Pressure for perfectionism over progress. A lot of people believe they have to be ready and get it perfectly right before they can “start” to be healthy. I focus on progress over perfectionism, and am realistic with my patients that it can take sometimes up to 4 years ot truly create a brand new mindset, behaviors and habits so that the person truly transforms. Health doesn’t stop and start, it’s a continuous process, so don’t want until Monday, start now with just an openness and willingness.
Often when we refer to wellness, we assume that we are talking about physical wellbeing. But one can be physically very healthy but still be unwell, emotionally or mentally. What are the steps we can take to cultivate optimal wellness in all areas of our life; to develop Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing?
As a part of our series about “What We Can Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewingLiana Werner-Gray.
Liana Werner-Gray is a certified nutritionist and natural-health advocate. After Liana experienced the power of healing multiple health issues by embracing a natural lifestyle, she created The Earth Diet and started lecturing and teaching internationally. Her recipes have helped people with acne, anxiety, diabetes, depression, heart disease, obesity, and more. Liana is the resident nutritionist at Complete Wellness in New York City.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I’ve always been interested in doing the inner work, and perhaps this is because of my upbringing. I was born in Perth, Australia. My parents lived a very natural lifestyle, they lived off the land as much as possible, growing their own food, making their own wine, there was no TV or radio, my father made bricks from scratch to build the house, we used water sparingly as it was pumped straight from a well. When I was three years old we moved to Alice Springs, which is smack bang in the middle of Australia — total Outback Australia. This is where I spent most of my upbringing. My mother was a beautiful minimalist when it came to her cooking, wardrobe, and home. Our house and lifestyle were so simple. We spent weekends barefoot, camping and
The community and landscape in Alice Springs shape my life even as it is now. At my school, half of the kids were white like me, and half were Aboriginal people. We were taught about the Aboriginal peoples’ history and other indigenous cultures growing up. Our school often took us out on excursions to teach us Indigenous Australian ways; they showed us “bush tucker,” which is food that comes straight from the bush, and how to survive off the land. As I grew older, I gained even more respect for the wisdom of the indigenous people in how they lived off the land for centuries. They didn’t have many of today’s diseases because they didn’t have any processed foods full of additives and preservatives, weird fillers, and artificial sweeteners to mess with their body’s natural harmony.
My close friends among the indigenous people in our area taught me that healing anything was possible. Note that healing was never guaranteed — but it was possible. They addressed things like wounds, snakebites, and illnesses using the resources they had available to them (they called it bush medicine) and praying with their tribe. The tribe would get together and sing out to spirit to invite healing, and it worked. The lesson here is that the path to wellness is one we don’t need to face alone. Just as the tribe comes together to offer support to a member, we would rely on our own family, friends, trusted health professionals, and other experts for support, wisdom, and advice.
As a result of my upbringing, I always have believed that no matter what issue we are faced with, we have a chance of healing it. This is why, when I was diagnosed with a tumor the size of a golf ball in my lymphatic system, chronic fatigue, anxiety and depression — a condition that I had never had a name for until then and just assumed was normal — I knew deep down that I would not accept living with it for the rest of my life. Once it was out in the open, I took it on.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.
