back to blog home

the holistic dietitian blog

StreSSeD Out: The Mind-Body Connection


March 29, 2016

StreSSeD Out: The Mind-Body Connection -- The Holistic Dietitian

One of the of main predictors of longevity is psychological health. Attitude, social network, community, and spiritual beliefs are more important than cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure than any other risk factor in determining whether you will live a long and healthy life.

You cannot save a sinking ship before patching the hole in the boat.

StreSSeD Out: The Mind-Body Connection -- The Holistic Dietitian

Addressing stressors, whether dietary, mental, or physiological, is the first step to healing. We must remove the offenders in order to strengthen of the defenses. This is why you absolutely cannot talk about nutrition and wellness without addressing the emotional, spiritual, and lifestyle aspects as well. We tackle this in greater detail during one-on-one consults and my RESTART® Program but here are some tips to get you started…



““The most powerful pharmacy in the world is right between your ears — and also in your gut, where a “second brain” happens to reside within your intestinal system.””

— -Dr. Mark Hyman

Optimize nutrition with a nutrient-dense, whole food diet. Ever experienced “brain fog”? Believe it or not, vitamin and mineral deficiencies can actually alter our mental perception of reality. Likewise, an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the intestines can lead to depression and other mental health concerns. Allergies, sensitivities, and toxins can overwhelm the body. Start by avoiding caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars which provoke stress on the body and taxing to the mind. Ensure you are drinking half of your body weight in ounces (capping at 100 ounces) since even just being dehydrated can lead to anxiety and fatigue. Live by the rule to only put into your mouth nutrient-dense real foods that will provide cleansing as well as nourishment to the mind and body.

Learn how to actively relax. Engage the mind with crafts, hobbies, relaxing exercise, meditation. However, simply sitting and watching TV will not work. You should walk away from these activities feeling refreshed. If you aren’t, then you may need to rethink your activities.

Practice being calm. Try meditation, prayer, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, hot bath, getting a massage, taking a walk, saunas, reading, journaling, getting in touch with nature, gardening, coloring an coloring book.

Utilize deep breathing techniques. Focus on slow, deep breaths that reach the depths of the lungs. We often become chest-breathers when we should be belly-breathers, allowing oxygen to reach the depths of our lungs.

Exercise. Mild exercise is a great way to burn off stress chemicals. Over-exercising can be a stressor to the body. Be sure to listen to your body to find your happy place.

Examine your thoughts and attitudes. Consider re-framing your point of view to reduce stress. Practice the art of gratitude to recondition the body for a positive perspective. Change your health and nutrition goals to intentions, to refocus the attention from perfection to intentional purpose.

Build your network of supportive friends, family, and community. Surround yourself with those who have similar goals, values, and aspirations.

Avoid toxic situations and people. Monitor use of electronics, social media, and other mind-robbing activities. Consider incorporating a daily 30-minute or a once-weekly 24-hour “digital detox” .

Prioritize Sleep. Get 8 hours no matter what. Avoid bright lights and screen time right before bed to help us regulate sleep-promoting hormones. Our liver does most of its detoxification work at night, so make sure you’re allowing proper time for rest and healing.

StreSSeD Out: The Mind-Body Connection -- The Holistic Dietitian

Additional Resources:

Prayer journal*
The Gratitude Journal*: practice active relaxation and to guide your thoughts and attitude to a place of healing and nurturing
Adult coloring book*
RESTART® Program: remove refined sugar, carbohydrates, and other stressors from the diet during this group-supported program. 

Detox Bath Protocol

1. Drink 16 ounces o f water the hour before to ensure hydration.
2. Fill tub with very warm water (body temperature for children and babies). Water should be between room temperature and hot; that is comfortable yet makes you sweat a little.
3. Toss in 1-2 cups of Magnesium salt* (Epsom salt).
4. Empty bladder.
5. Slowly submerge self into water. try to get most of body under water, up to neck.
6. Steep 20-30 minutes. Do not watch the clock!
7. Sip on drinking water during the soak.
8. Relax deeply! Take deep breaths to increase oxygen flow. Place hand on lower abdomen practice belly-breathing, feeling your hand move up and down with each breath.
9. Once time is up, slowly get out of the water. Rinse off in cool shower. Do not use any products (even natural ones).
10. Drink another 8-16 ounces of water to re-hydrate and help flush out residual toxins.

If you are pregnant, nursing, or have any health conditions such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, speak to a trusted health care professional before use. Please see full disclaimer for more details. 

*Affiliate link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The ultimate pantry guide

grab my free guide!

Stock your pantry to make healthy eating effortless!

    uplevel your life.

    Get my weekly nutrition tips delivered straight to your inbox every friday.

    yes, please!