Listen in to my podcast interview with Kelly Covert in her show In Her Voice as we talk about self-healing through deep listening.
Listen in to my podcast interview with Kelly Covert in her show In Her Voice as we talk about self-healing through deep listening.
What are your obsessions? Read more…
I had no idea how deep this loss would be, my furry mate, Jackson was the longest relationship I'd had... he knew everything. Now, who am I going to tell all my secrets and dreams? You? Maybe I will, keep reading.
Since last June I've been on a quest to better my tiny slice of the world, this included my business (how I was making an impact on my client's lives), my prosperity, my health (the chronic icepick pain, the cycyle of depression, tummy issues, and anxiety), but it also included my family relations, (aka marriage) and all of my personal relations (friends, business colleagues, the mailman, the woman who works the cosmetic counter at Walgreen's, even those who walk their barking dogs at lunch in front of my house). Last year when I was at World Domination Summit I sent out a prayer, and said, "Universe I need help."
I had been introduced to the magical world of PrimeMyBody through an amazing business colleague and wellness coach, Nicole Keating. I wasn't confident about the company, especially because of it being a Network Marketing Company, which means some kind of pyramid thing that never works. The cool thing about Nicole is that she was steadfast in her belief about the company, she never sold me the product, only sampled it to me and told me to do the research on the Endocannabinoid System. I could barely say the word, let alone know what the heck she was talking about. It was crazy, me the long-term biohacker had NEVER heard of this system, how was this possible?
That seems like forever ago, because now I am knee deep into studies on Cannabinoids, this incredible network of cell receptors that communicate via chemical signals throughout the body, how we can upregulate our genes, and even how these molecules can help someone with an opioid addiction feel supported and dose off of their pain medication. YES, I'm learning A LOT. Study after study support these Phytocannabinoid Diols AKA Hemp Oil. These studies lead to success, health, and happiness.
When I sent that prayer up last year I had been struggling not only with that chronic pain, but there was also a deep sense of loneliness and disconnection from my peers and, well, let's be honest here, humanity! One of the greatest gifts and what has been revealed to me through becoming a part-time- some-time-work-when-I-can affiliate with PrimeMyBody is that it has brought me back into living. It has touched me with a tribe of people who are here to help the planet. They care deeply -- like I do about what is happening to people's health, relationships, and their bank account.
I just had no idea that becoming an affiliate would offer me such an opportunity to connect and help so many people, people I don't even know. (But now I do!) I was able to spend some time with a chiropractor today, a new affiliate, we were setting up his new side-part-time, do when he can business. As we were setting it up he stopped, looked at me straight in the eye and said, "Lane thank you for doing this for me, I know this helps so many people, and without you, I wouldn't have known, thank you." Then he gave me a hug. It was awesome. Connection. Change. Relationship. All I did was show up and share the product, I never sold it to him. I am not a salesperson, forget it, I'd starve if I sold cars, or computers, or even jeans! I'm so grateful that I don't have to sell this product or the opportunity, the business adventure, it sells itself. I simply just show up and ask Who I'm going to help today?
So much has happened over these past six months in my adventure with Hemp Oil and PrimeMyBody. If you want to learn more reach out to me, I love sharing this company and what we are all doing.
I want to share a couple of my favorite studies and a few articles on how this incredible Endocannabinoid System works. Maybe you too want to learn more...
As I continue down the rabbit hole of research and sharing I'll keep you posted, next up I'll be talking about how we can clean up the detox pathways and change our genes... Stay tuned.
As a biohacker, mother, wife, coach, friend, and mentor, I have to be prepared, I never know what's coming my way. Today I'm sharing my top lifesavers that I carry with me everywhere I go and I definitely don't leave home without.
FIRST my bag. I'm not a shoulder bag woman, I have several, really nice bags, that can carry a small kitchen in them but I don't… A couple of years ago I got a large Guillard, it's beautiful but sits in my closet… when I carry that bag, too much stuff ends up in and my neck hurts. I've changed that by using A FANNY PACK. That's right, if it doesn't fit in, it's out and not important.
Charcoal… just in case I am tempted to eat something that is not quite right… such as airport food….
Lipliner, lipstick, and chapstick. Doesn't matter what I'm wearing if I have my lips done, I can be wearing sweatpants and meet the President, well an ex-president and be perfectly content, and know that I look amazing!
Call me old fashion, but I still have business cards with me. I know everyone has a smartphone, and it's easy to "plug in your digits" to someone else's phone -- BUT there is something about handing someone a card, where they touch it and read it, that tactile experience changes the brain's activity. I'm more likely to be remembered, and that's what I want… don't you?
Tweezers. Every woman should carry tweezers. I cant' tell you how many women I see walking around with a rogue hair on her eyebrow or chin… and yes I've been a victim of the wild hair… hormone fluctuations can be a total B*tch…
Stress relief in a bottle. Yep, every day all day I carry my bottle of HEMP, pure and simple I don't want to be caught without it. Traffic in San Francisco, with it's entitled, stupid, Uber drivers who suddenly stop in the middle of the small street… to pick someone up or do a drop off…. Is enough to make any woman crazy. (Well it makes me crazy.) A few pumps here and there… instant relief and a smile.
