Do you know the difference between dirt and soil? Dirt is the grime on the city sidewalks. It is the grey dust in the neglected corners of your house.
Soil, on the other hand, is a living, breathing community. I live in the Pacific Northwest. I’m surrounded by large moss-covered maple trees and towering Doug firs. There is no shortage of soil that is ready to eat and transform any of the detritus that falls on the ground.
In the city, however, everything that falls on the ground just sits and rots. When it rains it just turns to slime and washes into the smelly drains.
The rain forest here (the only rain forest in the US) is a temperate jungle filled with cougars, elk, deer, birds, and tree frogs.
The city is filled with rats, pigeons, and roaches. Feeding off the leftovers, handouts, and trash.
The interesting thing about the city is that it used to be a forest, meadow, and thriving ecosystem. It was filled with native plants and animals.
If you struggle with bellyaches, digestive trouble, or low immunity your gut is like a city street.
If you’ve taken antibiotics, you’ve slashed and burned the rain forest in your belly. If you’ve taken them multiple times, you’ve leveled the ground and started pouring concrete.
If you want to break that concrete with a pick ax and return it to a lush rain forest that feeds and nourishes your body at the core, then you’ve got to get in touch with me.
It’s simple. Schedule a call with me. Right now it’s complimentary if you are serious about taking the next steps to rebuilding your gut. Let’s discuss your options and create a plan.
Because your body is worth it. In fact, if there are any other goals you’re reaching for (I know you have many) this will help you reach them. Whether it is now or later on down the road, your body has to come first. And when it doesn’t it starts to break down. The body always wins – it starts with whispers and gets louder if you ignore those peeps and pains. If you ignore it even longer those peeps turn into shouts and symptoms that you can’t ignore.
Maybe you aren’t ignoring it, but you’re at your wits end and have tried everything to no avail.
I’m interested to hear your story. I want to know what you’ve tried, what’s worked and what hasn’t. I want to know what questions you have for me. And I want to let you know honestly what possibilities lie ahead based on my expertise.
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Whether the emotional stress of conflict or physical stress from Candida, allergies, or other gut imbalances – adrenal fatigue and adrenal burnout are no fun. It is most commonly caused by high stress. If you are an entrepreneur, you’ve likely experienced adrenal fatigue.
My adrenals were like shriveled raisins back when I was suffering from an imbalanced gut, allergies, and Candida. I had absolutely NO ENERGY. One Naturopathic doctor diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It sucks to not be able to get things done like grocery shopping or chores because you’re just too damn tired to get out of bed.
My mentor, Monica Shah, advises that in times like this you should make certain that your healing support team (acupuncturists, massage therapists, reiki practitioners, etc) are supporting you in your bigger vision. When faced with entrepreneurs who are in burnout, healers will often suggest that, “Running your own business is stressful, maybe you should get a jobby job or slow down.” (In the middle of your biggest launch or deadline.)
This can be really confusing because on one hand they are right, you need to figure something out. But I’m here to tell you that slowing down isn’t the antidote.
Because it is FEAR that burns out your adrenals…not the work.
If you’re a successful entrepreneur like me, you know what I’m talking about!!!
You continually push yourself outside of your comfort zone because you know that’s how you become successful. You’ve figured out that when something scares you you’re headed in the RIGHT direction.
Just last November, I hit my own wall and landed on the couch unable to do anything after a huge face-off with fear. But this time, I knew exactly what to do to nourish my adrenals and get to the root of the issue and was back to better in less than 5 days.
When you are living your purpose, writing your own rules, and carving out a new future for yourself, your clients, and the world there is a lot of fear to break through.
And break on through you will. It’s called the Terror Barrier.
Fear is an interesting animal. You’ve worked so hard to not feel it that you’ve created all sorts of bad behaviors to avoid it.
From getting paralyzed and watching all 7 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in only three weeks (been there – done that)
….to reading all the Harry Potter books in just over two weeks while ignoring all work (yep. done that, too)
….to feeling so numb that it becomes impossible to stop eating because the ‘belly is full’ voice can’t be heard through the vacuum of the black hole void. (has happened more times that I can count or care to recall)
…to deciding that TODAY is the perfect day to do a reorganization of the office, desk drawers, and filing cabinet instead of working to reach the deadline (MMmmmHmmm)
…fear is powerful.
