Feeling Blue with the Flu?



Have you been knocked off your feet by the flu this season? It’s been a particularly nasty flu season and it’s not over yet. Flu season usually lasts through the end of March, but sometimes it can go on even through May.

There are steps you can take to protect yourself from getting the flu or to help you get over it.

How do you know if what you have is the flu? According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are all symptoms of the flu, although you may not have all of them:

  • Fever of 100.4 F or higher
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Severe widespread muscle aches
  • Extreme fatigue or exhaustion
  • Headache

Avoiding a bad case of the flu depends far more on having a strong immune system than it is about vaccination (which is highly controversial). If you have a well-functioning immune system and still get sick, you’ll move through the illness with fewer complications and return to health much sooner than others will. Remember, the flu is a virus, not a bacterial infection, so antibiotics don’t help.

So how do you keep your immune system in top-notch shape? First you’ll want to have a therapeutic level of Vitamin D, which is one of the best ways for avoiding all sorts of infections. It’s the most important (and least expensive) action you can take. Monitor your vitamin D levels with a simple blood test to see if they are within the 50-70 ng/ml range. If you don’t get enough sun, take an oral supplement, but make sure it’s vitamin D3. If you take a high dose (around 8,000 IUs/day) to get your levels up, also take 800-1,000 micrograms of vitamin K2, which helps prevent any vitamin D toxicity and works synergistically with D. If you feel like you are coming down with something, consider taking 50,000 units of Vitamin D3, once a day for 3 days.

Next, make sure you are getting plenty of rest. Most of the people I know who have gotten the flu this year were pretty much fatigued or stressed out already. If your body is tired, or if you’re in an emotional tailspin, it’s hard to fight off infection. So make sure you are doing something to relieve stress (meditate!) as well as getting enough sleep each night.

Many people don’t realize that the way your gut is functioning has an enormous impact on your immune response. In fact, 80 percent of your immune system lies in your gastrointestinal tract! Avoid sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup, and processed foods (a good idea at all times) because sugar can wipe out the beneficial bacteria as well as feeding yeast and viruses. You can take a probiotic supplement to help reestablish good gut bacteria. Eating fermented foods also helps, as does taking a high-quality source of omega-3 fats (found in fish or krill oil).

Regular exercise helps keep your immune system humming along by increasing blood flow throughout your body. If you get sick, however, delete your workouts entirely until you are better. And make sure you are drinking plenty of water!

Of course, you need to take the usual precautions, especially if your workplace seems to be crawling with sickies: wash your hands with a simple, chemical-free soap (no need for antibacterial soaps); cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; if possible, avoid close contact with those who are sick; and please stay home yourself until you are better!

Then there’s garlic. It not only wards off vampires, but also protects against infectious diseases like the flu by boosting your immune system. Scientific studies have shown garlic to be more effective than the flu drug Tamiflu! (although it’s not for those who have a lot of Pitta, the Ayurveda “fire” element) Another great item in your “medicine cabinet” is zinc. If you take zinc within a day of getting your first symptoms, it can cut down the time you’re sick by at least a full day. Between 50-65 mg/day of zinc (preferably in syrup, not lozenge form) also reduces the severity of symptoms. Note that zinc is not recommended if you have asthma or chronic illness.

If you do get sick, be sure to stay warm and dry and out of the wind and cold; it’s especially important to keep your neck covered if you do go out.

Of course, there’s always chicken soup. Seriously. It really does help with cold and flu symptoms. There’s a natural amino acid in chicken called cysteine that thins the mucus in your lungs so you can get rid of it more easily. Forget the canned version. Make some at home with plenty of pepper (which also helps thin mucus). Here’s a simple recipe: put chicken bones (from organically-raised chicken) in a big pot and cover with water; bring to a boil and then lower heat. Simmer for at least an hour. Throw in any vegetables you like, but the broth alone is the important ingredient!

Finally, while you’re lying on the couch feeling miserable, watch some old episodes of Seinfeld, or Friends, or The Big Bang Theory—anything that makes you laugh. Laughter is always healing.


You Can Be a Leader!


This week we celebrate two of the greatest leaders of our country—Presidents Washington and Lincoln. Back in their day, no one could even imagine the possibility of a woman as head of state. Today, many countries have women leaders. What does it mean to be an empowered woman leader?