Those are my top items that hang out with me every day, all day, grab a bottle or a set of tweezers, order your new business cards, and take a load off your shoulders. This holiday season is here and we, together have to thrive, let's do it lightly and with a wonderfully stressfree smile!
I just got back from a HEMP conference and posted about it over in the Upgraded Hemp Group. Find out more.
Okay ladies, it’s time for me to speak directly to the husbands on this one. So step out of the room, leave your laptop open and start hoping he absorbs what he’s reading.
You and your wife had a minor disagreement during the day, maybe one of you forgot to do something important or one of your old faithful arguments reared its ugly little head (our classic standby is me feeling like he’s not listening to what I have to say), but even though the fight ended and you’re totally over it she’s still acting a little bit cold and distant.
Bedtime comes around and you think, “I know, I'll get a little frisky with her, get some, and then a good night’s sleep.” But when you proposition your wife her response is, “I’m not in the mood, I'm tired tonight.”
So you go to bed feeling a little hurt and rejected and it becomes abundantly clear that she’s definitely not over your minor disagreement.
But everybody fights, right? If every minor squabble is going to shut your wife’s legs up like a steel trap then how are you ever supposed to feel intimate with each other?
Well studies have shown that while men can go from zero to arousal in a heartbeat, it actually takes 24 hours of seduction to make your wife feel receptive to your moves.
So now you’re probably thinking, Lane, you’re crazy. Do you really expect me to shower my wife with presents, chocolates and flowers for an entire day before she’ll let me jump her bones again?
Well, no. The idea that seduction requires big romantic gestures and dropping lots of cash is a little bit misguided. I’m talking about the other kinds of seduction. let's get into them...
Sure there probably isn’t a woman alive who wouldn’t be glad to receive a bunch of gorgeous flowers, but the type of seduction that will really work is a little bit more subtle.
For a woman to feel ready, strip down naked and get it on, she has to feel cherished and adored. Surprisingly, haphazardly throwing gifts at her isn’t the method that works best for this. Sure a present here and there can definitely help you out, but if you’re all “things” and no sentiment then the gifts aren’t going to have their intended purpose, get it?
This long-term seduction method is something you could start initiating in anticipation for the main event. For example, if you have a standing date night every Thursday then it will pay to start laying the groundwork early Wednesday morning if you really want to seal the deal, you know what I mean?
Ultimately though, this method of seduction is less about sexuality and more about being a caring and attentive partner - and really if you’re doing these things all the time then you’ll also have a much stronger marriage.
This isn’t the part of the article where I hand over the playbook and plan out your moves in the bedroom on a big whiteboard. When it comes to the physical seduction of your wife I’d like to hope you’ve picked up a thing or two over the years (and if you haven’t then that might be the reason why she’s not in the mood! GET A GRIP!).
No, what I’m talking about is the mental and emotional seduction of your wife. It’s these actions that will cut through any resentment she might be harboring about ‘that fight’ and remind her what an excellent choice she made for a partner … and that maybe she should give you a toss between the sheets.
Firstly you need to lose all expectations of the end game and focus on showering her with attention and adoration. Now take note, this doesn’t mean groping her non-stop and invading her personal space (trust me, if she’s already in a bad mood this definitely won’t help!), but being attentive to her needs and moods and giving her support, assistance and understanding. (Think about tiny acts of unconditional kindness, if you don't know what that would look like to her, then I might suggest you talk about this over dinner!)
For example, something as simple as asking how she’s doing and if she needs anything can help to reignite that spark in her brain that says, that’s why I married that wonderful man.
Women tend to feel like we have to juggle a million things at once. We have to be the perfect wife, mother and business person all at the same time and asking for help either feels like a sign of weakness or an act of defeat. Offering to help in even a small way can remind her that you’re team - and teams workout together if you know what I mean.
Do you see? The key is filling the 24 hours before you make your move with subtle nice behaviors to prep her for the big yes. Sure those silly fights might crop up from time to time, but if you bookend it with emotional support, understanding and attentiveness she’ll wind up harboring a lot less resentment that will affect her “mood”.
The line between being attentive and clingy or annoying comes down to a matter of personal space and timing. While making her breakfast in bed might seem like a great romantic gesture, doing it on a Tuesday when she’s slept in past her alarm will not only mean she’ll be feeling stressed and anxious about running late, but a little bit annoyed that you let her sleep in when you should have known she had an important meeting.
Instead it can be helpful and greatly appreciated to let her go about her morning routine without you in her bubble and simply add a minor act of helpfulness - such as making her a cup of coffee when she gets out of the shower - that will keep her in a positive frame of mind when it comes to you.
It’s often said that the foundation for a lasting, loving relationship comes from being attuned to the needs of your partner. Offering to make her a cup of her favorite tea when she’s had an utterly shitty day is a more effective romantic gesture than a box of chocolates bought from the drug store. KNOWING which tea to offer her is even better. DETAILS fellas, it's about details here.
