Stress Signs for Women: Top Tips for Relief

Stress Signs for Women: Top Tips for Relief

signs of stress for womenStress and anxiety go hand in hand. Addressing those physical stress signs for women is an important part of forging a healthy holistic lifestyle.

When we are under stress, there is a domino effect of chemical reactions in the body that cause our entire nervous system to feel shaken up.

There are also a whole host of physical stress signs for women that can show up before you may even realize just how much stress you are under.

These physical discomforts may seem like a mystery in terms of why you're having them, It is common to mistake the symptoms of stress to mean something is really wrong, but in most cases, it is your body signaling that there is something happening that is causing high levels of stress.You may wish to see your health care practitioners to first rule out any true medical issues.

There are many holistic healthy ways to manage stress signs for women so that you can feel empowered to build a plan for prevention and relief.

(There are links to other sites for resource reference, some of which are affiliate links which will yield small commission to us if you choose to make a purchase).

Top Tips for addressing  some of the physical stress signs for women

1. Handling Headaches

Headaches often have biological reasons including food allergies or hormone imbalance and interestingly those factors can also one of the many stress signs for women.

Special Neck Stretches

  • When stressful events or situations arise, we often automatically, naturally tighten our muscles, This is a natural reaction for the body because when our ancestors realized a grizzly bear was chasing them they needed those muscles to tighten in order to run fast or climb a tree. But muscle tension in the neck and shoulders (where a lot of us carry our stress) can cause terrible headache pain. Try gentle neck stretches on a regular basis.

Consider Food Sensitivity

  • Turn to your nutritional choices. Keep a  detailed food journal to track what you are taking in and any symptoms that show up.

An Essential Oil Blend

  • A particular blend of the essential oils of wintergreen, lavender, peppermint, frankincense, cilantro, marjoram, roman chamomile, basil, and rosemary applied to the hair line and base of skull can bring almost immediate release because this blend relaxes the muscles of the scalp and opens the capillaries. This roll on blend works really well.

Plenty of H²O

  • Staying hydrated is an important way to ensure proper circulation and head off headaches at the pass. Studies have shown drinking plenty of water can relieve headache symptoms if you have early signs of dehydration within 30 minutes to three hours.

B Vitamins

  • B-complex vitamins contain all eight of the B vitamins and are a safe, cost-effective way to naturally prevent and treat headache symptoms.

2. Mitigating Muscle Pain

As mentioned above, muscle tension is one of the common stress signs for women. You can develop chronic pain in your muscles throughout your body. As a yoga instructor over the past 20+ years I can share with you that most people don't have awareness of their muscle tension until they are in so much pain they feel desperate for relief.

Scan for Tension

  • My top tip, especially for women over age 40, is to make it a practice of tuning in to your body, scanning for even mild levels of tension before it develops into pain. Chances are you are feeling stressed from pressures in your life and work and you are staying in particular physical positions for too long. This can cause serious damage to your muscles and your joints over time.

Take Breaks From Sitting

  • Set a timer for 30 minutes when you sit down to work and when the timer goes off, get up, stretch in all directions and go for a 1 minute brisk walk around the room or better yet step outside for some fresh air, look up at the clouds and the tree tops to stretch your neck and go for a 5 minute quick walk swinging your arms.

Daily Stretch-Walk-Stretch

  • We all know regular exercise is recommended. Create a daily routine that includes regular consistent stretching before and after your strengthening or cardio exercise. Try gentle yoga postures in the morning taking your time, breathing slowly and deeply as you stretch.


  • The right kind of magnesium can help your muscles naturally relax. Try an Epsom Salt Bath, soaking in the tub for 20-20 minutes with 1-2 cups of these salts dissolved into your very warm bath water. You also can take a chelated magnesium glycenate in capsule form or you can try this magnesium citrate supplement called Calm dissolved into warm water before bed time.

3. Ease Irritable Bowel Syndrome

One of the stress signs for women shows up in the gut. It was found that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects 51% of women in a 2007 research study. IBS can be very painful and inconvenient. There is cramping, diarrhea, sometimes constipation and is often tied to stress. If you have noticed that you can't eat your favorite foods, or you find yourself in the bathroom more often than normal, you may have IBS.