The sickness, the tumor itself and then the healing is what inspired me to pursue my career as an author and nutritionist. Once I was healed and felt so utterly free, and so great all I wanted to do was share it with others, and show them how they too could be free around food, and the tools that heal. Everything improved when I looked to nature for my food; my mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. It’s all I can imagine wanting to do for the rest of my life and it’s what I’ve done passionately for eleven years.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
As a child my mum and fourth Grade teacher Mrs. Thompson told me I could do anything I wanted as a career as long as I loved it and put my mind to it. I believed them. The naturopath I worked with to heal, Mae Rose, encouraged me to heal by detoxing my body of toxins and gave me confidence that I could actually do it, and not only heal but transform my health and digestive system for good. She told me there was another life waiting for me on the other side of my sickness. Once my career was flowing and I was a published author, it was Wayne Dyer who encouraged me more than anyone, he gave me the courage to keep focusing on helping people by teaching them how to eat from the earth, and how to heal, and reminded me to always check my perspective, especially if people online were being hateful, for me to focus on the positivity coming my way and the people wanting assistance rather than focusing on negative comments.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life book. This book was revolutionary at the time, and it broke the stigma on healing, it showed that healing is not only possible, but that you could heal with affirmations, rewiring your brain. I think anyone who has had to fight for their life can agree that this type of book is refreshing and empowering. It made me realize I didn’t have to have a terrible life and that I could change my fate by the thoughts I think and believe.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds.” Philippians 4:6–7
It reminds me that I do not need to be anxious, that I can simply cast my cares to God to take and go about living my life with as much joy and gratitude as possible. When I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression a part of me felt like I must have deserved it, and that I should just accept that fate and learn how to deal with it for the rest of my life. Learning about this quote was a huge relief, and took off a huge burden. I have been able to tap into the peace now and it banishes all anxiousness.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
My Anxiety-Free supplements! Since researching for my new book Anxiety-Free with Food I got so excited about fifty supplements from around the world made from herbs and plants that are proven to help reduce anxiety because of their nutritional compounds, neuroprotective care, nervous system balancing and cognitive support. So, I narrowed it down to ten organic ingredients and created a formula of my own that is a stress and anxiety support, designed to promote nervous system, immune system, focus and mood balance support. I am so excited for these to be available to the world in February.
I have been involved every step of the way to ensure it’s made with high quality ingredients. I’ve personally been taking them since March, and they have helped reduce anxiety immensely. Made with ashwagandha, spirulina, turmeric, chlorella, flax oil, Schisandra, bilberry, celery, gingko and echinacea. They are just so easy to add into our daily lives, and it’s a sense of relief to know we are getting magnesium, greens, antioxidants and taking care of our brain and gut with my supplements. Having dealt with anxiety, I know what it’s like to just need a bit of help with momentum.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In this interview series we’d like to discuss cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
HABIT #1: AFFIRMATIONS FOR OPTIMUM MENTAL WELLNESS
Positive thoughts will support your healing process and keep your immune system strong.
Negative thoughts will weaken your immune system. The mind is like a computer. When you type a word into Google search it comes up with millions of results for what you have submitted. It’s the same with our minds when we think negative or positive thoughts the brain fires neural pathways to specific pockets of the brain, which triggers more negative or positive thoughts. That’s why when we think one negative thought it can trigger a multitude of others and put us into a negative downward spiral. This is why thinking positive thoughts is incredibly important, we must train our minds to think positive thoughts, and once we do it triggers the pathway to the pocket of our brain where all the positive thoughts are. If the mind is infected, it needs healing! You know your mind is infected if you think negative thoughts that sabotage your health, your relationships, your career etc.
Negative thoughts are like weeds that need to be poisoned with your voice, with new positive thoughts that drive your life forward to a good healthy place. There is no room for negative thoughts in our minds. What purpose do they serve other than spinning us around in circles?
If you find yourself thinking a negative thought, catch it, stop it, delete it out and override it with a positive thought.
Some positive life-giving affirmations could be:
- I am doing the best I can, I am healing my past mistakes and open to new healthy habits.
- I am so loved and nourished, more than I know!
- My mind if full of life supporting healthy positive thoughts.
- I have all the tools I need to healing.
- I am healing, I am healed.
- I freely release the old and joyously welcome the new.
- All is well with my soul.
- With the power of God, I have all the tools I need to heal and anything is possible.
- I am worth being alive and taking up space. I am a child of God. I have the capacity to live life to the fullest!
- I breathe our tension; I breathe in all the good feelings.
I love how Gabby Bernstein puts it, “Whenever you notice your thoughts detour into attack mode, say out loud or to yourself: Happiness is a choice I make.” — Gabrielle Bernstein
HABIT #2: SHOW UP FOR EMOTIONAL HEALING FOR OPTIMUM MENTAL WELLNESS
Emotional stress may be from something that happened to you in the past, or current day stresses. Something could trigger you and send you into a spiral of stress. When you heal emotional wounds, it can heal the areas of your life that are showing up as a manifestation of unhealed emotional wounds, for example mental health challenges or a physical illness. Here is a tool that helped me heal emotional wounds: If you have a health issue for example let’s say depression, it is important to know this, all of who you are is not depression. The depression may be taking up some space in your body for now, but it is a small percentage as the rest of you are the majority.