There are so many ways you can show her that you care about her throughout the day that don’t involve skywriting or a bouquet, even just sending her a cute text message to show that you’re thinking about her or taking care of a chore that is usually hers when she’s busy can give her that pitter patter in her heart that leads to bouncing bedsprings and an ogasm to boot.
So if there’s one thing I hope you can take away from this post it’s this: if you want to effectively seduce your wife you’ve got to show her you’re going to be just as attentive to her needs outside of the bedroom as inside the bed!
Are you one of those people who dominates a conversation? Or are you the one who listens for that fleeting moment when your friend has to take a gasp of air or sip her coffee so you can get a word in edge wise?
The other day I was on the phone with a great guy, a friend of mine, Steven, I think the world of him, seriously. But every time we're on the phone the conversation becomes about him, his business, his kids, his life, his car...
Now, don't get me wrong, I love to listen and be helpful, but every single time we're on the phone, he rambles, forever. I try to get that one quick word in; I try to share some insight, I've even tried sneezing and making jokes, God forbid -- I need to talk about something or make a point.
No, every time it's about him. Do you have a friend or friends like this, who drive you crazy? You look for that opening, you wait for the pause and oops there it was, there it goes, you missed it...
Over the past couple of months, I've spent a considerable amount of time pondering over the words in my up and coming book. Today's editing brought me this:
"Staying in a failed marriage, or in a job that is slowly breaking you into a thousand tiny pieces, while you slowly morph into what everyone else wants you to be, is a long-drawn-out and painful way to age. Breaking contact with your true calling and Grace brings pounds of misery (both literally and figuratively).
Continuing to agree with how everyone around you sees you, instead of speaking up about how you feel is completely life threatening!You may think you’re safe while hiding out in the agreement.
You may think you're not rocking the boat, or having to face conflict. But all that energy that is being tucked away—ever so neatly in a pantry just so you can play it safe—is eating away at you, and keeping you unhealthy, numb, overweight, miserable, and in pain.
It's time to break from it."
What do you think?
I want to share my plan with how I'm going to handle Steven the next time we speak, perhaps you have someone like Steven in your life?! We will be on the phone, chatting and I'm going to stop him mid sentence, and then hang up the phone.
I know he'll call me back and when he does I'll take that hot second moment to share with him how I feel about not being able to converse, or get a word in edge-wise when we speak.
I'm no longer willing to be the passive listener in a one way monologue. In this relationship I am no longer willing to be a passive participant.
Do you have meaningful conversations that matter?
Are you being heard for what you have to say?
What's important to you matters and people need to hear you!
Are you struggling with a conversation? Let me know how I can help, and I'm here for you.
Being a woman is everything. I love everything about it, I love standing on my own two feet, sometimes I even imagine wearing a cape!
The pressures that I faced every day when it came to my body was magnified tenfold -- and when a large portion of my job involved multiple people looking at my body with critical eyes and telling me what was right and what was wrong definitely took it’s toll on me.
It’s no surprise that the modeling and fashion industry is rife with eating disorders and dangerous behaviors to help them achieve these often unattainable standards, but outside of that industry things aren’t necessarily any better.
I bet any woman would be able to tell you the first diet she ever went on and far fewer would be able to say it was her last. Most of us have spent our lives following fad diets that involve cutting out different food groups while the buzz words swirl around our brain as if this would finally be the magical combination that will solve all of our problems. Then when it didn’t magically transform us into Heidi Klum (how rude!) we were left feeling totally despondent (and maybe saying screw it to the diet and heading to the nearest McDonald’s).
Through all these years of reading magazines, watching celebrities, listening to trainers and friends about what we should be eating we’ve managed to silence the one voice we should really be listening to if we actually want to be healthy: our own. All the diet advice in the world isn’t going to help us if we’re ignoring what our body is telling us about what it needs and what makes it feel good.
Intuitive eating is a hunger-based approach to eating that has seen a rise in popularity in recent years as a viable approach to healthy weight management, especially for people who are chronic dieters. This method focuses on nurturing the body, rather than the usual starvation-based diets that we’re used to seeing, by eating when we’re hungry and stopping when we’re full, with the focus always being on health. I’ve been eating like this for several years, I can’t even tell you when it began, but it’s totally worked, and it broke my obsession and bulimic ways that I had struggled with for years.
The basic idea is that when we listen to what our body needs we’re able to ignore the triggers that encourage unhealthy behaviours and continue on the road to being healthy. Kinda like having our own Jiminy Cricket living in our gut but instead of steering us away from partying and lies it makes us ask if we really need to eat fifteen cookies. More often than not the answer is no. I usually feel like I should probably eat one just to be sure, but maybe I’ll try having a sandwich or something first.
Unlike with traditional diets where one step outside of the strict dieting rules can send us into a tailspin and ultimately lead to us reverting back to our original bad habits (or, you know, eating an entire tub of Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream because if you’re going to wreck your diet you might as well do it right), there is no such thing as “bad behaviour” with intuitive eating.
