The Benefits of Interacting with Animals

The Benefits of Interacting with Animals
Hey there!  

In today’s final post about natural stress 
relief, we’re going to encourage you to 
spend more time interacting with animals! 

I so miss having our dog and cats, however
our lifestyle right now is just not the best for
pets.  Don't worry, I get my fill with all the 
neighbors dogs when we are out walking.

Many studies have shown that interacting 
with animals greatly reduces our stress 
levels. And you don't even need to adopt 
one in order to benefit from it, although 
there are plenty of domesticated animals 
in dire need of a forever home.     

People around the world turn to animals 
for emotional support, and for a good 
reason. This type of interaction actually 
lowers cortisol, which is a steroid hormone 
that triggers a negative response to any 
type of stress.     

The less cortisol that you have in your 
system, the calmer you'll feel whenever 
you're in a stressed situation.    

Interacting with animals also increases 
oxytocin, which is a hormone that actually 
reduces stress. So the more you play with 
animals, the more oxytocin your body 
produces, and the happier you feel overall.    

If you don't consider yourself to be an 
animal person, then at least keep in mind 
that animals reduce stress without necessarily 
having hands on interactions. Oh yes, this 
is new to me too!

To use animals as a way to naturally reduce your 
stress, you can:

-Watch animal videos online- There are plenty of
funny dog, cat and farm animal videos found on
YouTube that are sure to make you smile.   

-Observe an animal slideshow- These are simply
pictures of cute animals in video format. 

-Visit a farm-Spend time with Bessie the cow, goats,
chicken, and more.

-Take a trip to your local zoo.

-Adopt one!

-And if you do have a pet, consider taking them 
to nursing homes that allow our furry friends to
visit.  You will be doing a double dip on your
anxiety and stress relief while greatly helping 
the residents!

The last suggestion is definitely a long-term 
commitment, so if you're thinking of going that 
route then consider interacting with a few 
animals at your local shelter. See what type 
of animal you're drawn to, spend some time with 
it and then see how you feel.      

The more you spend time doing any of these in 
your spare time, the calmer you'll feel. 

You may even find yourself thinking about dogs
whenever you're in a stressful situation, or going
for a horse ride when your workload keeps piling up.      

The most important thing is keep your stress 
levels down, so find the right type of animal 
for your personality type. When it comes to dogs, 
a high energy dog may not be the right one that 
you're looking for. So take your time and enjoy 
yourself.   

And consider watching short animal videos throughout 
your day, as a way to keep yourself calm and focused. 
  
We hope you've enjoyed this blog series about 
natural ways to alleviate stress. We wish you 
nothing but the best and pray for a healthy 
journey toward a happy, stress-free life!  

We're going to stay with the mind for the next
series and we'll be concentrating on the toxins
we're exposed to both inside and out!


Until then,

Aimee Carlson
The Toxin Terminator

PS:  Tell me, which natural stress relief have you found the most helpful?  Remember, we had 6 we discussed!



Adrenal Support


As we discuss recharging our bodies, I have to tell you that using these two essential oils have been a lifesaver for my adrenals!!  I find nutmeg to irritate my skin on it's own, so I use a bit of coconut oil.  Apply 1-2 drops of NUTMEG over adrenals (found on mid back just about an inch on either side of your spine) first thing in the morning.  I then apply a drop of ENDOFLEX over my thyroid and a drop or two over my adrenals as well!  Check out the picture below. The adrenal glands are the yellow on top of the kidneys.   Need to get some of these oils?  CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED





The Benefits of Herbal Teas

The Benefits of Herbal Teas
Hey there,

In today’s blog post about natural stress 
relief, we’re going to discuss the 
benefits of herbal tea. 

Herbal teas have been consumed by humans 
for thousands of years. While there are 
numerous benefits for your physical health, 
there are also many for your mental health as well. 

It all depends on what kind you drink.   

For example, you're probably aware of the 
fact that green tea is incredibly healthy 
for you. In addition to preventing cancer, 
this herbal tea also helps with your 
cognitive functioning.   

Studies have shown that consuming a few cups 
of green tea a day can help improve your 
memory. And when you have a strong memory, 
you're able to think more clearly and properly 
handle stress. 

For the optimal effect, it's recommended that 
you consume about 28 grams of green tea per day.   

Another herbal tea that can reduce your 
stress levels is jasmine tea.  

Jasmine tea is derived from Jasmine flowers. 

