. No alcohol. I don’t even need to explain this one. For me, drinking alcohol is anything but practicing self-love.

If you haven’t already been eating a whole foods, vegetarian diet, this might seem too “strict” for you. In that case, I would recommend that you simply focus on increasing your intake of whole, plant foods in the beginning. Veggies, veggies, veggies! Some meal ideas include the following…

  • Vegetables sautéed in coconut, avocado or olive oil. On a bed of brown rice, with your favorite spices. I love adding coconut aminos to the pan while cooking–yum!
  • Brown rice or quinoa pasta with your favorite sauce. Maybe marinara or avocado basil pesto.
  • Roasted vegetables. Add to a salad, wrap, rice, or just eat them up.
  • Veggie burgers with avocado and sauerkraut + a side of roasted or sautéed vegetables. I love oven baked fries!
  • Salads. (Skip the ranch dressing and cheese, though.)

Here are some blogs with great recipes: Oh She GlowsCookie and KateHealthy. Happy. Life., Vegan Yack AttackDetoxinista.



A note about hemp seeds: Hemp seeds contain a type of omega-6 fat called GLA (gamma-linoleic acid). Studies show supplementing with GLA can support healthy progesterone levels.They’re also a great source of plant-based protein. I like to sprinkle them on pretty much anything– salads, soups, baked goods, oatmeal, rice and beans.

 

Exercise

I have never liked intense exercise, running or gyms. In fact, I honestly don’t think the human body is built for long-term, strenuous exercise and there is a definite connection between overexercising and infertility.

“Intense exercise lowers progesterone and throws off your hormone levels,” says Sami David, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist in New York City. “Endorphins can suppress your FSH and LH, the hormones in your pituitary gland responsible for producing eggs, and the ovarian hormones estradiol and progesterone, making it harder for you to get pregnant or more likely to miscarry without knowing it.”

It’s important to get moving every day, but not to over-stress your body. In my case, I opted for yoga and walking around my neighborhood.

  • Yoga: There is no doubt that yoga can do amazing things for your health–body and mind. Because I felt so weak and unbalanced at the beginning of this, I opted for slow yoga. No crazy poses or heated rooms. Just deep, focused breathing and light movement.
  • Walking: My walking was more like an extension of my yoga practice. I took walks around the neighborhood and focused on my breath. Fresh air and sunlight are major components of true health, and they’re often overlooked these days.

 

Environmental Toxins: Home & Body Care

I stayed away from conventional body care products and consulted EWG’s “Skin Deep Cosmetic Database” before purchasing anything. It might seem crazy, but this does matter. No more BPA or nonstick pans for me. Instead, I opted for a glass or stainless steel water bottle and cast iron or stainless steel cookware. Now, I try to keep plastic in my home to a minimum.

 


 

So that’s it. After following this plan for only four months, I had my first normal cycle in November of 2014. A month later, during my second normal cycle, I got pregnant.

My pregnancy was such a joy! Absolutely no morning sickness. In fact, with the exception of mild fatigue and moodiness in the first trimester, I felt vibrant and healthy throughout. Elan was born naturally and I healed beautifully.

I realize that we all have different bodies, situations and histories. All I can say is that I noticed an enormous shift in my life when I chose to treat my body with the utmost love and respect. For me, that meant no drugs or “quick fixes”. It meant getting to the root of my imbalance and having the strength to make the necessary changes to my lifestyle. I hope you’ll give it a try. 🙂



 

Shelby Salinas is a blogger (sunshel.com), maker (lilabotanicals.etsy.com), mama of one vibrant toddler, and a bigadvocate for conscious, intentional living. She is currently studying Ayurvedic Medicine and you can find her on Instagram — @sunshel where she talks about all things healthy living.shelby

 

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Watch how these Acrobatic, Minimalists Want to Raise Their Kids!

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I remember when I was pregnant (and even before) I had all these ideas about how I would raise my future child(ren). I was very passionate about child rearing years before I considered having my own, so research was something that was fun and natural for me. By the time my son was born, I felt very prepared and well-equipped.

One of the most common and frustrating things I would hear from people when I would passionately talk about kids as a non-parent was some version of, “haha, yea! You just wait until you have your own kids! You’ll be singing a different tune.”

It’s true that some things can only be learned and experienced once we become actual parents to another human, but to be honest, I stand true now to everything I thought was important before I had my son. Some things we understand on a deeper level and we don’t need a child to get the biologial and physiological imperatives of raising humans. I call it radical parenting, but truth be told, it is only radical in a world that had bought into the superiority model and commercialized version of parenting. It is actually original parenting before everything else came along.

