5 Family Survival Skills for the Holidays

Surviving holidaysWelcome to the holidays!

Eager parents greet you at the door with their unedited worries.
Disinterested siblings wave from across the room.
And you silently slip back into your childhood role in the family.

Does anyone recognize you have changed?
Are you hiding your present self to appease the family?

In any case, welcome back to what you have been avoiding all year.
Should you just grin and bear it – counting down until your airplane ticket becomes valid?

Well, how about figuring out a strategy before you get there?

  1. Calm down and keep breathing! If you get triggered, step back and calm down with some slow breathing. Exhale slowly and make a “shhh” sound to relax your muscles and release tension. This also slows down your heart rate and blood pressure.
  2. Practice radical acceptance! Get rid of your fantasy that a challenging family member is finally going to be different this time. Accept that they are who they are and that can impact you for the moment, but this visit won’t last forever.
  3. Let go of needing to be right! For the brief visit, let the other person be right. Attempt to understand where they are coming from without having to agree with them. If you are able to acknowledge their position without jumping in to refute it, they may lower their need to be defensive, become less challenging and feel understood.
  4. Put yourself at the top of the list! Take care of yourself. Make sure you get enough sleep, and eat enough food. A tired and cranky you will do nothing to make it a great day. And if you need to escape for some “me” time, then do it!
  5. Don’t let them get to you! Your family is well aware of how to push your buttons, but if you refuse to play, they can’t continue the negative cycle without you. Those who try to engage negatively are, oddly enough, looking for a way to connect. Engage them in a task or activity where they can lead the way and be the center of attention in a healthy manner.

As the holidays get closer, these skills can help you, in the short term, get through a family visit without flipping your lid.

Is there deeper work to do here?

Is it too overwhelming to take on?

It’s possible to undo these subconscious knots that have tied you to your past through the process of Theta Healing – a meditation that allows you to access your subconscious mind and change damaging beliefs and painful emotions so the heavy work gets lighter.
Want to experience Theta Healing?

Join me for the FREE “Surviving the Holidays with Your Family 5 Day Challenge,” where Theta Healing can help you heal the top 5 triggers that drive you crazy when you visit your family for the holidays.

Click here to learn more and sign up!

6 Snacks You Can Eat While Still Burning Fat!

healthy snacksSometimes the hardest part of changing your diet isn’t adjusting your meals, but trying to find something healthy to eat in-between them. It’s no secret that starving yourself isn’t the greatest way to lose weight, actually, the most effective way is to eat smaller-portioned meals and snacks throughout the day to ensure your body has enough energy to keep you active all day—while also keeping your metabolism up as well.

So, why is it so hard to find something to snack on? Well, for one there’s the portability factor. It’s not always convenient to bring something that you have to sit down to eat or have prepared in advance—sometimes we just need something quick that we can eat with one hand.

The other thing that makes it hard is taste. We’re so used to the taste of our favorite junk food that we often find it difficult to give them up. The best way to change this habit is to find a healthier option in your favorite taste palate. Crave something sweet? Try opting for fresh fruits. Do you prefer salty? Go for the nuts instead of the chips. Often, it’s simply a matter of doing what works best for you.

Below are six options to get you snacking healthier while helping to burn fat in the process!


  1. Yogurt mixed with berries, walnuts or pecans, and cottage cheese
  2. Apples or your favorite fruit with almond butter
  3. Avocado slices wrapped in nitrate-free deli turkey breast 
  4. Fresh-sliced pineapples with a handful of macadamia nuts
  5. Blueberries mixed with raw almonds for a trail mix style snack
  6. Carrot sticks or sliced red/yellow/orange peppers with guacamole


The great thing about the snacks listed above is that they can be easy to prepare in advance, so you can just grab them and go. Also, most local grocery and health stores already carry healthy, pre-prepped snacks in convenient on-the-go packages—making it easier to avoid opting for the unhealthy versions. And always keep your favorite fruits and vegetables on hand for unexpected hunger attacks.