For example, a patient I was seeing at Complete Wellness NYC has lung cancer. I explained this to her, that just because she has lung cancer doesn’t mean that she is being taken over by cancer. In fact, since she has lung cancer, lungs might make up say for example 10% of your entire body, so therefore she is only made up of at maximum 10% cancer. I drew this for her to explain it, she cried and said it was a helpful powerful visual to know that the cancer was not taking over her body, and in fact just a small percentage of who she currently is.
This was my reaction to this concept when I explained to a psychoanalyst I was feeling really down and in despair (during a time when I was going through severe depression), and she said, “Yes you may be feeling that, but that doesn’t make up the whole you. There are other parts of you that don’t feel depressed.” Remember that you are in control and have more power than the depression or the emotion. I learned not to be afraid of it, and to show up stronger if an emotion revealed itself to be extremely difficult.
HABIT #3: EATING A PREDOMINANTLY PLANT RICH WHOLE FOOD DIET TO GET SUFFICIENT AMOUNTS OF MAGNESIUM FOR OPTIMUM MENTAL WELLNESS
In my latest book I share how much food is connected to mental health. It’s almost scary how as soon as we can eat something it can positively or negatively impact our mental health — that is how powerful food is. When we eat a diet rich in wholefoods our brains get the nutrients it needs to function optimally. (That doesn’t mean vegan, it means eating a lot of vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits, and some organic chicken, grass fed beef, wild fish and organic eggs when your body needs the protein.) When we have a poor diet, we become nutrient deficient which is one of the main proven causes for anxiety. For example, magnesium is beneficial in the treatment of migraines, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and coronary artery disease. Yet experts say that up to 75 percent of people in United States are not meeting their recommended intake of magnesium!
Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.
Yes, I have a 5-minute morning ritual that is posted on my IGTV. It reduces anxiety without fail, every time. I ask people to tell me their anxiety level on a scale of 1–10 before the practice, and then five minutes later it usually goes down at least four levels. This morning ritual includes five tasks that take one minute each:
- One minute of saying affirmations “All is well with my soul. I breathe in peace and breathe out tension.”
- One minute of a deep breathing exercise.
- One minute meditation that connects you with the core of the earth all the way out into the Universe.
- Make a lemon water and chlorophyll drink.
- Write down things you are grateful for one minute, at least five things.
I have also practiced yoga for sixteen years, I started when I was 17 and appreciated breathing so well in class, filling up my lungs, the flexibility from stretching and how it made me feel balanced and empowered. I loved my recent feature in Yoga Journal magazine too and being on their new Yoga Journal podcast.
My boyfriend also practices Transcendental Meditation and finds a lot of value in it. He’s one of the most zenned out people I know.
Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
- Consuming chlorophyll every single day
My absolute favorite supplement in the world is chlorophyll — the green pigment in plants — and I wish every human being were consuming it on a daily basis. The problem is, most people just don’t know about it yet! Chlorophyll is a compound found in dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, collard greens, dandelion greens, and turnip greens, broccoli and broccoli sprouts, and blue-green algae, like chlorella and spirulina. Although I feel that chlorophyll has been under promoted, it has been studied a lot, and it has been shown to have many health benefits. This is one of the best health hacks we have available to us! A lot of high-performance people have discovered its value already. It is noteworthy that chlorophyll contains magnesium, which we know helps to reduce anxiety. People with low magnesium intake are likely to experience anxiety. What are the other benefits? Chlorophyll reduces inflammation in the body. It has been shown to enhance oxidative stress tolerance; meaning, your body will be able to adapt to stressful conditions easier. It also contains a lot of healthful antioxidants. Chlorophyll helps put fresh oxygen into the body, which gives us instant energy. The chemical structure of the molecule of chlorophyll in a plant is similar to the chemical structure of the molecule of hemoglobin in the human bloodstream, which carries oxygen to our cells. The difference is that chlorophyll is made up of magnesium rather than iron, like red blood cells. Chlorophyll also helps to prevent blood sugar from dropping, which can help stop us from impulsive eating when our sugar level is low. Because chlorophyll has so many antianxiety properties, it should be consumed daily. Luckily, you consume chlorophyll every time you eat a green vegetable, have a leafy salad, or drink one of my green juice recipes.