It creates states of immobility, numbness, and shows up in your life in the form of perfectionism, procrastination, distraction, giving up, sleeping in, staying up late, and all sorts of other behaviors.
Reply in the comments below if you can relate to this. What kinds of crazy things have you done to avoid important things that scare the s*** out of you???
It is possible to release fear and get out of these behaviors that hold you back. It’s called Emotional Detox and I teach you how to do it in my Gut Rebuilding program. So stay tuned in the coming weeks for a great resource for you to learn how you can rid yourself of these self-sabotaging fear-based behaviors.
What are some of your self-sabotaging fear-based behaviors? Let us know in the comments below.
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When is the last time you ate like an animal? It’s not what you think. I’m not talking about wolfing down your food or pigging out. I’m talking about listening to your body and not your head. It’s called Intuitive Eating. And animals are the masters of it.
Have you ever noticed that animals don’t end up with chronic degenerative diseases or obesity?
Animals don’t have nutritionists or a food pyramid to study in order to figure out what to eat. They just know. This is instinct or intuition.
But guess what?!? You’ve got it too! Isn’t that exciting?
First, I want to paint a picture of what it means to NOT intuitively eat.
When you aren’t using your intuition to eat, you’re usually eating with your mind. This is one of the most dangerous ways to interact with food. Your mind was never meant to be in charge of this task.
Why? Because your brain is full of thoughts, justifications, facts, ideas, and explanations. And when you apply all of these to food it can lead to confusion, rigid rules, indecision, frustration, guilt, hiding, and games.
I know you’ve been there. We all have.
Picture yourself hungry for lunch and opening the fridge to find some food to eat. You see salad greens, dressing, leftover curry and rice from last night, carrots, blueberries, and there’s a pint of chocolate ice cream in the freezer.
And here begins the internal dialogue, “I really should eat a salad. It’s healthy. I don’t really need the carbs from the rice, not trying to pack on the pounds. Ooooh, blueberries, a superfood…they’re high in antioxidants…that might make me burn some fat and eat a little less. The curry was so yummy, though, but it kind of made my belly upset. Ice cream. That sounds good, but I’d have to save it for dessert. Maybe I could eat the salad and then I wouldn’t feel as guilty for eating the ice cream.”
See what’s happening here? You are justifying your desire to eat ice cream by eating the healthy food first. You’re making rules about eating dessert ONLY after you’ve eaten something else first. You’ve deemed salad as healthy and ice cream as unhealthy. The blueberries are a ‘superfood’ and it may help you burn fat. The curry was the only one where you actually listened to your body.
This can be crazy making to say the least. Now consider the fact that people do this every meal, every snack, 365 days a year.
The sad thing is that is the worst way to eat. It can actually lead to nutritional imbalances and anxiety around food. Over time it can become more severe as you completely shut off your body’s needs while you maintain a rigid diet.
But there is another way.
First let’s talk about the benefits of intuitive eating.
- You eat foods that will fulfill your nutritional needs.
- You have a better handle on not eating too much.
- You develop trust in yourself, your body, and honoring what it is asking for.
- You learn to decipher the messages that your body is sending you.
- You get to eat whatever you want whenever you want.
- You can actually tap into your healing potential.
Now let’s discuss the science behind intuitive eating.
Intuition is also known as your gut instinct. You have more neurons in your gut than in your brain. And the difference is that your gut doesn’t have thoughts.
So when you learn how to tap into your intuition and listen to your gut you will be giving your body exactly what it needs.
This is because of something called the gut-brain axis. This is the body’s fantastic communication system that allows your body to take in information from your digestive tract. When you eat food high in magnesium, your body remembers it. In the future when you need magnesium, your body will ‘crave‘ that food again.
You know when you get a hankering for something you haven’t had in years? This craving is often connected to a specific nutrient that the body needs to stay balanced.
Warning: There are things that can throw off your intuition. Years of eating processed food confuses intuitive eating. Getting your nutrient stores up is important in recovering this innate form of eating.
