Weaving attention to body, mind, and spirit-soul is work, but I try to think of it as a moving meditation. Here are my nutrients, though I am sometimes remiss with keeping myself on track, due to a tendency to put the needs of others first. Usually I can nip a downward spiral though, and below I outline how. Again I emphasize: we are diverse creatures. Each one of us must craft his or her own path.

THE BODY

Vitamins: B’s, C, and D at relatively high doses for mental health. But also A for the eyes and E for the heart.

Oils: fish oil, a good balance of DHA and EPA, a tablespoon at a time. For some, flax or borage works better. Women, if you’ve not tried Evening Primrose Oil for your cycle or menopause blues, you owe it to yourself.

Mineral love: magnesium, magnesium, magnesium. Zinc, zinc, zinc. Don’t forget your calcium, gals, but new research suggests using just as much mag along with it.

Amino acids: sometimes I need them, sometimes not. Once I couldn’t function without them. Tyrosine fights fatigue. GABA shuts off the screaming to-do list in my head and aids sleep. Theanine might work for you. 5-Htp gives me a stomachache then headache, but everyone is different. I put my husband on Tryptophan instead and he said that gave him a headache!

Supplements: one thing I learned from my daughter with autism is the critical role the gut plays in behavior. Many of us have “leaky gut,” where all manner of molecules that should not get out do end up traveling to the brain. Digestive enzymes and herbal anti-inflammatories are crucial for my well-being, body and mind. Fighting gut yeast (candida) is essential; there are products both gentle and fierce and I’ve used them all. I have to keep on this constantly or I get very tired and paranoid.

Detox: getting out the heavy metals. This is a highly individualized endeavor, but use selenium at the very least, also good for heart health. For children with behavior disorders, and the elderly skirting dementia, alternative medicine tells us heavy-metal detox should be a cornerstone of treatment.

Herbal: Gingko for clarity and ginseng for energy and zero hot flashes. Strong infusions of peppermint and oatstraw provide a great combo of energy and calm.

Diet: to rise from depression and stop the scary stuff in my head I had to give up wheat and all gluten, dairy, caffeine, and white sugar. When such foods hurt you, you learn to crave fruits and veggies quick. Though I do eat poultry, fish and bacon, lately I dream of embarking on a raw food diet. I’m starting to get an almost immediate inflammation-reaction in my system from any animal flesh.

Exercise: Yoga…ah. Lifting weights for lovely bones and better heave-ho. Walking in nature, my favorite. I need to do more cardio; when I can keep at this for a number of days I find it’s all true what they say: moods dissipate and smiles result.

Seasonal: In spring, the lust to plant and the satisfaction of dirt scooped and smoothed reorganizes a chaotic mind at a very deep level. Summer comes and I understand how blessed I am to have a private place on my land to lay out clothed only by the sun. Like many people, I feel uplifted in autumn, particularly when the trees put on a showy dance. Recognizing cabin fever in late winter, I purposefully use the darker days as a time for intense inner work.

THANK YOU! It felt good to share this. Next time I’d like to write about what feeds my mind and spirit–what discovery of ideas and what spiritual practices keep me sane.

Please feel free to leave a comment about your nutrients now!

For good visions and planet health,

Sue Westwind

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