Whether that means indulging in dessert because you’re craving chocolate cake or getting takeaway for dinner because you can’t be bothered cooking, the point is that you continue to listen to what your body tells you while you’re eating and continue listening with every meal afterwards. I have to listen, otherwise I will overindulge and eat the entire basket of pomme frites that have been fried in duck fat and then want to kill myself. After years of food hangovers and heavy depression it became clear that my eating behavior wasn’t like those who ate with me, I ate food differently. I had to find new ways to eat.
With intuitive eating we’re not trying to starve ourselves to become skinny, but rather we encourage a mindset of health at any size, which leads to higher enjoyment of our food and meals as well as a myriad of health benefits. This method is actually more sustainable in the long term because we’re creating healthy habits that will stick with us over time and any weight loss we experience will stick with us because we’re helping our body to find and maintain its natural size.
Intuitive eating isn’t about attempting to make giant unsustainable changes that we’ll ditch in a short amount of time before reverting back to our pre-diet weight, it’s about finding what works for us and sticking to it. I think it took me about a six months to get into a rhythm and recognize what foods worked for me while getting in touch with this inner voice, that told me when to stop eating.
Before we even bring the fork to our mouth our food is having an effect on our moods. We’ve all experienced being hungry, right? When you’re so hungry you feel like you’re about to morph into the Incredible Hulk and start smashing up New York City. Alternatively we’ve felt the soothing feeling that can come with comfort food when we’re feeling a bit like crap. Heck, even just writing the words chocolate cake can turn me into the happy heart-eyed emoji, and that was just a bunch of letters on the screen.
Eating habits and emotions are linked, with our mood affecting our eating choices and vice versa. That’s why it is easier to commit to a healthier meal when we’re already feeling good and why pigging out on saturated fats can make us irritable afterwards.
Our bodies thrive when they’re getting the right combination of nutrients and a poor diet with high levels of saturated fats, sodium and higher calories can lead to negative moods for days afterwards. Basically getting a case of the grumps after pigging out on unhealthy foods is your bodies way of yelling, “Hey! Maybe eat some vegetables next time!”
One of the biggest obstacles we face when trying to change our mindset around food is dealing with cravings. Generally it can feel as though we’re craving chocolate like crack when we’re on a diet because we’re thinking about the fact that we’re restricting it - and if that’s the case then having a small amount of chocolate can squash that craving right down. Our minds are powerful and once a neural pathway is set, it will fire at the site of a tiny M&M! BEWARE!
If you’re still feeling like you’re about to go all Cookie Monster on that chocolate bar then you need to look at the root of your cravings. Studies have shown that people who experience intense cravings often have feelings of boredom and anxiety throughout the day. To be able to truly change our mindset we need to look at the root of our feelings around food.
Your brain and your stomach are connected through your vagus nerve which runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen, which means that our diet can affect the release of different hormones in the brain and can be linked to conditions such as depression, anxiety and poor concentration.
Eating a balanced diet is the ultimate way to help regulate your moods and also helps to avoid the dreaded 3pm energy drop (and unhealthy candybar break) by regulating bodily functions such as the release of energy stores.
By eating the right foods for our body every day we’re helping to keep it functioning at its highest level, from the physical reactions to our emotional state. Eating foods with high levels of protein such as organic eggs, cheese or almonds can help to keep our blood sugar levels steady which leads to enhanced energy and moods, while avocados are not only full of important vitamins, but also help boost the levels of dopamine in your body which is that feel-good chemical released in your brain and I don’t know about you, but I NEED more of that one!
Eating foods high in antioxidants such as blueberries and blackberries can help your brain to create dopamine, which is also important for things like coordination and memory. For those of us who can’t live without our morning cup of coffee then we’re in luck because coffee has been shown to trigger a number of positive reactions in your body that leaves you with a general sense of wellbeing and helps to fight depression.
While we might talk about wanting to avoid chocolate, if you’re reaching for good quality dark chocolate then it actually helps to produce a compound known as anandamide, a neurotransmitter in the brain that blocks feelings of pain and anxiety. The trick is not eating all the chocolate every time.
We can’t talk about how food affects our mood without looking at some of the negative triggers such as sugar, gluten and processed foods. These three things are known to block the production of serotonin and force fluctuations in your blood sugar levels with has a detrimental effect on your mood. So avoid as much as humanly possible! I’m actually go one step further and beg you to take them out of your daily plan, seriously, they’re simply made to wreak havoc on your life! Toss it out, all of it.
While making note of what we’re eating as well as the reasons why can be helpful when we’re trying to break away from our bad dieting habits, being mindful about how and what we eat doesn’t necessarily have to involve writing down every calorie we consume and beating ourselves up about it.
Instead we just need to start paying attention to our eating habits and making small sustainable changes as necessary. If you notice that you feel slow, sluggish and bloated after having a burger and fries for lunch then that’s a sign from your body that you probably shouldn’t be eating that. I’m not saying we can never have a burger again, just maybe not every day.
