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January 3, 2019
New year, new you. Sound like your typical new year’s sentiments?
Unrealistic resolutions are rarely REAL solutions to the wellness woes of the busy holiday season. Join us as we explore some mindful choices to help you on your journey of happiness, health, and mindfulness in the new year!
In 2019, I’m going to do _______ every day. Insert what pops into your mind: 30-minute meditation, running 10 km, eating less, eating a whole-foods only, plant-based diet, taking a cabinet full of supplements to upgrade your health and functioning. These are common goals I see clients coming in with.
We all have visions for what we’d like our days to look like. Or perhaps we compare what we should be doing with those we idolize on social media. But these notions often lack intentionality and realistic applications.
The idea of curating intentions for the new year has a far better ring to it than setting hard-and-fast-forgotten new year’s resolutions! All our actions rely on intention, whether we’re mindful of it or not. It provides a guiding principle for how you want to be, live, and show up in the world. It’s not something you attach an expectation or evaluation or deadline to.
As a Registered Psychologist specializing in Nutrition Psychology and Mindful Eating, there are a few topics I frequently explore with clients on their wellness journey. In my practice, December is always fully booked with individuals or families looking to dive deep into these specific topics: stress, anxiety, cognitive functioning, gut health, energy levels, and immunity. Botanica has formulated several supplements to specifically address these areas, which may fit within your daily ritual or when you’re noticing certain areas ramping up or down and in need of attention.
Below I’m sharing ways you can anchor Botanica supplements and mindfulness activities into the meals or activities you do every day!
Do you have a daily, weekday, or weekend ritual of having a smoothie or in the morning? If you said yes, I have a nutritious ingredient and mindfulness-based practice you can anchor to that already established ritual!
Botanica has come out with a new Perfect Protein Elevated line, designed with specific goals in mind. The Adrenal Support formula has 20g fermented and sprouted complete plant protein packed with naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, fibre, and adrenal-balancing ingredients. Those foods and nutrients include: ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb to support energy levels, immune function, and reduce anxiety and stress1,2; reishi, which helps increase energy and resistance to stress3, and vitamin C, which is used by the body in particularly stressful times1,4.Before you enjoy your upgraded smoothie in the morning, try doing a 3-minute breathing space. Breathing exercises have been shown in numerous research studies to reduce one’s stress response5. Start by closing your eyes and focusing on the physical sensations of your deep breath, and gradually expand that awareness through your whole body, and to your environment, for as little as 3 minutes. Open your eyes and enjoy the nourishment before you!
Another supplement Botanica offers to support with anxiety and mood is their John’s Wort Liquid Herb. St. John’s Wort is compared with antidepressant drugs in many clinical studies and has been found to reduce anxiety in some populations2,6. You can add this to your first glass of water in the morning as a means of anchoring this habit to what you already do! This is a herbal remedy that you always want to check use of with your family doctor and/or pharmacist due to known drug interactions and contraindications for use.
The body scan is a foundational mindfulness practice, with serious scientific backing7,8. It can be practised seated in a chair or on the floor or lying down. The body scan provides a rare opportunity for us to experience our body as it is, without judging or trying to change it. You can use a guided body scan from apps such as Calm or Insight Timer, or simply allow your awareness to float systematically from your feet towards the top of your head. This practice may also increase awareness to your physical needs and sensations, which can help you take better care of your body and make healthier decisions about eating, sleep, exercise, and more.
A body scan meditation is a practice that can be performed daily or even several times a day. This meditation can help you learn to identify what you’re feeling and where you’re feeling it and learn to release the stress in your body and mind.
My suggestion? Try it paired with an existing daily routine. Perhaps you have a morning coffee? Make it a better butter coffee by using a cup of regular or decaf coffee + 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter or coconut oil + 1/2 scoop of Perfect Protein Elevated Brain Booster. Set your coffee to brew, find a comfortable sitting or lying position, complete a 10-20 minute body scan, then whip up your upgraded coffee for a mindful morning kick!
Nutrition-wise, perhaps you have a nightly ritual of a warm beverage (tea, hot chocolate, golden mylk). Make it a mindful and nutritious wind-down from the day with either Botanica’s Turmeric Golden Mylk. It features ashwagandha, which is a herb with anti-inflammatory, rejuvenating, and anxiety-reducing qualities1, 2 you may want to consider having daily or at times of high stress in your life. Turmeric has been all the health-food rage for many years as it’s known to be a potent anti-inflammatory10.
You can pair this delicious warming beverage with a mindfulness practice to attend to lifestyle interventions. Consider pairing it with Loving Kindness Meditation. We know from research that meditation helps regulate the stress response, thereby suppressing chronic inflammation states and maintaining a healthy gut-barrier function11.
Green tea, especially matcha green tea that contains the whole leaf ground down into the tea for you to consume, has a high L-theanine content. L-theanine in matcha green tea significantly increases the brain’s alpha waves, which relaxes the mind without causing drowsiness, thus enabling you to have focused energy12.
Further, to keep mood and energy stable instead of having highs and lows, you can pay further attention to the macro and micronutrients to consume. From nutrition psychology, we take the approach where ALL meals and snacks contain healthy fat, protein, and complex carbohydrates.
So upgrade that morning energizing beverage by making it a Matcha Latte with your choice of milk, a spoonful of matcha tea powder PLUS 1 scoop of Botanica Perfect Greens or 1 scoop of Botanica Perfect Protein.
Sleep and diet play a large role in your immune health. Lack of sleep can severely impair your immunity and make you more vulnerable to infections like colds and flu13. One of the factors that affect natural resistance or immunity is nutrition14.
Perhaps your current bedtime ritual can be upgraded to support greater quality and quantity of nutritious intake in the evening as well as sleep to benefit the brain and body.
My tip? When you feel worn down or like you’re getting sick, have a mindful and nutritious bedtime routine. Power down electronics 1 hour before bed. Dim the house lights and noises. Take 10 deep, diaphragmatic breaths. Then have a shot of green juice with 4-6 drops of Botanica Oregano Oil. The green juice will offer up Vitamin C, known for its immune health quality15. Research has shown oregano oil can act as an antibacterial remedy for enhancing the healing process in bacterial infections and as an effective means for the prevention of antibiotic-resistant strain development16.
Don’t forget — this is YOUR health journey, nobody else’s! You can switch up any of these tips above and consider using the supplements in other foods or drinks, from smoothie bowls to chia seed puddings or energy balls. And remember, the best drinks and snacks are mindful ones.
So, try our recipe of nutritious and mindfulness practices for lasting health upgrades for mind and body for the year ahead. We look forward to joining you on the journey! Share your recipes with us by using #BotanicaRecipe on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Happy new year, and may you experience joy, love, happiness, health, and good intentions!