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Going Gluten-Free

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I love Fall and the crisper weather and beautiful colors it brings with it. With the arrival of Fall, the body naturally begins to slow down in preparation for the colder months. Naturally, one needs more sleep than in the summer months, which is why you may have been feeling more tired lately. I recently listened to a lecture on “Getting Good Sleep” by Qi Gong Master Lin (check out He stresses the importance of sleep to balance the yin and yang energies of the body and to bring the body back into balance to heal itself. According to the National Sleep Foundation (, “If sleep is cut short, the body doesn’t have time to complete all of the phases needed for muscle repair, memory consolidation and release of hormones regulating growth and appetite. Then we wake up less prepared to concentrate, make decisions, or engage fully in school and social activities.“ In short, sleep is the best natural healer.

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Worth a Read

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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit examines the habits we develop and how these habits can affect us in positive and negative ways. So much of what we do on a daily basis is based on habit, which is based in the older, more primitive part of our brain. Some of our habits are positive and help us succeed, while others are negative and can harm us. Duhigg notes that our brains have a three step loop which he calls The Habit Loop. As he notes, “First there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.” (p.19) Change can occur if you change the routine, but keep the old cue and reward. And, it is by adopting new habits that we can make significant changes in our lives. Duhigg states that, “Small wins are exactly what they sound like, and are part of how keystone habits create widespread changes… Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.” (p.112). If someone is trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle or lose some weight, making a small change such as exercising more, eliminating sugar from the diet, or drinking less caffeine can have a significant impact on a person’s well-being that extends far beyond the small change that has been made.

Here’s a habit that’s important to our family: Family dinners
In our family, we always eat dinner together. Granted, there are times when my husband and I wish we could eat dinner separately to avoid the constant chatter and bickering among 4 siblings. However, so much research points to the multiple benefits of eating meals as a family. A recent study by Washington State University noted that eating together leads to: improved communication among family members, better school performance, better social adjustment and better nutrition (

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Quote of the Month

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“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”


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I am the mother of four daughters and a Certified Health Counselor, as well as a passionate advocate of organic and local food and a healthy lifestyle. I decided to become a health counselor to fulfill my passion of working with children and parents to improve their health and family life. Learn more about me at

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In this issue:

Some things to help you sleep:

  • Eliminate caffeine. Caffeine blocks the receptors in the brain that receive adenosine, a biochemical compound which is release naturally to trigger a slowdown in activity and sleep as the day wears on. Caffeine also prompts the adrenal glands to release more stress hormones, which inhibit sleep.
  • Exercise. Exercise helps detoxify acidic energy from the body, ultimately allowing you to fall asleep faster and get a better quality of sleep.
  • Eat a lighter meal at dinnertime, 2–3 hours before bedtime so that your body is not busy digesting food when you are trying to sleep.
  • Drink a cup of chamomile tea. Chamomile has a natural sedative that relaxes the body.
  • Sleep in a cold, dark and quiet room.
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