These flowers are highly nutritious, and 
packed with antioxidants that specifically 
help with your brain's functionality.  

The antioxidants found in jasmine tea specifically 
protect the cells in our brain that are associated 
with age-related damage.    

As we get older, these cells can weaken and cause 
us to react differently to stress. We're not able 
to handle it as well as we did when we were younger.    

But consuming a few cups of jasmine tea per 
day can actually prevent this from happening, 
meaning you can naturally reduce your stress.  

There are other types of herbal teas on the market 
that can naturally help your stress, so try a few 
different ones and see if you have a favorite. Or 
drink different ones throughout the day.    

You may also find that you only want to consume 
herbal tea when you're stressed out.   

As always, check your labels and know the 
ingredients.  Look for non-bleached tea bags
if using bags and organic leaf teas.  


Stay tuned for the next in this series on stress, 
when we'll discuss how interacting with animals 
can help you alleviate stress.

Blessings,

Aimee Carlson
The Toxin Terminator


Adrenal Support


As we discuss recharging our bodies, I have to tell you that using these two essential oils have been a lifesaver for my adrenals!!  I find nutmeg to irritate my skin on it's own, so I use a bit of coconut oil.  Apply 1-2 drops of NUTMEG over adrenals (found on mid back just about an inch on either side of your spine) first thing in the morning.  I then apply a drop of ENDOFLEX over my thyroid and a drop or two over my adrenals as well!  Check out the picture below. The adrenal glands are the yellow on top of the kidneys.   Need to get some of these oils?  CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED





Eat Your Stress Goodbye-Stress Reducing Meal Plan Ideas

Eat Your Stress Goodbye-Stress Reducing Meal Plan Ideas
EAT YOUR STRESS GOODBYE!


When you’re stressed out, the foods that you’re turning to are most likely going to be traditional ‘comfort’ foods – think big meals, take-out, fatty foods, sweet foods, and alcohol. Let’s face it – we’ve all found some comfort in a tasty meal and a bottle of beer or glass of wine when we’ve been stressed out or upset about something. And these past several years have pushed many of us over the edge! However, this isn’t a good permanent solution.

When you’re turning to unhealthy foods you can feel better temporarily, but in the long run, you will feel worse. When your body isn’t getting the right nutrition, you can begin to feel less energetic, more lethargic, and in some cases less able to concentrate and focus. All of this can lead to even more stress.

Foods that Fight Stress

If you’ve been feeling more stressed out than usual lately, it’s important to know which foods are best to choose and which to avoid when it comes to combating stress and helping you to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. The best way to fight stress is to have a healthy, balanced diet which includes a moderate amount of each of the different food groups.
Filling up on foods such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, and lean proteins as the basic staples of the diet is the best way to ensure that your body gets the optimum amounts of nutrients to fight both physical and mental health problems. When it comes to choosing the foods to eat, some have a range of great properties which help the body to combat stress. Choosing these stress-busting foods will help to heal and calm your mind permanently, rather than providing a temporary fix. 

Some of the best stress-fighting foods include:
  