Identify Food Sensitivities

  • Completely eliminate what nutrition experts say are the most common food allergens for a three month period. Those food allergens are dairy, yeast, gluten eggs, corn, soy, and peanuts. After the 3 month period, slowly reintroduce one food per week to detect which cause symptoms. When I eliminated all of these foods for just one week I noticed relief from my own IBS symptoms which showed me I definitely have food sensitivities and this realization helped me to begin a detective pursuit for answers.

Try Digestive Enzymes

  • Assist your digestive system by introducing enzymes before you take your meals which may help ease your IBS symptoms of gas and bloating.

Eat Fermented Foods for Good Gut Bacteria

  • These foods contain all the healthy bacteria your intestines need for proper digestion. Try kombucha drinks, sauerkraut, or kimchi.

Daily Meditation

  • Scientific studies show mindfulness meditation helps alleviate symptoms of IBS in women. Go here to watch my meditation instruction video and read about the benefits.

4. Eliminate Insomnia

Between hormone imbalance that comes along with mid-life and phases of menopause and the pressures and worries of life, insomnia is another of the stress signs for women. And when your sleep is disrupted exhaustion further stresses your mind and body. Ensuring a good night's sleep and eradicating insomnia requires some dedicated practices. Here are just a few of my top tips.

Create Rhythm and Routine:

  • Our minds and bodies prefer predictable rhythm and when we get out of our routine it can cause stress. Likewise, the stresses of life can throw us off rhythm. Consciously create a schedule that allows you to observe a specific sleep-prep routine by winding down your day an hour earlier than you normally do to build in time for your mind and body to slip into sleep. Observe your commitment to this schedule and guard it with your life.

Turn Off Electronics

  • Keep them out of the bedroom and stop looking at all screens one hour prior to bed time. The light emitted from screens activates your brain possibly producing a boost in cortisol which keeps you alert.
  • Get Hydration In Before 7 pm

  • You do need to make sure you are consuming plenty of water during the day but try to get it in before dinner and then have a cup of soothing organic herbal tea after dinner to begin winding down your mind and body for the day. If you drink a lot of fluids right before bed time you'll be awakened by a full bladder.
  • Keep Room Cool & Dark

  • It's been shown in studies that we sleep better when the temp is cooler as long as you have appropriate covers. And be sure any light sources are turned off or covered well.
  • Calm Your Cortisol Levels

  • There are certain herbs shown to calm the activating chemical often known as the stress hormone called cortisol. Here is one product called Cortisol Manager that I have had good result with, taken after dinner with my night time tea.
  • Don't Toss & Turn

  • If you find yourself waking between 2 and 4 am experts say this is related to your cortisol and possibly blood sugar levels. Don't stay in bed tossing and turning if you're full awake. Go to another dark room and sit up in the dark and try to do some deep slow breathing before returning to bed. Otherwise your frustration with inability to sleep will only cause more stress keeping you more awake.

Addressing the stress signs for women requires an action plan!

Creating an active plan for consciously relaxing your body and mind is so very important for your health. It's important to have a PLAN you can follow for your self-care.

Contact me for a complimentary free holistic lifestyle consultation to discuss your self care needs and how I might help you create your personalized plan.


Say Yes to Healthy Fats!

Say Yes to Healthy Fats!


healthy fat

Fat gets a bad wrap. As women get older it's important to understand how to have healthy fats in a well-rounded healthy food plan. I want to help you get your mind focused on the idea of healthy vs. unhealthy fats. We are also going to look at ratio and, of course, moderation.There is a lot of science to the makeup and metabolism of dietary fat. In order to simplify all the science let's break it all down into some bite size facts about fat.

The one unhealthy fat to always avoid is hydrogenated fat or trans fat and you can't always trust the labels on commercial foods that claim “no trans fats.”

For whatever reason, food companies are permitted to make that claim if the levels are below a certain number. The truth is if the ingredients label lists the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”, trans fats are probably in that food item. Best to skip anything with those words in the label.

You also want to be very careful about heating oils for cooking because this process actually ruins the healthy factors and turns the fat source into an unhealthy fat source. Best to add your extra virgin olive oil to your foods AFTER they are cooked for nutritional benefit rather than cooking in oil.

Let's break it down. . . What's with all the omegas?