Having the wrong bacteria and yeasts in your system can also throw intuitive eating off. This is because the bacteria and yeasts can communicate through the gut-brain axis, too. If you have Candida it will tell your brain to get you to eat more sugar. If you have healthy probiotics living in your system, then you’ll crave less sugar and be able to tap into intuitive eating, stay nutritionally balanced, and maximize your health.
You can always learn more at gutrebuilding.com where you get 8-weeks of guided education to help you rebuild your gut, boost your immune function, and skyrocket your energy levels. For an entire week you will focus on Intuitive Eating. You’ll be guided in an audio recording on exactly how to tap into your gut-brain axis and begin to master the skill of Intuitive Eating.
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Back when I was suffering from my long list of ailments, I would try anything and everything in an attempt to get energy, ground myself emotionally, and stop the bloating.
During the trial and error there were a few things that worked well and I want to share them with you.
In the first stages of healing taking a long list of supplements is helpful…even lifesaving.
Here’s my basic recommendations. Of course, it is different for each individual so if you try this and it isn’t enough, let’s set up a time to talk so I can use my herbal wizardry on you and create the exact formula for your body type and situation.
- Heal the intestinal lining – Take 2 grams of L-Glutamine 2 times per day on an empty stomach. Learn more.
- Stimulate digestion – Take an herbal bitters formula (containing no sugar!) before or after each meal. Check it out here.
- Quell anxiety and fear – Take Holy Basil twice a day, but not too close to bed. This sacred herb helps elevate the mood and works as an adaptogen building the well worn adrenal glands.
- Add enzymes – To make up for the enzymes that are missing in the injured small intestine, take a couple of these with each meal to help fully digest your food and assist in assimilation and absorption.
- End Gut Dysbiosis – Take High-Quality Probiotics. To find out which kinds and how much, check out my Gut Rebuilding Program.
Remember, you must get the right foods and balance your overall body pH to fully heal, but we all need a hand up. Here’s yours. Let me know how it helps. And when you’re ready, join me in the Gut Rebuilding Program to end your gut’s freakout with food once and for all.
Food allergies are caused by chronic inflammation inside the small intestine. The inflammation leads to damage which inhibits proper digestion. This can be caused by Candida or irritation from bacterial or parasitic byproducts. It can be caused by an extra thick layer of mucus that prevents contact between the enzymes and the food. Also, folic acid or vitamin B12 deficiency.
Fermentation starts happening lower in the digestive tract as the improperly digested food reaches the large intestine.
Since the majority of digestion and nutrient absorption happens in the small intestine malnourishment or nutrient imbalances ensue. Over time the inflammation leads to tears in the intestinal wall. The microscopic tears allow undigested particles of food to pass through the intestinal wall directly into the bloodstream. These undigested particles get tagged by the immune system as ‘invaders’ and antibodies develop.
This is what causes the immune response to certain foods and explains how food allergies are more than just a digestive response. Over time the immune system gets taxed, and the adrenals wear out from all the allergic reactions.
It’s a terrible, toxic situation.
And the cure is in healing the digestive tract and intestinal lining. Check out my Gut Rebuilding Programto heal the foundation of your health.
I just got off the phone with yet another health coach who works with clients who have digestive disorders. She’s looking for support for how to coach and guide her clients in a way that ensures their success.
Still the most common recommendations health coaches give their clients are to go gluten-free and start taking probiotics.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t get to the root of most people’s digestive trouble.
And when their clients come back (or don’t) without fully resolving their health conditions, they blame themselves. And then thoughts start creeping in making them wonder if this is the reason they aren’t running the booming wellness practice they envisioned.
Sound familiar? Are you at a place where you just don’t know exactly what to tell your clients or patients when it comes to digestive disorders? Do you wish you had someone to bounce ideas off of or mentor you as you proceed to work with each of your clients?
It’s not your fault, digestive healing protocol isn’t really taught at most nutrition schools. Even as an herbalist, it took working with various herbal mentors to be successful in helping others fully heal their digestive disorders.
Please stop being so hard on yourself. And stop operating in isolation.
When approaching digestive healing using the current paradigm of healing focused on trying to eradicate the ‘bad guys’ you’ll struggle to really help people.