If you are not consuming these foods, a supplement can effectively provide your body with chlorophyll. You can buy chlorophyll in liquid or capsule form. I prefer the liquid because when we drink it in water or smoothies, it’s penetrating immediately into the body, bypassing the digestive tract. A supplement in pill form can take longer to hit the system and do its work.
Perhaps surprisingly, chlorophyll does not have any taste; however, it turns water a vibrant deep green color and will stain your tongue — and your clothes, if you spill it. Because of its dark green tint, I use chlorophyll as a food dye, as do many other natural-food chefs. It’s a nontoxic colorant for things like green frosting on a dessert. Drinking chlorophyll water is something I have committed to doing daily for the rest of my life — and I’ve done so for more than 10 years. I find this the easiest way to consume it. When I drink chlorophyll water, I like to imagine that I am putting a coating over my cells to protect them from oxidative stress and toxins. Sometimes I visualize myself as a superhero and chlorophyll as my cape. I tell my coaching clients that if they regularly drink alcohol or eat unhealthy food, to have a chlorophyll water after to help detox the body. Simply add the number of drops recommended on the label to a full glass of water, and drink up!
Spirulina is a great source of chlorophyll and has been shown to help reduce anxiety because it contains omega-3 fatty acids as well as chlorophyll. It can help protect our cells and tissues from damage and increases healthy microflora in the gut.
In my cancer book and anxiety book, dark leafy greens take first place in healing both and one of the main reasons dark leafy greens are #1 on the list is that they contain chlorophyll — the pigment that makes plants green — which enhances our tolerance for oxidative stress. One particular study on the antioxidative capacity of chlorophyll isolated from spinach described how it increased the life span of microorganisms by more than 20 percent. The researchers report “dietary chlorophyll derivatives support the recommendation of nutritionists to eat green vegetables and salads containing high contents of chlorophyll, as this could help to improve human health and prevent diseases.”
When people ask me if they could only change one thing in their diet what would it be? Chlorophyll, everyday.
- Use the “Upgrade Approach” to upgrade your physical wellness
The Upgrade Approach is what I teach to all my patients and clients, and tell them once you have this mindset, you will be good to go for the rest of your life, and you practice it until that muscle becomes stronger and you always remain in control of food choices. Similar to “replacement therapy”
In my nutrition practice I specialize in helping people feeding themselves with healthful versions of all the things one may crave, especially when you are feeling anxious, emotional eating or overeating. It is similar to replacement therapy in which rather taking away something, like white sugar for example, replacing it with something else like honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar.
I used the upgrade approach to replicate all my favorite foods. I made chicken nuggets with organic chicken and a coating of turmeric, almond flour, and sea salt. I made cheesecake with cashews. I made ice cream with almond milk. I used coconut oil instead of butter. I made cookie dough from almond flour and maple syrup. And I discovered that there is a healthier alternative for absolutely everything that we want to eat.
Upgrading means we can continue to eat the foods we love for the rest of our lives guilt-free! We can eat them and achieve optimal wellness.
Truly, it’s worth repeating that it’s not realistic for any of us to think, I will start a new diet on Monday — after which I will never, ever eat cookies again. We are not biologically programmed for deprivation. That’s why millions of people are stuck in an “I’ll start tomorrow” pattern. They are still eating junk food because that way will never work.
But when we adopt the approach of asking, how can I eat cookies in a healthy way? And then find a way to do so, we fulfill our cravings and have a pleasurable experience. Because this food tastes good and nourishes the body, it also leaves us with a sense of real satiety, and it calms our nervousness.
That’s the key. Flood the body with nutrients at the same time as you are indulging in happy-tasting flavors. I was mind blown to discover this and wished I had learned it before I had first tried processed foods with refined sugars and become hooked on the sugar.