Here’s the deal, if you’re feeling stressed throughout the day and come home craving all the chocolate in the world, then you might need to look into alternative methods for dealing with stress and anxiety such as yoga or meditation. Don’t think that this is a death sentence, I’m just here politely guiding and directing you to feeling better. I know how it feels to be a slave to my tastebuds and crave a bag of salty chips and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, I also know that when I’m in the middle of a food coma I’m simply useless. I don’t wish that upon anyone!
I’ve been known to eat my lunch at my desk with one hand on the mouse and my mind on my work and often I’ll finish my lunch without even realizing it, not good! Take the time to eat your meal without any (other) distractions. Not only will you be able to actually enjoy the tastes and textures (which is what makes eating so great afterall!) but you’ll be more aware of when you become full and will be able to stop eating.
Often we’ll shovel our food into our mouth so quickly by the time we realize we’re full we’ve already eaten too much. Slow down, savour your meal and listen to what your body is telling you.
If you know that you always get hungry at around 3pm no matter what you eat then prepare for that rather than running to the vending machine. I like to make up a bunch of little snack packs at the start of the week with nuts, seeds and dried fruits and pop them in my bag, car and desk so that I can get a healthy little snack whenever hunger strikes.
Mindful eating is all about listening to our body, so after we eat we should take a moment to reflect on how we feel (emotionally and physically) and why we ate in the first place. Reflection was how I was able to see all my own health issues and find a way to work through them, it works!
Don’t beat yourself up
Being healthy isn’t a competition or an “all-or-nothing” situation. Indulging isn’t the worst thing in the world and as long as we keep reflecting on how these jumps off the wagon make us feel, then we’ll still be able to cement our healthy habits going forward.
You’re a hard working woman with a business you’re trying to get off the ground while also raising three children, and after 15 or so years of marriage, you’re just so over sex. Like seriously, a good book and a glass of wine are your go to pleasures. I get it, but I've got five super pro tips you need to try now!
My life ended up taking quite the different turn to the one I expected. As a model I was travelling the world, meeting new and exciting people and working crazy hours. I loved my life but before I had even stepped away from the camera and clothes I had my hands in a number of businesses like a kid mixing colors while finger painting and it soon became obvious that being a model wasn’t the end of the road for me - it was a launching pad.
The only things we have absolute control in life are our feelings, behaviors and our own thoughts, (and honestly at times I don’t even think I have control of those!). Everything else is beyond our control. Even mentally strong people know that. As a mentally strong individual, you must find your center by learning about, and improving your patterns. The way you think, feel and act are all considered automatic and by doing these in a systematic manner, success can follow. This is the very reason why you, as a woman must grow a stronger mind.
Let’s look at science and find ways on how you can become mentally stronger. By learning how to be aware and improve things that you can control - thoughts, feelings, behavior patterns, you can grow much happier and mentally healthier.
Figure out the reason why you are thinking, feeling and acting a specific way. A journal can assist you in identifying aspects of yourself and assist you in your self- understanding. You may flinch from time to time because there are certain aspects of yourself that you don't like but if you do not acknowledge these then you won't have the full ability of controlling your thoughts, feelings and behaviors in the long run. Self-understanding is the key.
Are you an intentional and rational thinker? Is there an overly emotional side in you? If yes, then it is very important to explore this. Your emotions shape your behavior, thoughts and actions in ways that you don’t even realize... By learning the pattern that is considered unhealthy, you can manage and control your emotions better. Understanding emotions is the first step to take to grow a stronger mind. I just recently realized that I have to work on this when it comes to parenting… Oh my!
Mentally strong people love themselves. If you want to become one, listen to your emotions and validate and love yourself so that you can be capable of empathizing, and loving yourself. Take the time to care for your well being. Know that if you put yourself first, you can control your thoughts, feelings, actions and behavioral patterns which result to the success that you have been meaning to obtain.
There's no other person you should be, aside from you yourself. Let people in on your life, let them know who you are, because in the end you can help them by simply being who you are. Be aware of your needs and goals and the challenges that come with them. Keep your relationships with people on a high pedestal because it’s these relationships that will support you in the end. These are the people who are aware of your personal challenges, and they can help you get through those crazy times! These are the people you will grow close with through the years, and treasure. You can find out who these significant people are in your life are by just staying true to yourself.
As a confident individual, know that what is best for you is... what your inner calling desires. I know that may sound like a bunch of “magical thinking” but in all honesty, when working with thousands of entrepreneurs it always comes back to the individual's needs… and fulfilling them. Listen to others for advice and consider their perspectives, but in the end, you have to make your own choices. Taking a time out to listen to your inner voice is key in growing in your business and life!
Commit to your mission and vision, your purpose! For instance, if you want to grow a stronger mind, research on strategies and make plans to improve your behavioral patterns. Devote yourself to weekly activities such as meditating, writing on a journal and attending seminars on the matter. I give you total permission to be the best you. Commit!
You probably wouldn’t have guessed it from looking at my smiling face, and when I’m sharing about sleep on Facebook, but for years now, I have struggled through my daily life with a big dose of chronic pain. On bad days my pain has been sharp and debilitating, while on my best days it is a dull ache that shadows my every move. Yeah, that’s right - my best days have still pretty bad.