Both omega-3 and omega-6 are what are called essential fatty acids (EFA). They are indeed essential to the health of our bodies BUT we have to get these healthy fats through foods or supplements. And in the right RATIO.

About OMEGA 3

Nutrition experts tell us we get the following benefits from taking in Omega 3s:

  • Lowers levels of inflammation
  • Better heart health
  • Lower elevated triglyceride levels
  • Improves autoimmune conditions
  • Helps with ADHD
  • May help prevent dementia or Alzheimer’s disease

Certain fish like wild caught salmon has the most easily absorbable source of healthy Omega 3s.

iStock_000032741384LargeIt is very important to get your fish and/or our fish oil supplements from clean, non-toxic fish sources. Access a list of fish healthy to eat and those to avoid by clicking HERE.

There are other kinds of Omega 3s we can derive from nuts such as walnuts, or seeds such as flax or chia seeds and you can also find them in expeller pressed oils, wheat germ and even soybeans.

But before you start stocking up on mounds of nuts and edamame, take care to ensure your walnuts are raw and fresh. If they have an odor, their fat source has turned rancid and that means unhealthy.  When it comes to soybeans it's best to observe moderation and check to see that they are certified organic. Sometimes soybeans can affect our hormone levels so best to consult with your health care practitioner.


Omega 6 are easy to come by and often over-consumed. Our typical American diet is definitely too heavy on Omega 6s and this leads to heart disease and obesity. You will find omega 6s in animal protein, nuts, and eggs. This is where ratio is very important. We Americans tend to have our ratio all off kilter. Good news is, you can fix this with dietary adjustments.

So what about OMEGA 9S?

Omega-9s are the monounsaturated fats. Omega 9s also offer a lot of health benefits. They are important for heart health and blood sugar regulation and can be obtained in the diet through foods such as expeller pressed oils, nuts and avocados.


The simplest solution to ensuring you are getting your healthy fats ratio is to take in the following foods as part of a whole food plan that contains LOTS of dark leafy greens, a variety of other vegetables and fruits:

  • Raw and organic seeds, like flax, seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • Raw and organic nuts such as almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts
  • Fish that are sourced from clean waters and found on the list of sustainable seafood
  • Organic grass-fed or pasture-fed butter
  • Small portions of animal protein that is free ranging and/or grass fed, which are higher in beneficial omega-6s
  • Unprocessed organic expeller pressed oils such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
  • MCT oil is easily digested, provides energy and good health benefits.
  • Avocados are a source of omega 9 and they have special properties in their fat content that have been shown to have all kinds of health benefits


Healthy fats derived from clean, healthy sources in combination with your whole foods diet rich in phytonutrients from veggies and high fiber fruits help your body to run like a well-oiled machine. Healthy fats in the right ratio aid in reducing inflammation, improve brain functioning, assist in having healthy skin, provide lasting energy and much more

Eating just the right ratio of healthy fats will help your metabolism to operate more efficiently! The key is to consider portions and moderation when adding healthy fats to your larger portions of vegetables throughout the day.

 Tips for brining healthy fats into your life:

  • Throw a teaspoon of chia seeds and a some organic pea protein to your morning smoothie
  • Sprinkle some raw walnuts on your veggie-variety salad
  • Opt for home-made salad dressings with expeller pressed walnut oil, canola oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • Snack on small servings of pistachios or macadamias in lieu of popcorn at the movies
  • Get a coffee grinder to be used for flax seeds only and grind fresh flax seeds to mix into your smoothies
  • Opt for sustainable fish and try to eat for 4-5 servings each week


Confused About What to Eat For Your Health?

Confused About What to Eat For Your Health?

I'm not surprised if you are confused about what to eat for your health. I know first hand. I've come to realize there is no ONE way to eat. There is no one-size-fits-all dietary guideline..

Every human body is different with different needs at different points in life.

So where does that leave us? Confused about what to eat?

I've come up with a broad-stroke way for myself and any other person to figure out how, what and when to eat in line with what is good for YOUR body on any given day.

Definitely do your research consult with your health care practitioner and keep an open mind as you read, listen and gather info. But prepare to wade through the confusing and conflicting info


Look at these articles below with conflicting and contrasting information!

No wonder we are confused!