Why? Because you must start operating within the ecosystem of the body.
Imagine traveling with your whole family, aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone. You all want to go stay in a hotel and you show up, but this hotel is strange. It has no beds.
What do you do? You move on to the next hotel, of course. This is no good.
That’s exactly what’s happening inside the body when you douse your system with probiotics, but you haven’t created the right ecosystem in which they can live.
So they pass on through your body because there was NO WHERE to sleep!
If you find yourself without confidence in your current methods to create the real healing for your clients – it might be time to work this out. For the sake of your clients, but also so you can step into the role as the healer you are meant to be.
Learn how to create beds in your and your clients’ hotels. It’s much easier to heal when you let the ecosystem do all the work.
Leave me a comment on the blog and let me know what you think.
(Pic by Jenny http://www.flickr.com/people/yoohoojuju/)
Recipes For Rebuilding: How to Combine the Powers of Live-Cultured Fermented Veggies and Herbal Medicine for Deep Healing
A few weeks ago one of my big dreams came true. Ever since 2005 when I first went to Breitenbush Hotsprings Retreat in Oregon, I knew I wanted to lead a workshop there. As I flipped though the color catalog with all the well-known facilitators and teachers, I pictured myself featured in the spread.
Fast forward seven years and here I am…not only am I teaching at the Breitenbush Herbal Conference, but I was invited with all expenses paid. Now that’s a dream come true with icing on top!
Here’s more info about the conference: http://www.breitenbushherbalconference.com/index.html
My film crew was there as I taught a room full of nutrition nerds and herbalists! During the 5 hours, I told my personal healing journey, my philosophy, and my mission. I lectured on Creating a Thriving Intestinal Ecology, Fermentation 101, and Recipes for Rebuilding. I demoed How to Set Up A Fermentation Station in Your Own Home – Without Stinking Up the Whole House, Lacto-Fermentation, and Fermentation with Herbs!I reveled in the experience of teaching a 5-hour intensive called: Recipes For Rebuilding: How to Combine the Powers of Live-Cultured Fermented Veggies and Herbal Medicine for Deep Healing
Action packed, I tell ya!!!
I lay in the silent pool that night under the stars. Hot water steaming. Exhausted. Grateful. Satisfied.
On Sunday, I taught a class called Acid-Alkaline Balance: The pH Health Mystery Explained.
After I lectured, 34 people lined up to grab pH papers, plates, and lemon juice. I walked them all through my own method of testing pH to determine how to proceed with cleansing toxins, rebuilding the gut, and boosting alkalinity.
Not everyone can go at the same pace. If your mineral reserves are depleted (from years of coffee, processed foods, sugar addiction, medications, et. cetera) you have to rebuild first before you can cleanse. This is common among my clients. They’ve been cleansing for all these years, but they haven’t actually been building the mineral reserves that allow for their body to ‘contain’ the mineral reserves.
I hope to share all these videos and information with you someday. I condensed 12 hours worth of lectures into a 5 hour slot. And it worked!
I attended other herbalists’ classes and connected with teacher of various herbal medicine schools in the Pacific Northwest like Howie Brownstein, Cascade Anderson Geller, Erico Schleicher, Scott Kloos, and more.
I was totally in my element with all these health and plant geeks at every turn.
This is what some of the participants had to say about the workshops:
Donna Johnson, Accountant – Seattle, WA
“I am a visual and auditory learner & I enjoy being able to experience “you” and listen to your knowledge in person. Thinking of making kraut without listening to tips & tricks would make me nervous to try to making it. However with this class I am more apt to try it home. I hadn’t eaten kraut except with a hot dog. Now since your class I have made sure I don’t run out of OlyKraut. I love it!”
Julia Vieau, Student – Austin, TX
“I learned a lot in Summer’s miso-making workshop. I no longer feel intimidated by the process and I’m excited about trying my own variations. Summer is knowledgeable, prepared and fun. She made sure to answer all of the questions that came up and provided information on where to find all the supplies adn ingredients needed. Great class!”