If you get stuck and can’t find an alternative to something you would like to eat, please let me know. So far, there hasn’t been one food that I haven’t been able to find an upgrade for that hasn’t worked for someone.
This is how I broke my own 5-year binge eating habit on junk foods and sugar — I as the biggest sugar addict I’ve known! When I applied this approach of “upgrading” to more wholesome foods and ingredients, within three months the tumor in my throat had entirely dissolved, my mental health had improved and I felt so passionate about sharing with the world what I was doing and the success I was having with my recipes that I created the Earth Diet blog. This turned into my first published book! It became my life purpose and mission to help other people heal with food.
Often when we feel anxious, we get the urge to eat something as a way of self-medicating. The trap we get into is eating the types of foods that make us feel worse, so we end up feeling even more anxiety! Many of us struggle today with knowing we shouldn’t eat in a certain way because it does not help us heal and may even worsen our condition, but there is a part of us that still wants to eat that food, causing major internal conflict! This is one of those confusing human moments.
Food upgrading or swapping is the concept that literally saved my life. I have lived it ever since; it stopped all of my cravings and impulses to eat unhealthy foods, and I am still indulging in the most delicious foods like fried chicken and fries, just in a completely brand-new way. I give examples of upgrades for everything in my book from bread to soda, chocolate, cookies, pasta and pizza, to everything we want to enjoy!
- Stay away from anxiogenic foods
There are many causes of anxiety, according to the experts. Anxiogenic foods produce anxiety and are one of the known proven causes to anxiety. These trigger anxiety straight away because of how they upset the nervous system. The top anxiogenic foods are refined sugar like white sugar and corn syrup, the “bad” fats from fried foods or fast foods, chemicals like preservatives, additives, fillers, artificial flavors and colorings, MSG and glyphosate contaminated fruits and vegetables. Most of these things are found in processed foods and lead to overall poor diet. Poor diet is linked to anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that people with mood disorders often have diets that are low in fruits and vegetables and high in fat and sugar. I include a lot of these studies in my new book Anxiety-Free with Food.
Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
This is exactly what I specialize in, in my nutrition practice. You said it, most people “know” how to eat healthy, but they don’t do it. Over the last eleven years in working with people I’ve seen that these are the main blockages:
- Having a disempowered thought pattern, “It’s too late for me,” “I am too old to change,” “My dreams have already passed, I don’t care anymore, I don’t care what I look like or feel like,” “It will be too hard for me to start being healthy now,” ‘I gave up,” “Even if I ate healthy it wouldn’t work for me,” “Making a change now would be way to hard,” “it’s just not possible.”
- Not knowing that delicious foods can also be healthy. This is why I struggled for five years with not being able to give up eating sugar and fast foods, because I didn’t know there was a healthier and more wholesome way to make them! Nowadays is the easiest time to be healthy, because we can go to the store and buy gummy bears sweetened with Stevia and we would never know the difference, or gluten free chocolate chip cookies that taste like they are made from white flour and sugar but instead made with almond flour and coconut sugar. Once I show people this world of healthy options they are mind blown, it’s an exciting realization to know every craving can be fulfilled with something that tastes incredible and provides nutrition at the same time. Once people know this, they feel it is more realistic for them to be able to integrate it into their lives. Eating healthy doesn’t just mean fruits and vegetables, or bland and boring. It’s the most exciting way to live, and when people discover this they are all in.
- Addiction. Whether it be an emotional addiction or physical addiction, which can include a chemical addiction. An emotional addiction can include being in a cycle of pain and drama, Eckhart Tolle talks about this in his books A Power of Now and A New Earth. A physical addiction is the way the body is wired, and after years of eating certain foods the body had become addicted, for example to the high of a sugar rush. A food addiction is very strong, just as strong as an addiction to something else like drugs or alcohol. This is why chlorophyll is so powerful, because it creates new cells and detoxes out old cells, so eventually someone won’t have those cells that crave that refined sugar. The upgrade approach that I speak about also rewires the body to crave coconut sugar or honey instead of white sugar, and avocados instead of fried foods for example.