Nora Ephron, who wrote the screenplays for Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, Julie and Julia, and Silkwood (among others), gave us many enjoyable movie-going experiences. She also took the helm and directed and produced many of the movies she wrote. But many people don’t know that she blasted her alma mater, Wellesley College, for turning out a generation of “docile” women. As she said, “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

Women are often too good at playing the role of victim, which automatically precludes them from becoming the leaders we look up to. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to become Mrs. President, or Ms. President for that matter (although if you’re reading this Hillary, please run in 2016!). What it does mean is that you’re not afraid to stand up and be counted, that you’re not afraid of speaking your truth, and that you’re not afraid of leading others—whether that’s on a personal scale, such as in a private practice as a coach or a healer, or in the public sector as an elected official, as head of a company (maybe even your own company), as a leader in the non-profit world, or as a world-wide teacher.

It could mean simply having a brave moment. When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in the colored section of a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white passenger and was arrested for civil disobedience in 1955, she certainly didn’t have a clue that she would become known as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement.” She had recently attended a training course for civil rights activists and was just plain “tired of giving in.”

At what point will you be tired of giving in, of giving up your dreams and ambitions? You’ve always wanted to write a blog to help young girls with their self-esteem; what’s stopping you? You feel nudged and pushed to teach others what you know about how to get and stay healthy; why aren’t you doing it? When will you step into the role you know you were meant to play on the world’s stage?

Many people believe a number of myths about leadership that stop them before they even get started. Here are a few of them:

  1. Leadership is not about possessing power over others. You don’t have to use manipulation, coertion, or domination to influence others. You can use your intuition, good communication, and your ability to delegate to help everyone contribute their best to whatever your effort is. As Lao Tzu put it: “A leader is best when people barely know he exists; when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”
  2. You don’t have to be a “born leader.” You can learn the skills and techniques that will allow you to be an effective leader. So many women have internalized society’s message that it’s wrong to be outspoken or even to be more powerful than men. That training can be overcome. Sheryl Sandberg, who is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, says, “We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in.” She has not been afraid to cry at the office, and she leaves work every day by 5:30 to get home to her family. Yet even she needed to be pushed by the men in her life to demand more compensation than she was first offered for her top corporate position.
  3. There is a romanticized view of leadership that assumes that leaders make all the difference in whether or not a group reaches its goals. Don’t worry, even as a leader you are not in complete control of what happens. Don’t overestimate your importance or the expectations of others over what you should accomplish. Just do what you feel pulled to do and be open to the suggestions and help of others.

None of us is an island. I could not do what I do out in the world if not for my team of helpers and the support of my husband. I know it’s scary stepping out in front of the crowd, but you’re never alone out there, even if you’re the only one holding the mic. I will be talking a lot more about leadership because the world needs you. There are people out there waiting for your wisdom, compassion, and love to touch their lives. What are you waiting for?

If you’re intrigued about becoming a leader, check out this program: /events-workshops//the_5-day_lifeforce_leadership_program_that_will_change_your_life



woman with red heart balloon





As the romance industry kicks into high gear for Valentine’s Day, are you wishing there was someone who would send you flowers and chocolates and express his or her undying love of wonderful you?


Maybe you’re sitting on your couch at home in front of the TV watching all those gorgeous stars strut around in designer gowns and jewels on the award show circuit, and you’re comparing your body, courtesy of Ben and Jerry, and your life to theirs. You see the winners thank that magnificent love of their lives, the one without whom they never could have won this award, and you sigh over their perceived happiness—which you, of course, will never have. Because you think you’re somehow unlovable.


We are taught by society that our worth as individuals is related to youth, beauty, money, power, romantic relationships, and status. If your self-worth is based on these external factors, you’ll always be stuck with the feeling of “I’m not enough.” The grass will always be greener in someone else’s yard, while your green will be the color of jealousy.


Did you grow up with siblings who were better at everything than you were? Or with parents who belittled your actions or ideas or dreams? Were you teased or bullied at school? Did you think you were somehow unlovable and alone? And did it carry over to your adult life with your business or romantic partners?


Maybe it’s time to get emotionally honest with yourself. To stop numbing your feelings by eating or drinking or shopping too much in order to avoid the discomfort, sadness, and pain. And it’s time to understand what “loving yourself” really means.


Here’s what it doesn’t mean. You are not loving yourself if you are centered purely on yourself and you go after what you want without caring who gets hurt along the way. Self-worth is not something you can buy with a new car or new wardrobe. Loving yourself doesn’t mean being on a constant high and never experiencing sadness or despair or anger or any of the so-called negative emotions.


What it does mean is that you stop berating yourself for who you are not. You stop judging yourself so harshly, and stop the constant criticizing of what you look like and who you are and the life you lead.