Sarahann Swain, Student – Seattle, WA
“As always Summer balances science, practicals and wit to convey helpful information. She’s approachable, easy to learn from and always prepared.”
Caitlin Caldwell, Farmer – Seattle, WA
“This was an awesome class. I really appreciate you supporting everyone to truly listen to their body in order to create health. I loved learning about pathways of elimination and ways to detox. This topic is so complex and substantial that I feel like it needs more time- but great info for what time we had. Loved your thoughts on sharing food with others! SO important.”
Lori Lively, Editor at Marlene’s – Seattle, WA
“Summer is a natural educator. Her educational background is impressive and she is in full command of her facts. Her casual approach is inviting and the information nothing short of life-saving.”
Sanya Brown, Herb Buyer – Ashland, OR
“Summer is an excellent teacher. I learned much new information that I can take home to use for better health and to share with my customers. I was surprised at the depth of knowledge she has and how good she is at making it all accessible with humor and wisdom.”
People are always asking me, “Wow, you’re really busy. How do you get it all done and still make time for taking care of yourself?” And some people just ask me point blank, “How do you do so much?”
I run two very successful businesses in two different cities. I’m passionate about growing the local economy and creating sustainable food systems while boosting the health of everyone (including the planet) involved.
I play on the weekends, travel to NYC every three months, lead a yearly retreat in Mexico, teach 2-6 classes per month, and have a very full and big lovely life!
So, how do I do it all?
I have a secret. Many secrets, actually.
My secret for getting everything done is two-fold.
1. My Master Schedule
2. Clarity of purpose.
Allow me to tell you a little about each.
Using my favorite Moleskine journal (with graphing paper) I create an hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute play of everything I need to do each day. I suggest writing out all your weekly and monthly tasks and having that list handy as you create this.
It’s all about being realistic with time and priorities.
Most people make the mistake of giving themselves way too many things to do. They want to take this class and eat healthy and get up earlier. But they never sit down to see if it all fits in their schedule. This is the reason they never reach their goals and always feel like there’s not enough time.
For everything you need and want to do each week, you have to make time for it. So, if you want to eat healthy, you need time in your schedule not only for preparing your food, but for grocery shopping as well.
I create a Master Schedule every single quarter and post it on my wall. Your schedule is continually evolving as you grow and evolve.
Here is an example of my current Master Schedule:
When you look to highly successful entrepreneurs, Richard Branson is a good place to start. When asked how to become more productive, his answer was, “Work out.”
Getting exercise should be a high priority on your list. But do you know which kinds of exercise make you feel awesome and make you super productive? It’s highly individual. You’ve got to feel good in your body and this is one of the foundational pieces. Where is it in your Master Schedule?
Cleaning up your diet and healing unresolved health concerns will convert tons of stuck energy and ADD into focused and powerful action. Make time for this in your schedule. When do you get massage? When do you prep your lunch for the next day? Do you have healthy, healing foods on hand at all times?
If you need help figuring this out and making this personalized to your specific needs we should talk.
Rituals are very important. I have a personal morning ritual that I do to keep me inspired, focused, and tapped in to my higher self. My number one goal is keeping myself grounded, relaxed, and calm. This is the fodder for creativity. Without this, I get burned out and start self-sabotaging because I need deep rest. Prioritizing self-care will give you a solid base whether you are building your business, taking charge of you or your family’s health, or being the expert in your field.
Check out these famous people’s examples of their schedules and rituals to get inspired. http://www.onlinecollege.org/2010/01/11/25-famous-thinkers-and-their-inspiring-daily-rituals/
So, what’s this Clarity of Purpose?
This means getting more and more focused over time. Refinement. Clearing out the clutter.
When I was in college, I was a hip-hop DJ, I played 8 different instruments, studied media, film, produced electronic music, made fermented foods, studied botany, made herbal medicine, and was keenly interested in nutrition. I was obsessed with bike-riding, rowed in crew, took all the pre-requisites for medical school, minored in audio recording, started a gourmet sauerkraut company, started a health coaching company, saw herbal clients, worked at a supplement store, worked on prairie restoration for 4 years as a scientist technician, made art, painted, invented things, skinned a couple dead animals, played Capoeira, went to Brazil, created and maintained gardens, did Ashtanga yoga, traveled to NYC for school, hosted wine and chocolate parties, studied the mold that makes tempeh (R. oligosporus), and many more things.