- Pressure for perfectionism over progress. A lot of people believe they have to be ready and get it perfectly right before they can “start” to be healthy. I focus on progress over perfectionism, and am realistic with my patients that it can take sometimes up to 4 years ot truly create a brand new mindset, behaviors and habits so that the person truly transforms. Health doesn’t stop and start, it’s a continuous process, so don’t want until Monday, start now with just an openness and willingness.
- Other believed setbacks like finances or circumstances like it’s not the right time yet. When I started this journey, I had very little money, it is possible to eat healthy on a budget.
- The environment. Unfortunately, the food industry contributes to making people want to eat processed and fast foods.
Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
#1 Stay away from foods that are endocrine disruptors. The endocrine system is the system of glands that produce hormones, which regulate emotions, mood and sleep, among other things. Disrupting the endocrine system creates hormonal imbalances that contribute to anxiety and emotions that are all over the place. That feeling of “being on edge” often comes from eating foods that disrupt the endocrine system and so we are more easily triggered. Synthetic hormones (rBGH and rBST) found in dairy also mess with our hormones.
#2 Reduce your exposure to electromagnetic chaos. Chaotic electromagnetic fields (EMFs) radiate energy that stresses your cells, weakens the immune system, and interferes with the proper function of the brain, hormone endocrine and nervous system. To avoid them you need to spend less time on your cellphone, being immersed in WI-FI signals, sitting near a TV, at the computer, and under florescent lights.
#3 Rest and sleep is the ultimate reset. It’s harder to maintain emotional wellness when we are tired and burned out including adrenal fatigue which is when the adrenal glands are spent of their resources and subsequently unable to provide adequate quantities of hormones, primarily cortisol, to respond to our routine needs for them. This condition may be due to chronic stress (which uses up reserves of adrenal hormones) or infections that interfere with production of adrenal hormones. The adrenal glands are located on top of each kidney. If you have adrenal burnout, eating wholesome and getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night will help to recover and maintain emotional wellness.
Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.
Yes, I believe in any given moment no matter how bad things seem to be, there are always at least a few things worth smiling about and being grateful for. At times it can be so easy to focus the negative, and want to fix it, but obsessing over it won’t make it go away, it makes us more miserable, so I’ve learned to do the opposite when I start to notice I’m going down a spiral, I will smile and break it and say out loud “wow I am really grateful the sky is blue today, it isn’t grey” or “I am so excited I get to eat some delicious healthy chocolate soon”, and smile because it breaks the seriousness and sadness. A spiritual leader once told me, if you feel emotionally sad or depressed, jump up and down and do the opposite and dance! Tony Robbins practices this too. There are some references to how being in a state of gratitude can relieve sadness, anxiety and depression. This is why I constantly choose gratitude and to smile about the positive things. It is a practice though, it is a choice, in any given moment we have a choice of what to focus on, and we are in control of moving our muscles to smile, no one else is.
Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.
1 . Pray about everything, worry about nothing.
I know easier said than done at times. Incorporating prayer into your life will improve your spiritual relationship with yourself and with your higher power. As emotional wounds and soul wounds heal, you will experience more ease and grace. God and self-love are powerful.For decades people have prayed and believed it helped with their healing but now there is actual medical research from leading hospitals and universities across the U.S., that tells us that “having a belief in God really IS good for you, making you healthier and happier, and helping you live longer.”
There are more than 1,500 reputable studies have indicated that people who believe in God and pray often have better mental and physical health! How awesome is this? Studies have shown prayer can prevent people from getting sick, and when they do get sick, prayer can help them get better faster. Harold G. Koenig, M.D. From Duke University told Newsmax Health that, “People involved in faith “in general, they cope with stress better, they experience greater well-being because they have more hope, they’re more optimistic, they experience less depression, less anxiety, and they commit suicide less often. They have stronger immune systems, lower blood pressure, and probably better cardiovascular functioning.”
