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{I hope you all will give a warm welcome to my friend Beverly Meyer. She is a Paleo Nutritionist and Natural Health Practitioner, as well as the founder of the On Diet and Health website. She is a wealth of knowledge about a wide range of topics and her website is one of my go-to resources. Please stop by her site and say hello!}

Here’s something you may not have heard about…. GABA for anxiety and sleep!

If you’re needing restful nights, happier days and a focused calmer mind, you’re ready for Neurotransmitters 101. Don’t worry – I’ll make this easy! I’ve been teaching this in my clinic and podcasts for years.

GABA is our main inhibitory neurotransmitter. Along with Serotonin, it provides balance to the excitatory neurotransmitters Acetylcholine and Dopamine.

I call the inhibitory and the excitatory transmitters the “slow-slow’s” and “go-go’s”. Ideally these two systems and four neurotransmitters are equal and balanced. They are known as the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system.

If we are in “go-go” too much, we risk burnout of the adrenals and other energy systems in the body. This depletes our GABA, manifesting as tense muscles, poor digestion, racing thoughts and an inability to really relax. We might feel anxious, be in pain, or can’t sleep deeply or long enough. You can find a list of other symptoms here.

4 Ways To Boost Your GABA For Anxiety and Sleep

1). The best way to have plenty of GABA is to not use it up! Anything we do to stay relaxed, calm and happy will help save GABA. Non-competitive exercise, music, chanting, nature walks, play, and hobbies all help.

Being willing to look at your life and commit to change is a key…. Stop. Look. See what’s needed! Take a Baby Step towards peace.

2). Know your Cortisol…. When we are stressed or feeling under attack, cortisol levels rise to prepare us to fight or flee. Reserves of all types are called on to feed the evolutionary fighter in all of us.

Taking an at-home saliva test to monitor your cortisol levels is one of the smartest things you can do. I have many articles and podcasts on saliva testing for the adrenals, including this one on Delicious Obsessions. The test results are easy to read and a good way to check if your cortisol is too high, too low, or bouncing up and down during the day.

Adaptogens are herbs which help balance these swings in cortisol and keep your GABA safe. My online store has a great one.

3). Keep your blood sugar stable. I discourage fasting for most women as it’s often tied to old dieting patterns and can severely throw your blood sugar off. The brain becomes anxious when it’s hungry! Notice the next time you feel anxious if you might also be hungry…. Keeping blood sugar stable will help keep GABA from being used up.

4). Take GABA supporting supplements. Straight GABA is available, but I don’t recommend it.  GABA has to be reformulated for the brain to uptake it. The best form is phenylated GABA. You can find in online or in stores.

A better option (and the one I suggest for clients) is Passion Flower. The one I sell is in a non-alcohol base and can be taken anytime without water. Pills may be too high a dose at one time so the liquid extract lets you choose how many drops you need before that meeting or to help you get to sleep (or return to sleep).

What else can I do to help anxiety and sleep?

Some GABA promoting herbs in addition to my Passion Flower include Lemon Balm, Valerian and Avena Sativa. This article and this one have more on anxiety and sleep.

A great (and easy) book on the 4 main neurotransmitters is The Edge Effect. It’s fun to do the tests, check your scores, and read the lists of neurotransmitter-related symptoms. It’s an eye-opener to see that so many symptoms can come from one imbalanced neurotransmitter!

Best wishes,

Beverly Meyer

Supporting the Your Sleep, Thyroid, and Adrenals Through Herbs

When it comes to supporting your body’s Circadian rhytm and the ability to sleep, the adrenals, thyroid, and blood sugar balance play an important role. When the endocrine system is out of balance at all, it can affect our sleep dramatically.

If you’re struggling with your sleep, caffeine may not be your best friend. While those with sluggish adrenal glands and low thyroid tend to feel run down and in need of a regular pick-me-up (like coffee and other caffeinated beverages), in the long run, caffeine can do more harm than good while you are healing. I go into the “whys” around caffeine and your adrenals in this detailed post here. In addition to the caffeine, there are other constituents, molds, and mycotoxins that can show up in coffee that some people find they react to.

When I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and adrenal fatigue, one of the first things that had to go was coffee. To be honest, I never drank coffee because of the caffeine. I drank coffee for the taste and aroma, as well as the emotional experience I felt to my morning cup of joe. For me, it was a ritual that I looked forward to every day (and sometimes multiple times a day). Whether I was brewing it at home or going to my local coffee shops, the experience was one that I clung to tightly.

But, when I was faced with new health struggles, I knew I had to do whatever I could to support my body and give it the tools it needed to heal. Giving up coffee and caffeine was one step in this direction.

And it sucked.

I turned to the coffee substitutes on the market in a desperate attempt to recreate the ritual I had grown so fond of, but nothing ever tasted the way I wanted it to. Nothing ever gave me that same experience that my cup of “real” coffee did. I knew there had to be something better, but I simply could not find it on my health food store’s shelves.

Necessity is the mother of invention so that is why I created my own coffee substitutes. They were made with organic, sustainably harvested herbs with zero grains, zero gluten, and zero caffeine. Just herbs. Herbs that not only tasted delicious but supported my body’s function, like liver detox, bile production, digestion, etc. In my mind, if I can get something to not only taste amazing but do amazing things for my body, then it’s a no brainer!

I sold these pre-made blends on Etsy for awhile and the demand was more than I could keep up with. People literally LOVED these blends and were stunned at how much like coffee they actually tasted. Customers who had been dealing with a variety of chronic illnesses had given up coffee to heal their bodies, but like me were deeply missing their morning cup of joe ritual.

After careful consideration and work with some highly experienced advisors, I decided to stop selling the pre-made blends and instead share my proprietary recipes in the form of an eBook. That way I could arm people with the knowledge and recipes they needed to make their own caffeine-free, gluten-free, grain-free blends in the comfort of their own home. 

That is why I created the best-selling DIY Herbal Coffees eBook: A Complete Guide To Making Delicious Herbal Coffees to Support Healing & Stress Relief. Now in its second edition, this ebook features all of my proprietary herbal blend recipes to you can craft a homemade herbal cup of “coffee” at home.

In addition, you get a ton of researched information about coffee’s impact on the health of those dealing with issues like adrenal fatigue, blood sugar dysregulation, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, and any other chronic illness.

Lastly, you get access to your own personal coffee shop. I show you how to recreate your favorite coffee shop drinks and pastries with wholesome, nourishing real food ingredients. No junk here.

This book truly is a comprehensive guide to supporting your health, reducing your stress, and bringing a little something special back into your healing journey. You can learn more and download your own copy of this revolutionary wellness guide here, or simply click on the image below.

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2015 // deliciousobsessions.com

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