Remember, being healthy and eating right is a matter of choice. Every day we each have to make the choice to do what’s best for our body and our heath. Hopefully these tips can make that decision easier for you while you’re on the go!

For more healthy snack ideas, click here.

6 Superfoods That You Need To Start Eating Immediately!


A proper diet is one of the most important contributing factors to overall good health. While you may not always be able to eat properly every day, there are certain superfoods that you can add to what you’re already eating which can provide an abundance of nutrients.

  1. Spirulina – This nutrient superfood is essential for high-quality protein, providing all the essential amino acids; iron, magnesium, potassium, and B12; as well as tons of vitamins and minerals and potent levels of antioxidants.
  2. Blueberries – These are one of the most nutrient-dense foods there are. They provide phytonutrients, are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, give you soluble fiber and are low in sugar and calories than many other fruits, so they help support healthy carbohydrate metabolism and glycemic control.
  3. Cinnamon – This old-world spice provides up to 41 different protective antioxidants, and has been known to have positive effects on digestion. Like blueberries, cinnamon can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It is also good for digestion, immune function, cognitive function, and carbohydrate metabolism.
  4. Beans – One of the most undervalued superfoods, they are known for providing slow-digesting carbs, and being a good source of protein. Beans can help keep you feeling full, support glycemic control, and may help maintain weight control—as well as a healthy heart.
  5. Avocados – Are nutrient-dense—high in fiber, and packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as well as healthy monounsaturated fats. They have more potassium than bananas and contain nutrients known for supporting eye health and vision, cognitive function, and heart health. Avocados also help promote weight loss by reducing hunger and increasing the feeling of fullness.
  6. Whey Protein – Whey protein has an exceptional nutrient density and health benefits, including enhanced muscle recovery, strength, and hypertrophy; appetite control and weight management; immune support; heart health; and even healthy aging.

One of the best things about the foods on this list is they’re easy to find in most grocery stores, and are easy to add to the meals you already cook on a daily basis. If these aren’t enough, you can also include kale, broccoli, salmon, apples and tomatoes. Your local grocery store is packed with nutrient dense foods! The benefits they provide are certain to boost your health and keep your figure in shape.

For more information about these and other superfoods, visit this article by Sue Mosebar

Fitness Friday Blog: Top 5 Low-Carb, High-Fat Foods


One of the best ways to lose weight, particularly belly fat, is a low-carbohydrate diet. There are many versions of low-carb diets, two of the most popular ones are Atkins and ketogenic, or keto for short. Low-carb diets consist of meals that are high-fat, adequate-protein, and low-carbohydrate—both sugar and starch carbs are extremely limited, which forces your body to switch from burning sugars for energy to burning fat instead; this process is called ketosis.

For many people, a low-carb diet can be extremely effective in losing weight quickly. However, it can lack diversity if you depend too heavily on red meat as your main source of substance. Below is a list of five great protein-rich alternatives to help diversify your diet while making sure you don’t go over-board—which can keep you from getting into or staying in ketosis.

Fatty Fish
On a low-carb diet you’ll do well to keep in mind that fish is one of your best go-to options when it comes to ensuring you’re maintain a healthy amount of fats. It doesn’t hurt that you’ll also be getting a ton of other health benefits too, such as heart, eye, skin, and brain health, improved immune and metabolic function, and healthy inflammatory response.

Coconut Oil
When you think about a low-carb diet, coconut oil isn’t the first thing to pop into your mind. But considering 70% of the fat found in coconut oil is a very special type called medium chain triglycerides, it should be. MCTs are easily absorbed, metabolized, burned for energy, and aren’t easily stored as fat—which is why they help to suppress appetite, boost metabolism, lower body weight, and reduce belly fat.

Eggs are well-known as one of the healthiest foods you can eat; easily making it one of the best low-carb foods on your diet, especially since they have practically zero carbs.
They are healthy fats and a good source of high-quality protein, and provide nutrients that boost brain health and cognitive function, eye health and vision, and heart health. Eggs are your keto diet’s best friend!