For some of us, sleep is a fickle mistress. We need it, we want it, but for some reason, we just can’t seem to fall asleep at night. We find ourselves staring at our partners at 3 am, their head deeply nestled in the pillow and soft snores escaping from their mouth... Sometimes I fight an uncontrollable urge to wake my husband up so he can share in my pain!
But sleep isn’t meant to be just outside our reach.
The reason why you think that it should be perfectly natural is because that’s exactly how it should be. These days we’re all leading less active, more sedentary lifestyles and when combined with our brain-altering screen time and overly processed diet, you have a recipe for an unhealthy life and a terrible night’s sleep.
Surely at this stage of our journey, I don’t have to keep reminding you of the basics. You know that coffee is going to keep you up at night and that you shouldn’t drink it after lunch. You’re a melatonin master and are well on your way to reducing screen times and naturally helping to boost your body’s products of that sleepy hormone. There’s no point in me continuing to ram these facts down your throat - basically, if you don’t know them by now you haven’t been paying attention.
You probably also have a good idea about the benefits of exercise in relation to sleep. Whether your morning workout is set in stone to help you start the day with a bang and fall asleep at night, or if you occasionally work out after work and experience the joy of immediately curling up in your warm bed, either way, you’re already trying to make sure you’re moving during the day so you can sleep like a stone at night.
Those are sleep solutions for beginners and I’m not going to fluff out a word count reiterating the same old sayings. But what if you’re already following all those tips, but still the sandman skips your house at night and you’re burning holes in your sheets from tossing and turning all the time?
Well then, it’s time we take a closer look at your diet.
Ranging from mild discomfort to full on digestive distress, our body’s ability to properly digest the foods we’re eating can play a big part in our brain’s ability to switch off and let us get a good night’s sleep.
There’s a reason we’re often told not to eat right before going to bed - our body needs our rest periods to set to work repairing itself. It might seem like we’re entirely switched off when we’re asleep, but it is more like the night shift takes control. If you’re cramming up their workload with digestive functions then you’re setting yourself back for the next day, which makes you feel sluggish and tired when your wake up the next day.
So, let’s start by reiterating that you should not be eating a big meal within the hour before your bedtime. Stretch it out longer if you can and give your body some time to really digest your dinner before you head to bed.
Once you have that rule established it’s time to look at what the foods you’re actually eating and how they can be affecting your sleep patterns.
Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night craving ice cream? While it might seem like a wonderful idea to have a big bowl of ice cream for dessert before heading to bed, the dairy might actually be doing more harm than good when it comes to your sleep habits.
We’ve been told for decades that cow’s milk contains tryptophan, which is a sleep-promoting hormone that will help send us off to sleep. This is still true, however, we’re now seeing that dairy products contain casomorphins which have an opioid effect on the body. What does this mean? Much like morphine, they can be highly addictive. It’s what makes you crave it more and more after you consume it, and yes makes you wake up in the middle of the night thanks to those cravings.
If you’re looking for that sweet tryptophan snooze but want to avoid the addictive nature of dairy there are other foods you can try eating before bed such as honey, nuts, seeds and eggs - just be sure not to overdo it.
A varied and balanced diet is always a good thing, but it’s crucial that we keep an eye on the best times to be eating certain foods. Spicy foods that may cause heartburn and indigestion should be consumed at least 4 hours before bed to give your body the best chance to digest it properly. Proteins like red meat are great to eat during the day because they’re harder to digest and as a result give us longer burning energy, while at night time the same slab of meat can keep us up.
While there are some obvious rules that we can all benefit from, it’s important to listen to your body and see how it reacts. The foods that keep us up at night might be different from person to person, so try eliminating them from your diet (one at a time to test your body’s reaction for the best results) and see how you fare.
If you’ve made it this far into the article and are slamming your head against a wall because you are already doing all of these things and still you’re plagued by restless nights, then don’t worry because this is where we get into the little things that can make a huge difference to your sleep habits.
Now it’s time we talked about sleep mistakes. You know? Those teeny, tiny insignificant little habits that you always think are definitely not having an effect on your sleep? It turns out they’re some of the biggest culprits.
The biggest sleep mistake you can make is not having a regimented sleeping pattern. I know, it’s hard to get into a rhythm when you’re starting off with a sleep debt, but creating a proper sleep routine is the best thing you can do to ensure you get more consistently great sleep at night. This means going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time every morning. It doesn’t have to be exact, but going to bed at roughly the same time will help your body to naturally ease itself into rest.
It’s also important to avoid the snooze in the morning. We’re all guilty of hitting the snooze button from time to time, occasionally setting our alarm 10 minutes early just so we can enjoy those 10 minutes of “extra” sleep. Please don’t do this. Rather than giving you extra sleep, it’s actually giving you interrupted sleep, which is what leaves you feeling tired later in the day.