Okay, you get the idea, right? You know what they say about opinions.... everybody has one. And the problem is, when it comes to how, when and what to eat, most people fall pick one particular camp and then assume it must be right for everyone.

But here's why I'm coming to you with this today: I've done 'em all. I've been vegetarian, vegan, high protein low carb. I've done the very low calorie programs and I've even done extended water only fasts. I've done intermittent fasting. I've done programs that count points. I've ordered the soups and shakes. I've juiced for days. I've done raw. I've read every book, tried every plan, interviewed experts from every camp.

I've been in every single one of these camps at different times of my life.

When I first created this wellness institute I was having tremendous success having done a very low calorie program that provided an effective cleanse and reset for my body that contained mostly lean animal protein and green veggies only along with some great supplements. I was significantly overweight and it is what I needed then. But. . . life threw some curve balls and things changed.

Five years later, my body has been through the ringer. I gained back that weight I lost five years ago due to incredibly stressful circumstances and I've had numerous injuries and some degenerative spine and joint issues that have messed up my ability to exercise as I used to be able to.

Through all of this I have learned to tune in and listen to my body every darn day. I've learned that health and wellness is an ever-shifting target and the only answer is to be incredibly mindful in each moment and be patient and loving with your body.

Tune into YOUR body's wisdom every given day so you will no longer be confused about what to eat.

This is probably the MOST important step. Try this mindfulness technique:

  1. Sit where you are. Look up from your computer or device and gaze around you. Try tojust notice.
  2. Pay close attention to the objects and sounds in and around the room you're in without labeling anything. Without analyzing. Without judging anything as good, bad, pretty, ugly. Just notice it.
  3. Now, close your eyes. Feel the seat underneath you, the floor under your feet. Allow your body to sink into the support there.
  4. Notice sounds in and around the room. Don’t react. Just notice.
  5. Begin to notice your breath. Notice how it comes in and out of the body on its own accord. Feel the sensation.
  6. Ask your body what it feels it most needs today. Does it need to intermittently fast to rest the digestive system and burn off excess glycogen today? Does it feel like it needs a nutrition packed protein-green smoothie? Does it feel aligned more with plant-based foods or does it crave some animal protein? Ask and rest in the question paying attention to what you notice.

When you practice this non-judgmental noticing with a healthy dose of deep reverence for the wisdom your body is eager to share with you, you will begin to hear guiding messages from your body.

If you eat something... say... a big hunk of bread... and you notice 10 minutes later your belly is really bloated... you now have information that can help you the next time you are considering eating bread.

If you notice your lips are cracked and dry no matter how much moisturizer you put on them... here is a clue that perhaps you're not getting enough healthy fat in your diet or maybe you have a vitamin deficiency.

Many times we need a professional to help us figure out what messages our body is sending us. Sometimes we need supplementation of particular vitamins or minerals.  And sometimes if we listen, pay close enough attention without giving way to frustration with the messages (a.k.a. symptoms) we might just feel our way to a new direction.

If our bodies feel stiff and tight from sitting all day, some stretching and moving is in order. But how often do we continue to sit and sit and sit because we have a work deadline or we just ignore the body's signals?

Consult with holistic health experts and create a personalized plan that fits for you. I'm happy to chat for a few minutes by phone to help you figure out where you want to go next. Contact me and let's talk!




3 Summer Holistic Skincare Products for Women

3 Summer Holistic Skincare Products for Women

holistic skincareWhat we put onto our skin is absorbed into the whole body so it's vitally important to take a close look at what products you are using. It's never too early and never too late to become educated on ways to attend to natural, healthy skincare.

In this article I'm going to show you some of my FAVORITE products I personally use for my own skin and share with my entire family.

Let's look to Nature for holistic skincare every day!

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links and if you decide to buy while your price will stay the same I will be paid a small commission which affords me the chance to provide free resources for my readers, like you!