Butter, Ghee, Heavy Cream, Sour Cream, and Full-Fat Cheese
Most people are still under the impression that saturated fats are bad for you, but it’s since been accepted that saturated fat is not associated with heart-related issues., but you should still be careful not to go overboard, as with any food.
Studies are also beginning to show that full-fat dairy is related to less belly fat and better blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and glycemic control. Far better than what was previously believed. Be sure to opt for the organic, pasture-raised cow brands, which will give you healthier fats than the conventional varieties.

Add some flavor to your diet with this keto-perfect food. They provide about 80% of calories from fat, ensuring that you aren’t going too far over in your protein intake.
Avocados also provide a good amount of fiber and are a nutrient-dense food with upwards of 20 essential nutrients, including potassium. Half of an avocado 25% of the recommended intake for active people.

The key to an effective low-carb/keto weight-loss diet is, ironically, fats! While protein is important, it’s good to keep in mind that too much can stall your body’s ketosis and leave you right back where you started—balance is the crucial factor. For more tips on the best keto foods and why, read this article by Biotrust’s Tim Skwiat .

Five Sugars You Should Avoid On Food Labels


Reading food labels can often seem a bit tedious and time consuming, especially when there are often words that you need a dictionary just to pronounce. However, it’s something that—if you don’t already do—you need to start doing immediately. The most important words you need to look for end with these three letters: OSE. Here are the words and reasons why you should be avoiding them at all costs, according to BioTrust’s Joel Marion.


  1. High fructose corn syrup – this is the most dangerous of the bad sugars and an ingredient that should be at the top of your list to avoid
  1. Fructose – is a fruit sugar in which too much intake has been linked to causing insulin resistance, obesity, elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, leading to metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  1. Maltose – is a malt sugar that is produced when glucose is caramelized
  1. Glucose – is a type of sugar that comes from carbohydrates, while it is used by the body for energy, it can be bad in excessive amounts and can lead to high blood glucose levels
  1. Sucrose – is simply known as table sugar or just sugar


Keep in mind that the closer these words are to the top of the ingredient list, the more you need to avoid that food, as it is likely packed full of sugar and unfit for a healthy diet. Research has shown that these sugars are often the leading cause of obesity and diabetes.

For more tips on what sugars to avoid and why, click here.

Fitness Friday: Boosting Metabolism


It’s often noted that with age comes wisdom, what’s not said is that it is also accompanied by the slowing down of your metabolism. Why is this important to note? Because the older we get, the harder it becomes to maintain the energy we had in our more youthful years. Metabolism plays an important role in this because it is the chemical process that helps our body’s ability to burn calories for fuel—and our ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Maintaining a healthy weight is what gives us the capability to fight against certain illness and diseases—particularly those that come with aging. Proper nutrition is the key to ensuring that your metabolism doesn’t decrease; however, there are also other important factors that can help improve your body’s metabolism rate. According to an article written by Sue Mosebar for BioTrust, these are the top five changes you can start making today to kick your metabolism into optimum drive.

Strength Training
Weight lifting and resistance training is one of the most effective ways to boost your metabolism, while gaining muscle, toning your body, and increasing your daily energy. For women, strength training can be intimidating at first, but don’t be afraid to stat light—and if you want, stay light. The results will inevitably speak for themselves. Muscle mass is proven to help burn more calories—even during the time when you’re not actively training.

Move More
Between the hours spent working at a computer and relaxing at home, it’s easy to neglect how much time we actually spend sitting. Being sedentary is one of the key factors in unwanted and unhealthy weight gain as it aids in the slowing down of your metabolism. Try alternating between sitting and standing at your desk while you work. Use the stairs whenever possible, and go for short walks during the day—either during lunch or in the evening after dinner. Implementing more activity into your day, even in small short periods, can do wonders for your metabolism.

Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT is a combination of high and low impact cardio performed in short alternating intervals, such as running at top speed followed by a slow walk. You can do this either at the gym or at home. By doing 15 to 20 minutes of intervals you can boost your metabolism and burn calories while still feeling energetic.