It can also mean that you finally divorce or break up with someone who is abusive to you, that you confront someone who has hurt you, that you look for a job that validates your talents, or that you start a recovery program for whatever substance you abuse. It means you understand that feeling your own pain is a major step in healing and that you can cry over the wounds you received in childhood. It may even mean going to therapy or working with an energy healer because you are so unhappy with yourself.


Sometimes it’s easier to believe all the negative things we think about ourselves than it is to appreciate ourselves and believe we are worthy of love. The good news is that when you change the way you think about yourself, the rest will simply fall into place.


One of the best ways to change your thinking about yourself is to learn to trust your instincts and gut reactions. If you’re going to love yourself, it really helps to believe in your Self—in that intuitive inner voice that you’ve probably been ignoring all these years. Your Higher Self is a conduit of pure unconditional love. Tap into that through meditation or prayer or any other method that works for you, and you will know that you are loved no matter what you think is wrong with you. Once you have bathed in the warm glow of unconditional love, which is available to all of us all the time, you will be able to forgive yourself for not being perfect, and you’ll be able to be good to yourself (and to others).


What does all this have to do with a dozen red roses and a heart-shaped box of chocolates? Everything. If you’re busy feeling unlovable and constantly putting yourself down, how attractive is that to someone else? If you’re feeling good about yourself, even though you’re not perfect (and who is?), it won’t matter how you wind up spending Valentine’s Day. It won’t matter if those roses come from a lover or if you ordered them yourself as a special treat for a special person—you.


Energy Healing for Your Pets

We love our furry friends dearly, but do we always do what’s best for them? And as someone who believes in energy work, do you use holistic principles in caring for your pets?

There are, of course, traditional standards of care for your pets that should be part of an integrated approach to your pet’s health, such as:

  1. Make your home a safe environment—keep pesticides, antifreeze, medicines, cleaning products out of reach; get rid of house plants that pose a serious danger (dieffenbachia, philodendron, hyacinth, and mistletoe), as well as outdoor shrubs/flowers like oleanders, tulips, lilies, and rhododendrons; be aware of low electrical cords if your pet is likely to chew them; and watch for small objects that can cause choking.
  2. Yearly check-ups by a good vet for preventative vaccinations, dental care, and early detection of problems.
  3. Get enough exercise—fat dogs and cats are not healthy. Get off the couch and play with your indoor cat. Exercise with your dog, good for both of you. (There are even dance classes for dogs!)
  4. Avoid feeding toxic foods to your pets, such as chocolate, grapes, avocados, and Macadamia nuts; anything moldy or rancid; food that comes from cans with plastic linings.

Diet is one of the factors that has changed the most in the last 50 years, during which time the health of dogs has declined, a lot. Dogs will eat whatever is available, and their digestive system can deal with anything from rotting meat to earthworms. They can even be vegetarian, unlike cats, who are true carnivores. In the past, dogs were fed table scraps (and the food itself was healthier back before GMOs, heavy pesticide use, and depleted soils). Commercial pet food comes from the cheapest sources, with little nutrition, and is loaded with pesticides. Just like us humans, pets need good food to stay healthy. If you can’t make your pet’s food yourself from high-quality human food, be sure you’re using one of the better commercial brands.

How about using color therapy to treat a sick pet? It really works, and doesn’t have to involve expensive equipment. You can put water in colored glass jars and place them in the sun. For a dog with arthritis, for example, you would use a red glass container and, after it has sat in the sun, apply it as a spray or wash to your dog. Or you could have Fido lie on a red towel.

There’s a vet in Ohio who has treated over a hundred dogs with color for skin, digestive, emotional, and respiratory problems, with great success! She says that “when cooling blues are applied to hot spots or other inflamed skin conditions, there is an instant calming and skin color change from red and irritated to more normal, which starts the healing process.”

Or how about massage, acupuncture and/or chiropractic for your pets? I admit to using all three for my horse, Influence. And just like humans respond to kinesiology (muscle testing) as a way to determine what is happening in the body, so do pets. Then gentle massage that you do yourself can correct imbalances and speed healing. It’s a great support therapy that can be used in conjunction with veterinary care.

You can also take the principles of energy healing that you have learned from the Deborah King Center and use them for your pets to help keep their energy in balance and to feel better physically and emotionally. Deborah teaches you how in her course Energy Healing for Pets and Animals.

But most of all, love your pet and enjoy their unconditional love of you!