  1. Soothe after sun. First I want to tell you about my colleague Andrea Crafton, LPC who is a licensed psychotherapist who provided counseling services for children and families in my wellness center some years ago before relocating to her home-town in Missouri. She now works as a Mama Coach and she makes her own all-natural products for babies, children and mothers. My personal favorite is one called After Sun that soothesholistic skincare skin after being out in the sun. But I have a secret. I use it year round as a wonderful, deep moisturizer for my hands and lips! She doesn't sell it year round though so stock up now. It contains organic olive oil, organic coconut oil(oils infused with organic plantain, organic comfrey, organic calendula), organic aloe vera gel, organic cocoa butter, organic shea butter, beeswax, organic lavender essential oil. Learn more about all of her products and services for mamas

holistic skincare

2. Eradicate Free Radicals. My next favorite product this month for your skin is actually one you take internally. It's called QuickSilver Liposomal Glutathione from one of my fav companies called Honey Colony. This powerful supplement delivered in a few pumps under your tongue per day boosts immunity and destroys those damaging free radicals before they are able to damage your skin.

Why is Quicksilver so Effective? Because most oral glutathione gets broken down by stomach acids before it can get to your cells, Dr. Christopher Shade, PhD, developed this special formula called Liposomal Glutathione. Liposomal encapsulation ensures the nutrients can be highly absorbed delivering more effective nutrition. The liposmal formulation protects the core ingredients from the digestive system. Go visit Honey Colony and search for this product under skincare.

3. Nourish your face at night. I love a company called Amoils who create the purest, most nurturing oils to care for skin. Simply Face Night OIl is used at night and it hydrates and balances your skin while you sleep using all natural ingredients. The ingredients include:

  • Apricot kernel oil which is a favorite among those who have combination to dry skin. It easily absorbs into the skin and it fights acne causing bacteria.
  • Jojoba seed oil is a close match for our own skin sebum, making it an ideal moisturizer for all skin types. It is readily absorbed and is super for dry skin as well as for inflammation.
  • Grape seed oil is rich in linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid healing for the skin and the cell membranes.
  • Meadowfoam seed oil is great for sensitive skin and gently detoxifies the skin.
  • Pomegranate seed oil deeply hydrating and nourishing
  • Camellia seed oil is a lightweight silky oil and helps brighten your complexion.
  • Ylang ylang essential oil brings balance to the skin and is suitable to use on acne-prone skin. The precious exotic oil helps to protect the skin's moisture barrier, and reduce signs of aging.
  • Helichrysum essential oil is super soothing with restorative properties. Also known for reducing the appearance of blemishes and wrinkle

BONUS! $10 off your first order on

Ensure your summer includes happy holistic skin care!


Menopause Symptom Relief

Menopause Symptom Relief

Menopause symptom relief is key to quality of life for women in midlife.

When I was hit with sudden, full-blown menopause symptoms following a medically necessary full hysterectomy at age 44, I had to figure out some solutions.  I was too young to be dealing with these symptoms.

I found a wonderful functional medicine doctor who ran all kinds of tests and helped me realize the natural means to providing menopause symptom relief. Here are the things I have discovered:

Clean up your diet

  • Eating organic dark leafy greens every day
  • If you're a meat-eater, only buy and consume hormone-free, humanely-raised, organic meats and eggs.
  •  Give up white foods (sugar, potatoes, refined grains)
  • Lean toward small portions of unique whole grains (spelt, millet, amaranth) rather than wheat and rice
  • Try quinoa a few times/ week - it's actually a seed not a grain and is high in protein
  • Incorporate juicing vegetables a few times each week

Kick the coffee habit

  • Caffeine is found to contribute to hot flashes and irritability as well as mood swings. Do yourself a favor and make friends with the herbal tea menu and say adios to coffee.

Step away from the wine and whiskey

  • Medical research shows that alcohol consumption messes with our hormones and affects calcium absorption and may contribute to osteoporosis
  • Research also indicates that alcohol consumption contributes to hot flashes

Create a sleep-time routine

  • Stop eating 3 hours before bed time
  • Turn off all electronics one hour before bed
  • Create a very dark and cool environment where you sleep
  • Wear cool, loose cotton nightgown and invest in some cool, cotton sheets

Saddle up to some supplements

  • Seek a functional medicine doctor who can run tests to see where your vitamin and hormone levels are which can then lead to specific recommendations for natural supplements.
  • Talk with your doctor about B-vitamin supplements. A lot of times this can help with symptoms depending on where your levels are.
  • Omega 3 essential fatty acids have been shown to help with symptoms. You can increase your salmon consumption and you can supplement with good clean fish oil sourced from purest, cleanest fish.
  • Seek out non-estrogenic herb supplements. You may want to stay away from soy as it's been found to have complications for some women

Learn to relax


When Our Kids Leave the Nest

When Our Kids Leave the Nest

patrick graduation

Empty nest syndrome is a real thing. But it's not necessarily a bad thing.

