And so it is. A new year, a new approach. With all of the "New Year, New You" messages that we saw, we scratched our heads knowing that there is a better mindset, as you are already enough. Rather than leaving the old ways completely behind in the dust, may we learn from them and appreciate those ways for what it taught us as we move forward and continue to pave our our way with intention and care.
This year, we are focusing our efforts on refining our approach towards living well by finding and implementing ways to enhance, rather than to restrict or omit. The Four Aspects of Health & Wellbeing that will serve as our personal tentpoles, and hopefully for you as our readers and community as well, include MINDCARE, BODYCARE, RELATIONSHIPS and ENVIRONMENT. Throughout January, we will touch on these four aspects by sharing the rituals, products and services that will help you in achieving them.
For today, Mindcare it is.
The brain is mostly made up of fat (nearly sixty percent), therefore consuming ample, quality amounts is crucial to brain health -- literally, feeding the brain to support optimal cognitive function. Gone are the days of "reduced fat" fad diets in exchange for a fat-forward approach to diet that incorporates wholesome, quality fats that nourish the brain and body.
GHEE (clarified butter) is valued for its ability to transport the benefits of herbs and spices to the brain and other parts of the body. Find it in Ancient Organics Ghee, Zenbunni Gheenache, Sun Potion Prash and Flora Ex Machina Royal Ghee.
TRACE MINERALS assist in re-establishing vitality after prolonged periods of fatigue, or to prevent energy loss before, during, or after a significant physical or mental challenge. Found in our Quinton Hypertonic, it is best for parasympathetic dominant physiologies, helping to improve sympathetic and parasympathetic balance.
Other sources of high quality brain-boosting fats include avocados, pure oils such as grapeseed, olive, and coconut, and raw nuts such as almonds, cashews, brazil and macadamia. We love the entire plant-intelligent line of Laka Living Tonic Butters (Super Shroom, Super Root and Adaptogenic Cookie Butter) for a quick morning fix to nourish the brain and balance blood sugar.
STRESS REDUCTION & MOOD
Even the most well-oiled machines undergo significant setbacks when operating under chronic stress. Stress affects mood, increases cortisol levels, slows digestion and interrupts the immune system. By supporting the body with adaptogens that target stress and mood, we're able to return to a state of homeostasis so that our well oiled machines continue to function smoothly.
ASHWAGANDHA, sometimes referred to as Indian Ginseng, is a stress-supportive powerhouse that helps to reduce physical, emotional, and mental stress and fatigue while promoting a positive mind and mood. Find it in Anima Mundi Qi Protein, Moondeli Calming Adaptogen, Moon Juice Ashwagandha and Wunder Workshop Golden Balance.
CACAO, a potent pleasure food, sends dopamine signals to the brain while its supply of essential magnesium helps to ease muscle tension and satisfy cravings (especially those surrounding PMS). Find it in Moon Juice Cacao and Deep Chocolate Protein, Zenbunni Gheenache, Addictive Wellness Raw Chocolate and Moondeli Bliss Booster.
MACA is a Peruvian wonder root that reduces stress while supporting energy, memory and mood. Essentially, a caffeine-free boost of energy that has tasting notes similar to caramel...into it. Find it in Moon Juice Maca and Deep Chocolate Protein, Moondeli Energy Tonic andThe Nue Co Energy Food + Prebiotic.
MUCUNA PRURIENS is a therapeutic adaptogen (known in the plant world as "the magic velvet bean") containing L-DOPA, the precursor to dopamine production that specifically targets healthy mood. Find it in Moon Juice Mucuna Pruriens and Addictive Wellness "Love" Raw Chocolate.
ENERGY, CLARITY & FOCUS
More often than not, we hear many customers describing symptoms of mental fatigue and exhaustion, even when they're getting 8+ hours of quality sleep at night. Specific adaptogens serve as swift nudges to awaken energy, clarity and focus, which is essential to productivity and performance.
CORDYCEPS is a potent mushroom adaptogen that has properties similar to maca and cacao, staving off fatigue and enhancing energy levels. It's especially recommended for athletes and those that lead physically active lifestyles because of its ability to improve endurance, focus and stamina during exercise. Find it in Moon Juice Vanilla Mushroom Protein, Addictive Wellness "Focus" Raw Chocolates and Laka Living Super Shroom Butter.
RHODIOLA is a brain tonic in a jar that is mildly stimulating in nature, supporting mental clarity, focus and creativity. Find it in Anima Mundi Energy Tonic and Sun Potion Rhodiola.
SHILAJIT seems to have a targeted mechanism for protecting brain cells in particular, highlighted in certain studies for its neuroprotective qualities. Just a bit of this in your morning tonic delivers energy and revitalization while doing deeper work to nourish all systems of the body, including kidneys, liver and hormones. Shaman Shack is our preferred provider, and can be found in their Three Immortals and 4 Eternals.
We also love diffusing Vitruvi's rosemary essential oil to enhance memory and focus throughout the day.
If anything, this is the most fundamental practice to the aspect of mindcare, however most are highly resistant to it. Creating personal space for solitude and self-reflection, however it looks or feels, is extremely powerful in nourishing the mind, reducing stress hormones in the body, and achieving mental clarity and focus so that we may better navigate this life and do so at a much higher frequency and vibration.
We've fallen in love with the gorgeous and growing line of Samaya Meditation Cushions for optimal support and comfort during practice and Inner Compass cards for setting daily intentions and supporting the journey of self-discovery.
We love the Insight App to help keep ourselves accountable in the comfort of our own homes, but have been hosting weekly meditations at Boketto (Thursday mornings, 9:45-10:30am) to sit in silence as a community. It has been profound and we welcome any and all to join us, no RSVP required.
There's certainly no shortage of words regarding how important a daily gratitude practice is. David Steindl-Rast explains it all too well in this TED talk, which we come back to again and again as a necessary reminder. Through meditation, journaling and moments of self-reflection and awareness, the ability to fixate on those things, big or small, that we are grateful for in our lives is transformational.