Another big sleep mistake is not taking care of your sleep environment. This means trying to sleep with lights or a TV on in your bedroom, sleeping in uncomfortable clothing or attempting to get to sleep when you can feel that you’re too hot or too cold. To help you get a better night’s sleep it’s important that you set yourself up for success and take care to make your sleep environment as dark, calm and comfortable as possible.
Finally, a big sleep mistake that I've been seeing more often of late is napping. Now I know that there are some of you out there who rely on a daytime nap because you haven’t been able to get any sleep at night, but it’s time to put that theory to bed. Long naps will make you less tired in the long run, which can force your bedtime back later and later. If you’re dead on your feet and desperately need a nap, try to limit it to 20 minutes (any longer and you’ll probably feel groggy, not alert) and try not to nap in the late afternoon.
When you’re eating right, exercising and taking care of your sleep routine only to be foiled by your brain’s inability to switch off, don’t despair! There are still ways to help lead you into the land of nod. Here are five of my favorite supplements to help you get a better night’s sleep:
This is my favorite supplement, not only for my pain but for sleep, depression and anxiety! It has totally changed my life and have written a longer post here about it. Give it a try and you will thank me later, promise. Oh, but you don't want to take right before bed, probably about an hour before... and during the day as well.
One of the most popular herbs in ayurvedic healing, ashwagandha can help protect the immune system, combat stress, and reduce anxiety and depression. If your difficulty with sleep stems from one of these problems, a regular dose of ashwagandha can help ease those symptoms and allow you to have an undisturbed sleep.
We’ve known about the calming properties of lavender for a while now, with most magazines recommending that you use lavender beauty products in your nightly routine to utilize the scent to help give you a better night’s sleep. Lavender can also be taken in capsule form to help treat anxiety and alleviate insomnia caused by your moods.
Along with B Vitamins, magnesium is essential for your body to properly synthesize and digest melatonin, so if you’re deficient in magnesium that might account for your inability to sleep properly. You can take magnesium supplements orally, or you can dissolve it in water that you either drink or soak in. During particularly stressful times or when you’re struggling to get to sleep a nice warm bath with magnesium can help calm your nerves and might just be your ticket to the land of nod.
This plant-based supplement is generally used as an over-the-counter sedative and is said to improve your overall quality of sleep, rather than your ability to fall asleep faster. You can take passion flower in capsule form or you can drink a passionflower tea before bed.
It might be a tad confusing for some, but Rhodiola is generally used to reduce the effects of exhaustion and fatigue. No, it won’t act as a stimulant and keep you up all night, but it can improve cognitive function and help alleviate feelings of stress, which can be a factor that restricts your ability to sleep.
Sometimes you can do all the right things - eat a proper diet, exercise, find time to practice self-care - and still, your body betrays you. That has been my experience for the past several years as I attempted to find a way to manage my chronic pain.
Whether you have gone through it yourself or supported a family member or friend through their treatment, pretty much everybody on the planet has been touched by cancer. With each new treatment or precaution that is developed, it feels like we discover ten new potential causes, so it can definitely feel overwhelming to think about at times.
Back in our cave man days we only had a few impulses that our brains had to worry about. Sleep, hunt, gather, care for your young and try not to get eaten by any saber tooth tigers. Now we have complex languages (yeah I’m even counting text speak and emojis in there), demanding jobs, rich family lives, incredible technological advancements and serious TV addictions to contend with. Since our lives are demanding so much from us at all times it’s not surprising that our brains are struggling to keep up.
These days my only real connection to those cave man days is when my husband grunts at me when he’s concentrating on his phone screen, but rather than wanting to revert to a time of less brain function it’s time to help our brains reach their full potential.
Did you know that humans only tend to use 10% of our brains? And when you think about it, a lot of the functions that our brains perform aren’t active functions, they’re the automatic ones that we need to live such as breathing or moving around. As technology progresses we’re using fewer and fewer opportunities to challenge our brain purely because we definitely have an app for that.
Why use a map when my GPS will tell me how to get there - as well as the routes that have the most traffic and my estimated arrival time? Why take the time to read up on a subject to find out an answer to a random question that pops into my head (Which artist was famous for his polyphasic sleep patterns again?) when I can just Google it to get the answer in 3 seconds? (I was thinking of Leonardo da Vinci, by the way).
Hell, when was the last time you did a simple math question without using the calculator on your phone? It’s not surprising that most adults no longer know their multiplication tables or bother to memorize phone numbers. Our phones have basically replaced our brains.
There are lots of ways we can help our brain to work better, even just being sure to constantly challenge it and occasionally take a break from mindlessly staring at our screens to read or try something new is incredibly beneficial, but another way is to boost our brain power with Nootropics.
Your memory, motivation, alertness and creativity can all be affected by poor brain function. The cause of your sluggish brain could stem from a number of things including stress or a lack of sleep, but if you’re topping it up with brain-loving nutrients from the get go then you’re starting your day off on the right foot.