It's been two years since my second child graduated high school with honors.

He is an amazing young man with a mind of his own and a big heart.

I recall as I sat on the back row among an ocean of other parents watching their children walk the stage I could feel the moment of life-pivot not only for these graduating seniors but for all the women who watched and cheered as our babies received their diplomas.

I can remember the day he was born with such vivid sensation it was hard for me to grasp how he was leaving the nest.

It is a mix of emotions but mostly incredible joy because I know I've done my job preparing him and encouraging him to be the independent young man he is today. It is not sadness that brings tears to my eyes, rather, a moment of recognizing that a chapter of my own life has come to a close as my son is standing on the edge of the nest about to take flight.

As a counselor and coach, I work with a lot of women who feel lost after their children leave home. Empty nest syndrome hits hard.

When your identity and role in life has been care-giving mother to your children for so many years it can be challenging when suddenly there are no baby birds to care for. This is an ideal time to discover who you are outside of this role of mother and care-giver.

Here are some key questions I am asking myself today. I encourage you to consider these questions for yourself:

  1. What did I love to do before I had children? For me, it was theater, singing and writing. Though I write for my work as a coach, instructor and counselor, I used to write fiction and poetry. I plan to get back to that. Soon. And I would love nothing more than to get back to acting and singing on stage. That took a backseat when babies were born. What about you? What might you return to now that your kids are growing out onto their own?
  2. Do I still love this nest or is it time for a change? We still have one more kid to see through high school so we will likely stay in this house another 3 years but with both my sons soon off to college living in their own house (together by the way... isn't that great that brothers choose to live together in college?) I have two vacant bedrooms and reconsidering the nest. How can I make this nest more conducive to my new stage in life? I'm converting one into an office of my own. You might consider if it's time to downsize or move to the beach or the mountains. Where have you dreamed of living? If you choose to stay, is it time to remodel? redecorate your nest?
  3. How will my kids and I stay connected? What is my role now? In my case, my sons are both going to college close to home so we've agreed to designate Mondays as family dinner night. This way I can ensure they get at least one healthy meal each week and I get to hug their necks regularly. I've noticed over the past 3 years since my first son moved out on his own that when he comes to visit, my role is no longer authoritative parent (well, sometimes... but it is fading more and more as he is now 21). Our roles with our young-adult children can and should shift to open-minded listener. They are at a stage in their development where they are seeing the world through new eyes of independence and they typically have opinions about things. It's important to allow them their opinions and just be happy to see them. They need to know we are here for them but we need not load them up with unsolicited advice.
  4. How's my marriage? Oh yeah! That guy! This is a great time to reconnect... There is more time and space in life now to turn toward your spouse and rediscover the flame that brought you together in the first place. Yea!
  5. How are my finances? Fortunately my oldest son is fully independent and my second son has an 80% tuition scholarship to college and has a job of his own so they aren't sucking me dry in this department. I know a lot of parents at this stage are feeling the pinch of the higher education bills. It's a good time to hunker down and take a good look at the bank accounts, retirement funds, investments, expenses and re-evaluate. What can I do without now? Where might I cut back? Where would I like to spend?
  6. Where am I with my career? For a lot of women I work with, after the kids leave the nest they are just beginning to develop a career outside of primary job as mom. For some women, like myself, who have had long established careers outside of the home and child-rearing job, it's time to reassess where we feel most passionate and where we feel tired. Will retirement be an option? Partial retirement? Career change? My own work continues to evolve year to year morphing and shape-shifting and as long as I am tuned into my heart and desire to be of service I am confident I will be led to what's next. What about you?

I see this time in life as one ripe with opportunity for celebrating a job well done as we watch the kids leave the nest and a time to begin anew and consider who we are aside and apart from child-rearing mother. We will always be mother to our children but our role there changes and it's actually feeling quite exciting to me as I consider the possibilities.