Yes, I clearly had a problem and it’s called OVERCOMMITMENT. But I love learning and I love having varied interests. I love people and I love all the cool things that are happening everyday and want to be involved in the things that inspire me.
But you can’t do everything. There isn’t enough time.
So you have to pick what you spend your time on. The easiest way to do this is to create a mission.
My mission is to make healing accessible to all people. I don’t want over-the-counter medications and pharmaceuticals clouding people’s journey to health. In fact, I want people to stop settling for everyday problems like headaches, digestive troubles, and low energy. Stop looking for health from the outside and access their own internal healers. This is the only way people will heal and stay healthy.
This is my purpose. With this mission in mind, I can look at my daily activities and see what needs to stay and what needs to go.
This hasn’t always been easy. When I gave up DJing, I was sad. But it wasn’t congruent. I couldn’t stay up late DJing at parties where everyone was drinking and using drugs. Not in line with my mission. So, I sought out DJs I liked and listen to their music now. Maybe one day I’ll pick it back up again, but for now, I’m not willing to water down my time or money when I know exactly what I am here to do.
This doesn’t mean you need to become a boring robot. You need varied interests. But stick with the ones that boost you up and bring you closer to your goal. What is your mission? What activities are you doing on a daily basis that are in line with your bigger goals and higher self? That is clarity of purpose.
This week I went on a camping trip in the woods with some amazing people. There were 5 adults and 8 teenage boys. We jumped off rocks into ice-cold water, walked through the lush rainforest under trees dripped with lichen, and laughed when we discovered that the raccoons had eaten our chicken.
The best part about the trip for me was not having my phone or computer. As an owner of two businesses, I spend a lot of time in front of the computer.
I’m embarrassed to tell you this, but I wake up in the morning to the alarm on my phone and check my Facebook and email to get my brain in gear to help me wake up. It’s terrible, I know.
But 3 days in the woods helped me see just how much I don’t need this little bad habit.
So, I’m banning my computer and phone from my bedroom.
What do you need to unplug from? Do you spend too much time in the kitchen snacking? Or do you make the exception for buttered popcorn at the movies (trans-fat galore!) Are you still addicted to sugary treats that you reward yourself with for a job well done? Or are you still overeating when you feel depressed, mad, sad, frustrated, or lonely? Do you eat when you aren’t hungry? Do you need to sort out your relationship with food?
In order to figure this out you need to unplug from your daily life and habits.
I propose that you join the Nutrition Geek Detox this summer so that you can step away from your bad habits, get a fresh perspective, and come back with a clear head and a decision to make it better.
You deserve to have everything you want. What is getting in your way of having the life you want to have? What is in the way of having the relationship with your body that is loving and generous?
You are in charge of removing these obstacles so you can achieve your dreams (and deep down you must realize that you are the one that put these obstacles here in the first place – most likely you did it subconsciously.)
When you cleanse, you remove the physical toxins from your bodily tissues. These physical toxins are actually blockages for energy flow. By removing these physical barriers, you also free up mental and emotional energy simultaneously. Brilliant!
I want you to have everything you’ve ever wanted. I’m here to help you get that. If you’ve worked with me before, you know that I take a stand for all my clients to get *exactly* what they want from life. And no matter which way you throw the dice, life is better in a body that is healthy, clean, and full of energy.
I want you to unplug from your bad habits. Let’s go there together. July 16th-23rd. We’ve got over 20 people on board. Don’t let this ship sail without you.
I went by my friend, Rebeca’s house recently and she had 3 GIANT calendula plants. There were so many bright orange flowers I had to pick some! I use calendula flowers to make tea and oil. The active constituents in calendula flowers activate rapid healthy cell growth.
TEA (Dry Flowers)
I used calendula flower tea when I got gastritis. I recommend it to my clients when they have problems with their gums, mucous membranes, skin abrasions, or are feeling down in the dumps in the middle of winter.
OIL (Wilted Flowers)
Use the oil after showering. It is great on cuts and scars.