Stay Thirsty, Friends
Coffee and tea can help stimulate metabolism by up to 11%, depending on which drink you choose, tea is about 4%–and can last an entire day. But water remains the most important metabolism-boosting drink, as it can increase your metabolic rate by 30% within 10 minutes. Water will also help keep you full and help to avoid unnecessary calories.

Curb the Calories
Cutting calories doesn’t always mean eating less; often, it means eating healthier, nutrient-balanced meals. What you really need to understand is that it is important that your food intake match your level of activity. Not eating enough food will slow your metabolic rate to adjust for the lowered calories, and will stop your weight-loss progress; while also causing you to lose muscle. The key is to make sure you’re eating enough to meet your caloric needs, but not too much to exceed them.

Always keep in mind that just because your metabolism is prone to decline as you age, you have the ability to reverse it with a little extra effort and a few daily changes. In fact, you may even find that by working to improve your metabolism can also help improve your entire lifestyle. And remember, your body, mind, and spirit are all connected—cultivating the health of your body will lead to cultivating the health of your mind and spirit as well.

Why You Need To Start Eating Healthy Fats


As the summer weather approaches, our eating habits tend to change a bit—less heavy, comfort food and more light fruits, as well as additional seasonal vegetables. It’s as if our bodies naturally switch from hibernation storing to fat shedding. So, if you’re looking to change your diet, start by eating more healthy fats—here are four reasons why you should according to BioTrust’s Joel Marion.

  1. Healthy fats will improve your blood sugar levels while helping to slow the rate food that your stomach is emptying.
  1. Fat can give you healthier-looking skin, hair, leading to a more youthful appearance.
  1. Eating more can help decrease the amount of carbs your body normally digests; thereby, helping your body burn fat rather than carbs for energy. This can also help you lose belly fat and weight.
  1. Fat found in organic foods can help you burn calories faster than a low-calorie diet.

Many people think the best way to lose weight is to eat less; however, most doctors and dieticians will tell you that eating more smaller and healthier meals a day is the most effective way to get rid of fat. While exercise is important to your physical health and fitness, a healthy, well-balanced diet is essential to ensuring that your body can fight chronic disease, illness, and function efficiently—overall, it prolongs not just your life, but the quality of your lifestyle.

For further reasons why you should switch to eating healthy fats click on this link.

Theta Meditation for Projecting Hope

I’ve been having a hard time lately. This new administration’s appointees, ranging from global warming denialists to dictator-friendly diplomats, has made me anxious about the near future.

Going to bed and waking up, I have been weighted with a sense of dread in the pit of my stomach.

This is not the way I like to live my life.

But for some reason, even after many attempts, I have been unable to completely let go of this heaviness.

What is up with that?

According to Andrew Huberman, Stanford professor of neurobiology, the brain is “mostly a stress-reactive machine. Its primary job is to keep us alive, which is why it’s so easy to flip people into fear all the time.” So, when facing an uncertain future, “there is a litany of cognitive distortions and emotional overreactions that we fall prey to.”

When we are in a constant state of fear or anxiety, the parts of our brain that are responsible for thinking and forming memories shut down. They actually shrink in size while the part of our brain that is responsible for fear gets bigger.

So the other night, while I was lying in bed, I went up into theta and asked, “What can I do to change this? I keep projecting my fear out into the world.”

A simple voice came back to me: “Project your hope instead.”

I instantly calmed down.

I could project my hope, and become involved in the solution instead of the problem. It was so simple and yet those four words transformed my mind and body.

Apparently, my reaction was backed up by neural science. According to Justin Moscarello, researcher at LeDoux Lab, Center for Neural Science, “It’s your belief about your agency that ultimately determines your emotional outcomes… Believing you don’t have control over your own life can lead to depression… while believing that you have a voice, and can influence a situation, can lead to positive feelings.”

We create stories that disempower us, out of our feelings of uncertainty. It is an effort to control what is beyond our grasp.

Yet, we also have the power to create a positive story and become a part of manifesting that outcome. Remembering we have that power renews our faith.