There is a lot of evidence out there that when we pray, we offload a lot of stress rather than keeping it all on our own shoulders. Plus, prayer is something that is free, it doesn’t cost us money, it is accessible to all of us, and something for us all to be utilizing more. I believe that prayer allows us all to feel abundant, it’s something that every human being gets to access, and is what makes us all equal. Feeling valued and self-love can assist in healing cancer. I believe we were designed to be dependent on God, and that we aren’t meant to carry a burden of our own, and we can give it all up to God at any time throughout the day. This has become a big part of my practice in relieving stress emotionally. Once I let it all out by telling God all about it, or simply just thinking it because God can hear all our thoughts, I then finish with gratitude with giving thanks for all the good things in my life.
- http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/smj.pdf Positive Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer in a Coronary Care Unit Population
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3393937 The intercessory prayer (IP) group subsequently had a significantly lower severity score based on the hospital course after entry (P less than .01). The control patients required ventilatory assistance, antibiotics, and diuretics more frequently than patients in the IP group. These data suggest that intercessory prayer to the Judeo-Christian God has a beneficial therapeutic effect in patients admitted to a CCU.
2 . Start the first five minutes a day on your spiritual wellness.
Cultivate a habit that when you first wake up you are focused on your spirituality, rather than being bombarded with thoughts or checking your phone. Create that space in the morning for you and your most important practice — spiritual wellness. I used to wake right up and first thing I would do was to look at my phone, until I realized this was not a great way to start.
3 . Eat more foods that come straight from nature, straight from the source.
When we eat more foods that are in their whole state, that came straight from the soil, tree or plant, whether we know it or not we are creating spiritual wellness. We are eating from the source, the nutrients and energy and high and intact. It feeds not only our body, but our spiritual self as well, we can feel more oneness more easily, it connects us immediately.
Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?
The Indigenous Australians taught me that the closer we are the nature, the healthier we are, and the better chance we have at healing whatever health issue it is that we are facing. That’s why one of my mottos is “Live as natural lifestyle as possible while in this modern world.” It may not be possible for us to live as naturally as the Aboriginal people, but we can certainly do things to minimize our exposure to pollutants, processed man-made foods, the chemicals that go on our skin through skincare, certain household cleaning products and more. In my first book I talk about the importance of grounding with barefeet touching the earth either the soil or sand, and how when we bathe in the ocean we can relax like we did in our mother’s womb. The Aboriginal people believed that when we ate food we were eating straight from the source, straight from God, and we were embarking on a spiritual experience. Food is a spiritual practice, underestimated yet one of the most important.
In conclusion my message has always been to spend as much time in and with nature as possible. Green nature and fresh air will help to balance the effects of pollution we are exposed to. Walk barefoot to ground yourself and be sure look at look at trees and bushes (greens instead of screens).
Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
More doctors and nutritionists working together as a team! Most people don’t realize that medical doctors do zero to four hours of nutrition education during their twelve years of school, yet patients constantly ask them for diet advice. It’s not their job or specialty, unless they have taken on an extra education and have become a functional doctor. It saddens me when I hear a doctor say to a patient that diet doesn’t matter, or that drinking a coke after a chemo treatment will help energize them. People listen to doctors, and it isn’t true because diet does matter. If doctors would instead say see this nutritionist that I know and trust it could help their patients even more. Perhaps a doctor should not be permitted to give such nutrition advice, unless they take on an additional nutrition module. Quite frankly, it is not the role of a doctor to give nutrition advice, they have a different job to do. The most effective doctors these days are the ones who combine medicine and nutrition and have become what’s known as a functional doctor. This functional approach of combining medicine and nutrition can have a lot of positive impact on a person’s health. This would also empower more people to become nutritionists, and we need that in this world now more than ever.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
I would LOVE to have breakfast, lunch, dinner AND dessert with Serena Williams! I admire her strength and determination, and I would love to share some of my recipes with her, especially my cake recipe for dessert, that is delicious and also nutrient rich. Made with my flour mix that is gluten free with a blend of tigernut flour, coconut flour, almond flour and tapioca flour, with cacao, sweetened with a combination of wholesome sugars from coconut sugar, maple syrup, and apple sauce. We would be having our cake and eating it too!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Instagram @lianawernergray and @theearthdiet
Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!