That’s why I really love Conor and Brittany. They are two people who have put a lot of thought and consideration into having a child before they have gotten pregnant. Consciousness around child raising is something we are seeing more and more of, and it is so refreshing to see two people go down this path, pre-pregnancy. And because their desires for parenting align so much with the message here at EBM, I wanted to give them credit for their thoughtfulness and share their intentions with you all. I am so excited to watch them become parents. Take a look!




C+BIf you want to discover more about Conor and Brittany, make sure you follow them on Youtube and Instagram where they spread the message of health, freedom, sex positivity, partnered acrobatics, minimalism, travel + MORE!

IG:

@conorandbrittany

@simpleliving13

@thrivingminimalist

 

YouTube:

Conor + Brittany

Brittany

Conor

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Spanking Kids is a Result of Your Pain, Not Their Behavior.

Hurt PeopleHurt People.




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What I am about to say is probably going to upset a lot of people, but…

Hitting children (yes, spanking is hitting) is an extremely childish response that reflects a lack of emotional maturity and self-control. Odds are, if you spank your child, then you, too, were spanked. Therefore, you also were not taught how to regulate emotions. You were taught that you hit when you feel a lot. It is a cycle that is literally hard wired into our brains, and it requires much energy and effort to break the cycle and rewire the way our brain responds.

There’s also a more vulnerable piece here:

….Spanking also reflects the pain you carry. 

This same idea goes for our children. If they are acting in ways that you deem unacceptable or “bad,” it doesn’t mean they are inherently bad, it means they are in pain, having trouble, and struggling with something. You see, children don’t have the capacity to communicate what is going on inside of them, so they act it out through behavior. For an adult who wasn’t taught to identify their emotions and own them as their own, spanking or swatting is, unfortunately, the easiest way to respond to a child who has triggered us. We are literally being exactly like a child when we hit. We are in our child minds because we were not taught a better way.

I believe that things like anger and frustration are surface emotions. If you can go a layer or two deeper, you will almost always feel more tenderness and sadness or something that feels more vulnerable. This is true for children as well. It is our job as adults to identify the deeper feeling that is driving the “bad” behavior, not join them in their chaos. For example, if your child runs out into the street, for most of us, the immediate feeling is anger and frustration. But beneath that it is fear. We fear for our child’s life because they could get really hurt, or worse, and that is scary because we love and care about them so deeply and couldn’t imagine life without them. That is the more vulnerable truth. That is what will connect you to your child. That is the message you can send to them in one way or another and have them actually feel you. They don’t need pain to feel you. They can feel love, too. The question is, how committed can you be to letting your guard down enough to let them feel your heart, instead of your hand?




I know many parents will laugh and claim that their child won’t listen to a firm, yet loving, authentic response. To that I asked, have you ever tried? Also, laughing is a defense mechansim when something feels vulnerable, which is what I am talking about here. It requires us to change on a fundamental level, and that is scary because it pokes at our identity to self (assuming you are like me and were not brought up to express authentically and vulnerably).

If I could tell every parent who chooses spanking as a tool to correct behavior ONE THING, it would be this:

Spanking has nothing to do with the behavior of your child, and everything to do with your inability to cope with how it triggers your own emotions. Spanking is also easier when you take the behavior personally and think that it means something about you. Me vs. Them mentality.

So what can you do?

I think the most important steps to take are ones that totally rearrange your perspective on toddler/child behavior. We have to have a basis of understanding of the inner workings of a child’s mind to have the incentive to choose a better route. If we are simply committed to the school of thought that says, “kids are just brats,” then yea, everyone wants to smack a brat.

Here are a few ideas that you can start to adopt that will really help you when it is feeling intense with your child:

 

Parenting is a long game: 

So knock it off with the things that only get you short term results. Sure, spanking “works,” as in, it puts a stop to unwanted behavior, but stealing also works if I want something from the grocery store. I get the thing I want in the moment, but it isn’t the best way to go about it. Not to mention, I am left with feelings of paranoia and guilt that bleed into all other areas of my life. So yes, parenting is a long game. You are in this for the long haul, so commit to the dilligent work that it takes to raise a human. Hitting is lazy. Parenting takes a lot of time and energy. Explaining over and over, getting on their level, communication, repetition are all required for children. They are not supposed to “get it” the first time, or even the second or third. They are brand new to this world and don’t come with all the concepts and understandings that adults have. They have to learn it and it takes time. You might have to explain it twenty times. That is normal. It doesn’t mean they don’t listen, it just means they are still figuring it all out. If they are older then they might be testing boundaries. This is also normal and I would be worried if my child was so docile that he never tested boundaries. I am an adult and I still test the boundaries of those around me. You can simply state what you see and hold to your boundaries. This is how you establish trust.