Author Samuel Smiles once said “Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”

We will always encounter uncertainty in life; just remember it’s a fork in the road, rather than a dead end. Your choice.


Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_hope.html

Rolling Stone, “Why We’re LIving in the Age of Fear” by Neil Strauss, October 6, 2016.

~Karen Abrams

Breathing Exercises for Relaxation

“Just calm down and take a deep breath.” It’s a go-to when you’re feeling stressed and anxious. Over 5 thousand years ago yogis brought breathing techniques into a daily practice as they began to focus on enlightenment through the body. These practices are still in effect today and as luck would have it, science follows right behind with an explanation.

Our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) connects the brain to the body. When you experience unsettling thoughts, feelings and events, the nerves switch on the Sympathetic Nervous System which is responsible for your Fight or Flight response. This brings about a rise in your breath rate, heart rate and blood pressure. And that’s just the beginning.

Happily, the converse is true, too. When you change your breathing pattern, your heart and lungs are communicating the opposite message to your ANS to switch on your Sympathetic Nervous System (also known as your Rest and Digest or Relax Response). With an extended exhale (at a 2:1 ratio) your heart rate slows, your blood pressure drops, digestion improves and calm renters the picture.

Enter the 4-7-8 Breathing technique. This is a yogic breathing exercise made popular by Dr. Andrew Weil, considered to be the father of Integrative Medicine. Dr. Weil believes this to be a very powerful tool to calm anxiety, triggered emotions, sleep disruptions as well as deal effectively with food cravings.

The exercise is simple:

Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise.

You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.

Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.

Hold your breath for a count of seven.

Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

For the first month, you should only practice with four breaths at one time and then extend it to eight. Immediate effects might include light headedness, but that will clear up quickly.

The magic happens relatively quickly but the REAL stuff occurs when you make it a daily practice for 1-2 minutes. Then you’ll have a very powerful tool to calm yourself, lower your heart rate, blood pressure and improve your digestion. Dr. Weill believes this technique to be as effective as anti anxiety medication without the heavy price tag. And having that at your beck-and-call is worth all the yogi tea in China.


History of Yoga

How Your Breath Affects Your Nervous System – Baxter Bell, MD


~Karen Abrams, GodSelf Faculty

Theta Meditation for Radiation

We had a blackout at my house and the electricity was off for 13 hours.  You never realize how much you rely on electricity/wifi/computers until you lose it completely.  But what I didn’t realize at the time was that my body was getting a break from all the radiation it receives from the electromagnetic fields that are generated from the devices in my home.  Our microwaves, tv’s, digital phones, computers, cell phones, wifi, laptops and tablets emit frequencies that can cause (at the very least) inflammation in the body and according to the World Health Organization can be classified as a possible carcinogen.

Since these technologies are not going anywhere and are so embedded in the way we connect and communicate with our immediate and extended community, let’s focus on some solutions instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Here are some recommendations from the Foundation for Alternative and Integrative Medicine:

  • “Turn off your WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G when not in use and keep your mobile on your body as little as possible.
  • Switch off, via both hardware and software, Bluetooth and WiFi on your computers, printers and other wireless devices and use only cables.
  • If this is not possible, make sure that at least you switch off your WiFi router and all wireless transmitters at night…
  • If you have school age children, ask the school to limit /prohibit /abolish WiFi. There is now plenty of evidence that its use is ill advised. The World Health Organization and the European Council concur on this.”

Recommendations according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, Osteopath and Alternative Medicine Proponent:

  • Children Should Never Use Cell Phones or Wireless Device of any type: Children are far more vulnerable to cell phone radiation than adults, because of their thinner skull bones, and still developing immune and neurological systems.
  • Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often…. As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call.
  • Use a Land Line at Home and at Work

Now, how can Theta Healing support your health in the wireless world? The 3 minute Theta Meditation in the YouTube video at the top of the page is a resource for you to let go of harmful radiation you’ve picked up throughout the day. As your mind connects to your body, Divine Source supports you to release the harmful radiation that you come in contact with every day.  Use this every day at the end of your day and let it go!

~Karen Abrams