Let me take a moment to introduce you to my new little friend, Nootropics! Nootropics are natural drugs (I use that word lightly here, think nicotine) or supplements that have a beneficial effect on brain function in healthy people and can even help to reduce age-related declines in brain function. They can be taken in a drug form or in some cases (such as caffeine) they can be incorporated into your diet to help with memory, focus and creativity.
Your brain isn’t the fixed form we see it as - it can change, grow and improve. Nootropics that are beneficial for brain function are derived from naturally occurring compounds such as Phosphatidylserine, a type of fat compound found in the brain that can help to improve thinking skills and memory. Supplementing your diet with these drugs assist your body’s ability to regenerate and function at its highest levels - especially when you have dietary gaps because of food intolerances or a vegetarian diet.
When you think about it, our bodies are not only fueled by the foods we eat but made up of them and if we’re not giving it enough of the good stuff it needs then it’s going to start depleting its own resources.
Generally, unless you’re specifically getting a multivitamin, when we take the regular old supplements that you pick up from the pharmacy or supermarket you’re getting one type of compound that has been synthesised in a lab. Think those chewable Vitamin C tablets or iron supplements - that is all you’re getting when you pop one of those little tablets.
A lot of Nootropics work like this as well, where you can pick one type of ingredient or benefit and select a single Nootropic that has been designed to specifically target that field, and by taking it regularly you’ll definitely start to see some improvements - but only in regards to that one function.
However, to really get the most out of Nootropics it’s better to find a Nootropic stack that will get you covered from every angle and support all the gaps in your brain chemistry. If you make yourself a big bowl of spinach leaves for dinner, say it’s a salad and then call it a night, nobody can claim that you’re not being healthy. Spinach is full of beneficial vitamins and nutrients that have a positive impact on your body, but they work in tandem with the other foods we eat to nutritionally support all of our body’s functions.
Nootropic stacks work in the same way. By combining - or “stacking” - together multiple nootropics you’re able to support the various needs and functions of your brain. You can buy nootropic stacks in a single dose or stack them yourself. You should always start by trying single doses so you can assess the benefits and affects individually first.
Before we jump into my favorite 5 nootropics to help improve brain function, it should be noted that not all nootropics on the market - especially those made from previously unknown, exotic compounds - may not be thoroughly tested. In addition, everybody’s brain and body reacts differently, and there’s no definitive way to tell how your body will react to any compound, so you should always proceed with caution and consult your doctor if you feel you’re having a bad reaction.
This is the main nootropic stack I’m currently using so I definitely wanted to start here. Qualia is a combined stack of 10 nootropics that helps your mental focus, creativity, alertness and even your ability to feel empathy. When I take Qualia I feel more present and aware, with better brain function and an increased ability to problem solve. Basically, I’m my best version of me.
This is one of the most common nootropics and is a member of the “racetam” family of nootropics that are designed to help cognitive function. It has been shown to have an effect on the release of neurotransmitters and the activation of acetylcholine which helps the brain take up oxygen with improved blood flow, as well as promoting transference from one brain hemisphere to the other.
This is an incredibly popular nootropic with a wide variety of devoted users. It helps to increase brain function in a number of ways, but two of its main uses is to increase your resistance to fatigue and improve your mood. It has been used to increase brain function in sleep deprived doctors, so is definitely one to keep in mind if you regularly find yourself running with less than the optimum amount of sleep. While it is not a stimulant (ie. it won’t keep you awake) it does help your brain to function at a higher level when you’re sleep deprived which in turn will stop you from being a slave to fatigue.
Bacopa Monnieri is a creeping marsh plant native to India and is used as a nootropic to help improve cognitive function. This nootropic works in two ways: it helps to improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, while also helping to improve your memory and overall cognitive function. This does seem to take a bit longer to work than others so it is recommended that you try it for a month before giving up on it.
When it comes to accurately named products you can’t beat Unfair Advantage because its ability to help power up your body by providing your brain with energy without the jittery caffeine high of coffee. It works on a cellular level, supplying your mitochondria with the raw materials it needs to repair cells and function at its highest capacity.
When even one part of your life is out of whack you can start to experience a domino effect as it gradually knocks more and more things out of balance, and continues to draw you down until you feel like you’re stuck waist-deep in quicksand.
FOR THE LENTILS
3 cups French green lentils, rinsed and drained
4 cups water
2 tsps vegetable broth
4 stalks celery, diced (about 1½ cups)
1½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 medium shallots, finely diced
¼ cup packed chopped fresh parsley
Pinch of sea salt (optional)
FOR THE DRESSING
2 tsps Dijon mustard
2 tbsps red wine vinegar
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1. To make the lentils, combine the lentils, water, and broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender but firm.
2. Remove from the heat, drain any remaining liquid, and transfer the lentils to a large bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
3. Stir in the celery, tomatoes, shallots, and parsley.
4. To make the dressing, combine the mustard, vinegar, Herbes de Provence, pepper, and garlic in a small dish, and whisk.
5. Pour the dressing over the lentil mixture and toss well to combine. Season with salt to taste, if desired. Serve chilled.
Recipe adapted from: paleoplan
Here are some proven steps on how to say goodbye to migraine permanently.