There is actually nothing wrong with a tantrum:

Isn’t this great news?! I cannot tell you how many times I have heard parents justify hitting because their child is throwing a tantrum. Again, there is nothing wrong with it, so you are free of the obligation to end it. You can just let them have it. I know. What a relief, right?

Look, I get it. Many of us were raised to believe that our emotions in their fullest (and even mildest) expressions were unwanted and a problem. I am here to tell you, they are not, and so, neither are your child’s. Feelings happen. They don’t have the brain capacity to regulate emotions (see next point). The greatest gift you can give your child is the permission to feel their feelings. If you do, chances are they won’t be an adult who grows up unable to show emotion, only to later take it out on their kids who trigger them.

“But what about if we are in public?!”

Then get right with yourself. That feeling of embarrassment and the urgency to make it stop this instant has nothing to do with your child. Those are your feelings based on your beliefs about what it means about you to have an upset child. I think if you develop an undertanding into what is going on in those moments, it makes it less embarrassing.

Toddlers and young children don’t have fully developed brains:

They literally cannot help their behavior much of the time. They are dominated by their right brain, for starters. They don’t fully develop the left brain traits of logic and control until later. Their outbursts and doing things you told them not to is not because they are brats. They literally cannot control it. Here is a quote from the book, ‘The Whole-Brain Child’, by Dr. Dan Siegel:

“when a child is upset, logic often won’t work until we have responded to the right brain’s emotional needs.”

So if your child is not “listening” to your words, ask yourself if you are listening to their emotional needs that their behavior is reflecting in that moment.

For a more in depth understanding of your child’s brain development and how it influences their behavior, please read this book!



Your child is not giving you a hard time. Your child is having a hard time:

Make this like your mantra. When you are feeling out of control and wanting to yell or hit, remind yourself of this. It takes you out of the me vs. them mentality and allows you to feel compassion for them. It also calls for you to seek solutions because you see that they are having a problem. If you can recognize that their behavior isn’t to be taken personally, then you can see them objectively and act from there, rather than from a victimized position.

The point of parenting is not to control another person, anyway:

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Somewhere along the way we adopted the idea that our jobs as parents is about controlling these tiny humans and making sure they are obedient. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to raise an obedient child. That doesn’t mean I allow him to call all the shots and run amok, either. It simply means that I am perfectly fine with him questioning and challenging everyone and everything, including me. If you have a particularly bold child, be thankful, and learn how to play, negotiate and encourage cooperation there. Look at where it is hard to let go of the idea that our children need to be acting “perfect” at all times. How does it make YOU feel when they don’t? How were you treated when you acted in a way that made your parents uncomfortable? How did it feel?

“Morality is doing what’s right no matter what you’re told. Obedience is doing what you’re told no matter what’s right.” – H.L. Mencken

Punishment or making someone pay is not necessary in order to learn lessons:

We have this really unfortunate idea in our culture that children can only learn through pain and punishment. I have even heard, “If you don’t punish your kids, how do they learn?!”

The same way you learn. Natural consequences, cause and effect, and having people around you that you can trust to tell you how you affect them. It is actually sad and very telling of people’s view of their own self-worth when they believe pain is required to teach a lesson. It suggests revenge and retaliation as the preferred method of teaching. Discipline (coming from the word ‘disciple’) means, “to teach”, and we know humans can be taught without being hurt in the process. Of course, this requires a certain amount of skill and emotional intelligence from the parents, which can be lacking if they, too, were not treated respectfully as children.

If it doesn’t promote connection, drop it:

If your actions create disconnection between you are your child then they are not worth carrying out. I know many people like to claim that hitting makes kids respect you, but it does not. No one respects anyone who hits them. No one. They might fear you and comply because they are afraid, but that is not respect. Our ultimate goal in parenting should be to maintain connection with our child. Choose actions and words that reflect that, and remember, you can still be firm and set boundaries and maintain connection, just like you might with your spouse. It is what will have them trusting that they can come to you later in life when issues arise.



“to enter into a state of pure connection with your child, you can achieve this by setting aside any sense of superiority.”
Shefali Tsabary, The Conscious Parent

 

The hard part about conscious parenting is that if we are going to connect to our child’s emotions, it means that we have to connect with our own, and so many of us spend a lifetime avoiding that. Knowing that your child can be a reflection of yourself and your own pain isn’t always easy to witness, but it is rewarding in the end, for both you and your children.

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