  • Blueberries – If you’re feeling stressed out and reaching for the snacks, swapping chocolate or chips for one of the best superfoods is a great way to help you deal with your stress levels and achieve a higher level of calm. Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, especially antho-cyanin, which means that this berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind – all of which can help you to better deal with stress.
  •  Chamomile Tea – Of course, it’s not all about what you’re eating when it comes to managing stress; what you’re drinking can also alleviate or worsen the stress you're feeling. Drinking liquids which are high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or soda, can actually increase your stress levels if consumed regularly. Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother, and it has also been used in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.      
  • Avocado – Avocados are a creamy and versatile fruit which can be eaten in a range of different ways whether you enjoy it raw, made into sauces, dressings and dips, or in a smoothie. These nutrient-dense fruits have the properties to stress-proof your body, thanks to their high glutathione content which specically blocks the intestinal absorption of certain fats which cause oxidative damage. Avocados also contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties. However, be careful with portion control when eating avocado, as it is high in fat.
  • Beef – Grass-fed beef is not only kinder to the planet and to animals, it’s also good for people, too. Grass-fed beef has a huge range of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and Vitamins C and E, which can help your body to fight stress and anxiety. If you’re looking for more reasons to spend a little more money on organic, grass-fed beef, it’s also lower in fat than grain-fed beef whilst being higher in omega-3.
  •  Oatmeal – Oatmeal is great in that it can be a filling comfort food, but also has a large number of healthy properties to actually make you feel better from the inside out. A complex carbohydrate, eating oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, helping you to feel calmer and less stressed. Studies have shown that kids who choose oatmeal for breakfast tend to be much sharper throughout the morning in school compared to kids who had alternative morning meals.
  •  Chocolate – Although it’s usually seen as an unhealthy treat, there is an undeniable link between chocolate and our mood. Studies have shown that eating chocolate can actually make you happier. However, that doesn’t mean that you can start munching on chocolate bars every time you're stressed out – chocolate works best as a de-stressor when eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Dark chocolate in particular is best for you, as it contains more flavonols and polyphenols, two hugely important antioxidants which can help combat stress, more than many fruit juices.
  • Walnuts – If you’re looking for a healthy snacking option which will help you to stay better in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice. There is no denying the sweet, pleasant flavor of walnuts and they can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of a desert. A versatile nut, walnuts are great for salads, or add them to a sweet treat such as coffee and walnut cake.
  •  Pistachios – another food which is great for snacking on and can also help to combat stress and anxiety in the long term is pistachios. Studies have found that simply eating two small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day can lower vascular constriction when you are stressed, putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries. Along with this, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can actually be quite therapeutic!
  • Green Leafy Vegetables – leafy, green vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet. Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energized. Dark leafy greens, for example spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate, which helps your body to produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical. Making leafy greens a part of your diet will help you to feel happier and less stressed out overall.

  • Fermented foods – last but not least, eating fermented foods such as yogurt can help to keep your gut healthy, which actually in turn will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels. The beneficial bacteria which are found in fermented foods such as yogurt actually have a direct effect on your brain chemistry and transmit positive mood and behavior regulating signals to your brain via the vagus nerve. My favorite fermented foods are sauerkraut and kombucha; these tend to have less sugar in them than traditional yogurts.  Make sure to read the labels!


Putting Together Your Diet Plan
Planning your meals wisely is key to not only staying physically fit and healthy, but also to staying mentally strong and being able to best manage your levels of stress. Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to reach for to snack on when you’re feeling worried and anxious is important to helping you get control over your emotions and fears.
When you’re feeling stressed, you may be tempted to reach for classic ‘comfort foods’ – usually foods which are laden with sugar, very starchy, or greasy. However, although these foods can make you feel momentarily better, they will actually make you feel worse in the long run.

Having stress-busting snacks such as fresh berries, dark chocolate, yogurt, walnuts or pistachios, or even a fruit smoothie with avocado and leafy greens in it can help you to feel better in both the short and long term when it comes to stress. When it comes to combating and dealing with stress in the long run, it’s important to make sure that for the most part, you are eating a diet which is healthy and balanced. Eliminating processed foods and reaching for whole foods more frequently will help give you the energy you need so the choices will become easier as you go along.

In order to stay on track, it’s a good idea to make a meal plan for your week and plan ahead to make sure that you have a good selection of these stress-busting foods in your kitchen to make meals and snacks from when you’re feeling like stress-eating. Making sure that the majority of your meals include foods such as lean proteins and leafy green vegetables will not only make you feel healthier overall, but can improve your mental health and stress levels, too.

A good example of a healthy, stress-busting menu would be:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries or a fruit smoothie with avocado and berries Mid-morning snack: Natural yogurt with fruit or a handful of pistachio nuts Lunch: A whole-grain pasta salad lled with plenty of leafy greens
Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate
Dinner: Grass-fed beef with vegetables
Before bed: Chamomile tea

Of course, you don’t need to stick to this menu – but it gives you a good idea! Remember to exercise good portion control when eating foods such as nuts, chocolate, yogurt or avocado! As the saying goes, you are what you eat – so make sure that first and foremost, you’re filling yourself up with foods which are good for your mental health.


Aimee Carlson
The Toxin Terminator


Adrenal Support


As we discuss recharging our bodies, I have to tell you that using these two essential oils have been a lifesaver for my adrenals!!  I find nutmeg to irritate my skin on it's own, so I use a bit of coconut oil.  Apply 1-2 drops of NUTMEG over adrenals (found on mid back just about an inch on either side of your spine) first thing in the morning.  I then apply a drop of ENDOFLEX over my thyroid and a drop or two over my adrenals as well!  Check out the picture below. The adrenal glands are the yellow on top of the kidneys.   Need to get some of these oils?  CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED