My New Project

My New Project


No one’s life is perfect all of the time. Not everyone is going to agree with you all the time. However, it’s when we chose to use our voices to empower others, instead of to complain, we allow ourselves to truly feel happiness & we start to get the life we felt that we deserved all along.

I have made friends in the least likely of places. At my book signings, while opening up publicly about my childhood trauma. Through so many apps, which I used to think were silly. During detox, probably one of the least pretty times I’ve been through. I’ve made friends because of other’s people’s negative critiques about me, a judgment that I used to be so afraid of. These things have now brought the most incredible people into my life, hundreds of times over.

This has all come about because six years ago I made a huge commitment to myself – stop complaining. Stop judging. If you don’t have anything nice to say, say NOTHING and move on.

I know this can be difficult. We were literally genetically formed to judge others – for our ultimate survival. But in today’s world, day to day judgements, speculation and gossip really don’t serve us. This is especially true when the negativity is directed at another person or group of people. In the last few years I’ve learned that speaking negatively is a poison arrow. Our complaints are like arrows shot up into the air at no target; with no purpose they only fall back down onto our own heads.

Poisoned and meant for our enemy, they destroy us – NOT our enemy.

When you speak negatively about someone, instead of garnering sympathy or attention or whatever you seek, you are hurting yourself. How?

Negativity is the biggest tell: anyone who is truly happy has absolutely no notion to focus on the negativity in life. Someone who is truly happy has no time left in their life to complain about the hands that they’ve been dealt – they are too busy living well. When you’re truly hell bent on happiness, you’re living feverishly, making up for that wasted time when things might have been less-than-perfect in your past.

Yes, we can all complain about something or someone *if we wanted to.* No one’s life is perfect all of the time. Not everyone is going to agree with you all the time. However, it’s when we chose to use our voices to empower others, instead of to complain, that we truly feel happiness & start to get the life we feel that we deserve.

Clearly, there is a divine order to the universe. I am living proof that even the ‘worst things’ that can happen to us are many times blessings in disguise! Other people do not determine who you are or how others may view you. They can TRY, but at the end of the day people form opinions for themselves. Sometimes the good takes a minute to reveal itself. Don’t let this discourage you.

So, here is my challenge, or my self-realization project, if you will.

Today, I am recommitting myself to better serve those around me. I am going to be kinder. People have been through experiences you may know nothing about, even when you’re using them as a soundboard to voice your grievances. They may be able to check you if you’re coming from a negative place because of their past experience. Your drama or issues with other people are yours alone, so deal with them that way.

What if everyone in the world projected their best self (instead of their crazy crap) onto their friends and family every single day? There would be no time left for negativity! That’s why trying to make people feel bad for not feeling the way that you feel (or allowing them to do the same to you!) is low energy and a waste of your time.

Maybe it was my polite roman catholic upbringing, but I still get an icky, I’m-probably-going-to-hell kind of feeling when I find myself judging. Any of my loved ones can tell you that it’s always been super difficult to get me to point out someone’s flaws, since I don’t see any positive outcome in doing so. However, there is always room for improvement: to abstain completely from judgmental thoughts is the true goal, because judgmental thoughts do not serve me and don’t do anyone any good. They are another poison arrow. So, ridding myself completely of judgmental thoughts will be a big part of my new self-love project.

Most people in this world want love and happiness for themselves and others, but there’s a small portion of people that just don’t. They don’t want you to get stronger, or be better or get healthier. These people think that loving and caring for yourself is selfish, or they think that you believe you’re better than someone else because you care about yourself or begin to treat yourself lovingly. Maybe they’re a boyfriend or girlfriend or a stuck-on ex you can’t get rid of – maybe they’re your mom or your best friend or someone you never even noticed before. But you can bet that they’re there, and they’re often either close to you or trying to get closer. They may seem like the hardest people to get rid of or be kind to.

If you’re having a hard time being kind, walk away, then focus on consistently being your best self. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. The less explaining that you do, the more time you have for positive things.

I am also going to try to do more “walking away”. It’s easy to get swept up in the negative news or the frustration of traffic or other people’s judgements of you. Begin the process of realizing that they are small blips in time that can’t affect you if you don’t let them. You don’t need others approval to feel strong or to get better. What’s happening in Washington is not happening in your living room. What’s happening on social media does not need to be happening in your headspace. In order to do the most good for others, you first need to work on yourself. It’s hard to walk away, but it’s completely worth it. It gives you more time to focus on you, and working on you is paramount to helping others work on themselves and making the world a better place.

If I’m having a hard time with something, I’m going to give it LESS of my energy. This doesn’t mean I’m going to ignore it or put it aside: this means I am going to focus on the solution, instead of the problem.

I encourage you to join me.

Let’s keep reminding ourselves to always speak from our hearts ONLY. If you come from your heart ONLY, people will gravitate towards you for all the right reasons.

Be the light. Spread the love.

Photos by Arielle Levy | Shirt: Stay Happy Stay Weird


How To Successfully Treat Anemia (Without Iron Supplements!)

How To Successfully Treat Anemia (Without Iron Supplements!)

Iron depletion isn’t always the cause of anemia. You can see many improvements by taking control of your anemia and addressing the root cause of your deficiency.

Here’s how I cured my anemia – without iron supplements!

Tanning in the summer used to go something like this:

  • Start out a translucent, pasty white color.
  • Lay in the sun for 5 mins – 1 hour.
  • Emerge as a gorgeous, bronze goddess color.
  • Shower, eat, sleep.
  • Wake up pasty white.

“Color” has never lasted more than a day for me, no matter what I did. However, last year when I got my blood work done, my doctor pointed out why.

I was severely anemic (which means I have an impaired production of red blood cells). But I wasn’t just regular ol’ anemic. My hemoglobin levels were dangerously low. This made sense as I had all the signs: fatigue, pale skin, cold hands and feet, occasional headaches and severe weakness. Oh, and serious problems keeping a tan.

My doctor gave me two options: get a blood transfusion or get my red blood cell count up.

I wisely chose the later.

I tried iron supplements with no real improvements. This is because iron depletion isn’t always the cause of anemia.

If iron depletion is not the source of the problem, this can result in iron overload and still leave the person suffering from anemia and its effects. Therefore, it is extremely important to figure out the type and cause of your anemia and address the underlying issue.

Since making my red blood cell count commitment, I’ve been working on getting my anemia under control and can happily say that today, I have! My skin has become a healthy, glowing olive color. My red blood cell count is fabulously average, my tans last, my energy is WAY up and my health has never been better! You can see many improvements by taking control of your anemia and addressing the root cause of your deficiency.

Here’s how I cured my anemia – without iron supplements!

OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT I believe olive leaf extract was the key to getting better, in my case. It contains a high rate of vitamin C, B and iron. This one supplement improves cardiovascular and immune system support. It increases your energy and promotes healthy blood pressure. Because olive leaf is an antioxidant, it helps to combat the damage caused by free radicals and protects the brain from memory loss associated with anemia.

VITAMIN A Vitamin A deficiency is recognized to cause anemia. Vitamin A positively affects iron mobilization, repairs hemoglobin synthesis, and helps iron deficiency that is caused by anemia. I absolutely LOVE these Vitamin A drops – you only need ONE drop a day for maximum absorption, but I use a generous amount in my tea, water and kombucha every day.

VITAMIN D A study in Los Angeles found a link between vitamin D deficiency and anemia. The women with low levels had a much higher risk of anemia. Lower vitamin D levels were associated with lower hemoglobin levels and anemia. Vitamin D supplementation can positively increase oxygen levels in the blood, therefore helping to cure anemia. I love these Vitamin D drops. You can also apply Vitamin D topically for a glowing complexion.

FOLATE Having too little folate (vitamin B9) in your blood causes the folic acid deficiency that, in essence, is anemia. Folate is necessary for your body to make new red blood cells. Your body needs red blood cells to carry oxygen to your organs. Supplementing with folate encourages your body to produce these red blood cells naturally.

VITAMIN C helps you to absorb more iron. I love these delicious organic Vitamin C candies! Viamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is not made in the body but must be obtained from foods or supplements. Vitamin C plays a number of important roles in the body, including enhancing the absorption of iron. Iron helps make hemoglobin, the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen. Vitamin C also aids in red blood cell production. A vitamin C deficiency can lead to anemia, or low red blood cell count. Taking vitamin C supplements can drastically improve vitamin C deficiency anemia as well as other types of anemia.

PRO TIP: I also increased my intake of organic, grass fed meat, olive oil, spinach and carrots, which are all high in vitamins and proteins that increase red blood cell count. Avoid caffeine and alcohol if possible.

HAT | DRESS: Dhana Robe by Sudara | SUNGLASSES  | NECKLACE: StoryWeaver Mercantile Half Moon 

Photos by Cameron Offer






How To Stop Caring What Other People Think

How To Stop Caring What Other People Think

Fears are funny little beliefs we have that trigger chemical reactions in us. They usually mean different things for different people. The same thing that scares someone to death, like jumping out of a plane, is a sport that someone like Guinness World Record holder Don Kellner has done over 42,000 times since 1961, purely for fun!

Here are important steps to help you in your quest to truly tackle your fears for good and find true freedom. Reference them when you are getting frustrated in your personal growth. Most importantly, practice them! Practicing new behaviors is the only way to permanently change your brain chemistry, and ultimately, your actions, your personality, and your life.


Every single journal entry I wrote before the age of twenty-four featured the same theme over and over: they always referenced someone else. “Spent the day with Joe at the park . . .” “Katie and I hung out at her house and drank green tea . . .” “Hung out with Paul and Zack today . . .” Page after page focused on other people.

Think about what relationships are ruling you. Maybe you’re ruled by your relationships to people, drugs, teachers, strangers, food, family, or a significant other. It may have taken years, but you must finally no longer be willing to entertain anyone else’s thoughts of you or what you should be doing with your life or your time. Your time is precious – it is yours and yours alone. People may not find value in the same things you find value in. That’s okay – do not let it derail you, because…


Okay, okay. They’re not always wrong. But their opinion is not always going to be yours, either.

I certainly don’t dismiss other people’s opinions or advice. In fact, when I realized that other people were totally fallible, for the first time in my life, this is when I actually truly heard them. I saw myself listening for the first time ever. I took advice, I considered things people told me about myself without getting insulted or defensive. I improved on my behaviors, I got nicer in my speech, and I adopted new words and mannerisms to express myself. However, I also saw other people’s opinions for exactly what they were: their own beliefs, based on their own life experience, and they were just a fallible as I was.

People are subject to human error. And that’s okay! (It just means they’re not robots.) It’s important to acknowledge that human error shows up in all kinds of ways. Make a promise to yourself to stop getting offended and defensive about how other people think you should live. Simply listen.


If other people were just as fallible as I was, that meant that just like my opinions, their opinions could change. They often had. First of all, as far as I was concerned, everyone else had been dead wrong about what I was capable of for as long as I could remember. I had heard I “couldn’t do everything” and that I had to start “being realistic” my entire life. I was always discouraged from doing things “my way.” Even at my progressive college, my four mentors (the classic average was one—two at most) sat me down to advise me to “concentrate on acting.”

I asked them all, Why?

When I finally started to realize that I could do whatever I put my mind to regardless of anyone else’s opinions, and that “being realistic” was the surest way to dissolve my dreams for another five years, I started to take other people’s opinions with a grain of salt. They had their place if they were positive, but other than that I wasn’t going to stand around and be told what I could not do.

Ironically, the second I started to accomplish my goals, other people’s opinions about what I was capable of changed immediately. Suddenly it was expected that everything I did was wildly successful and fun, because that was the image I had created by living my life that way. This helped me evaluate what I really could do and inspired me to become more and more a person that former naysayers now believed in.

Since then I’ve learned that finding this conviction is the difference. It’s the difference between getting the job during the interview and losing it to the next person. It’s the difference between continuing your business in its current direction and knowing when you need to change course. It’s the difference between creating a life of stability and always feeling like you’re a few steps behind.

Once you have a foundation for who you want to be, and you begin to accomplish those goals, you are setting the stage for other people’s opinions of you. Recognize that other people are also human, beautiful, fallible, funny, fucked up, and everything in between. More importantly what other people say does not determine who you are. This is crucial to lasting change.


Take the time to pause before you judge someone—at least out loud. You can’t take your words back. When we pause, we can even start to rephrase our thoughts about a certain someone or even about the situation itself. When we step back from judgment, we can truly begin to reevaluate what place it has in our lives. We begin to get control of our own mind.

In order to stop being ruled by my relationships immediately, I made it simple for myself: if I had a judgment, question, or theory about someone else’s life choices, I just asked them about it. I noticed (in pretty short order) that many people got very defensive when I asked them about their lives or plans or current situations, and that was because I was, in essence, being judgmental. But a lot of people opened up to me. And after a few days of this I realized how silly (and hypocritical) it was of me to have judgments about anyone else at all, and how much time it had taken away from my own life and my own goals speculating about who Brad was seeing or what Marcy was doing or how my Aunt felt about something I did five years ago.

I literally just stopped. I was done wasting my time.


Like attracts like. People want to be around people who are like them—or better yet, people who make them better! Strive to make everyone and everything around you better, and watch as they miraculously become so.

Trying to change people sure did make me realize how silly it is to try to change anyone or anything but myself. I found way more productive things to do immediately, like meditate, write, go for a run, or work on my personal power.


If you want your life to look differently, if you want to see the world, or start running, or lose weight, or start a business, or write a book, or quit your job, there is only one way to get there: Do It. Putting the blame on others for your faults, or giving yourself excuses not to live the life you want because of what other people may think, is depriving yourself of what you know you truly deserve. So whatever, whoever you want to be, put it out into the world. If you do this, people around you will follow suit.

Try it sincerely, and you’ll see!

Hat | Dress: Sustainably designed and ethically produced COSSAC  similar (if COSSAC dress is sold out) | Necklace

Photos by Arielle Levy

This article is a slightly adapted excerpt from my #1 bestselling book, Cured by Nature, which you can grab here.



My Favorites: Health + Wellness

My Favorites: Health + Wellness

Hi angels! I’m writing to you from my sun soaked backyard in San Diego, surrounded by bamboo and looking off into the distance at the violet, palm tree-lined mountains.

Every time I get to enjoy a weekday like this, I think back to my twenty-five years in New York, chasing sunshine in the summer during short lunch breaks at my grueling laboratory job, and wishing I could get paid to write. I always think back to the frustrated feeling of watching life pass me by as I worked tirelessly, many day for reasons I wasn’t even clear on.

It’s such a contrast.

Today, I have stopped worrying about if things are finished or perfect. I have stopped caring if things happen on my timeline. If life pulls me in a different direction, I go there. When a voice inside me says paint, I listen. When my body tells me what it craves, I nourish it. When I feel stagnant, I move. When I feel lazy, I hustle. When I miss making music, I make it. This is the great flow of the cosmos living and moving eloquently inside of and outside of me. There is no longer a voice that says no. Creation is a must for me, in all its forms.

My top tip for creating the life of your dreams is to commit to something bigger than yourself. The fastest path to success starts with enriching your spiritual practice – your ability to look within.

In my experience, you really truly cannot create something meaningful without first having an authentic, loving connection and relationship with yourself. I feel so incredibly grateful for the fact that I get to set my own goals and my own schedule nowadays. And while YES – I end up working WAY MORE now than I did when I was clocking in for someone else – at least I am working on projects that *I* want to work on and am accomplishing and checking goals off my lists that I want to do. It’s so liberating — that feeling of freedom never gets old to me.

I’m so grateful to the wonderful humans who created the projects (and products!) that have shaped my health – without any guarantee that they’d pay off. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for those people – specifically, the people who wrote the books that put me in this mindset to get healthy. The people who made the products that inspired me to get out of bed when I was at my sickest. The people who, through their passion and their stories, inspired me to switch mindsets from I CANNOT to OF COURSE I CAN.

I wanted to feature the incredible brands that do better – so that people like us can feel TRULY well and do what we love and were put on this earth to do.

This might even end up being a Part I, because the list for me is totally endless. Without further ado, here are my health and wellness faves right now:

The Psychic Power of Plants is one of my favorite books of all time. Not only is this gem the original copy published by Signet in 1974 (which makes me giddy!), it confirms, answers and COMPLETELY blows your mind about plant life. Careful scientific testing has shown that plants respond not only to physical care but to mental stimulus as well. Thoughts of violence can be just as damaging to a plant psychically as overwatering is to its roots. Feelings of love can stimulate a plant as much as the most expensive plant foods. This book is fascinating and has really inspired me in my own work recently, as I’m working on book #2 right now 🙂

I started putting He Sho Wu in everything again and have kicked about 5 different colds that threatened to sneak up on me. I LOVE this stuff! I use this in my teas, on my salads and as seasoning for meats, bread and soups. He Shou Wu is a traditional herb and tonic that has a history of use as a longevity, anti-aging, blood-building, beauty, & rejuvenation food. Regular consumption of this herb may tonify and nourish the blood, hair, skin, nervous system, sexual center, shen (Spirit), and Jing (primary essence/life force). It is a tonic for the endocrine glands and may help improve stamina. It’s especially good for resistance to cold by promoting red blood cells. This enhances immune function and increases antioxidant activity.

You guys may have noticed that a few months ago we invested in a kombucha tap for The Organic Life HQ. It’s been AWESOME. We save a ton of money and have kombucha ON TAP! Did I mention it’s on tap?!

Right now we’re rocking GT’s Gingerade and Hibiscus Ginger. SO delicious and amazing! Because it’s naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, Kombucha is a probiotic beverage. This has a myriad of benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. We sip these all day long for energy, gut balance and because they’re really yummy!

Seriously obsessed with this organic soothing body scrub! I use it every night and it’s made SUCH a difference in my skin. Especially in the summer, to fight off dirt, grime and sweat, it’s a MUST! My legs have never been so smooth!

Have a painful or difficult period? This oil has totally balanced me and truly helps during moon time. Seriously, such a lifesaver! Check it out.

I never ever ever ever leave the house without my Swell bottle! I go on hikes every single day and it’s a MUST for hydration!

Did you guys see how to protect yourself from negative energy? A huge part of my practice is protection jewels. My current (and long-time) favorite has been Selenite, a powerful cleansing tool to have in your home, office and sacred space, as it will constantly cleanse, clear and protect the energy of your environment. I also love this Selenite necklace, which provides on-the-go protection from negative vibes. It’s pretty much The Year of the Hater, so I know we could all use it – haha!

Need some bliss in your life? Try this Bliss Booster by MoonDeli, one of my new favorite companies ever! Built along the likes of Sun Potion and Moon Juice, MoonDeli provides high-quality blends of adaptogens, anti-inflammatory herbs and flowers in powder form, for easy-to-add access to your body’s favorite tonics. This cayenne-spiked raw cacao and maca root blend with notes of cinnamon may help relieve stress, enhance vitality, and bring the mind into the present.

This is going to be your fitness best friend! One inexpensive product, that helps develop core strength and improve coordination, balance, and endurance. I LOVE mine!

Thanks for reading my loves! I love sharing these posts with you! Do you have any health and wellness favorites? I’d love to hear about them!







Three Proven Ways To Calm Your Mind

Three Proven Ways To Calm Your Mind

Racing thoughts. Nagging worry. Weekly work drama.

Many of us live with a level of persistent low-grade stress that becomes so normalized that most of the time, we don’t even realize that it’s there.

While we might not be displaying obvious signs of stress, cortisol – the hormone associated with stress – underhandedly wreaks havoc on our mental and physical health over the long-term. Therefore it’s important to make time to clear our minds and bring some peace into our lives, even if we’re not feeling particularly anxious.

Here are some of the best – and most scientifically backed – ways I’ve found to bring my mind back to center:

Make Time To Meditate

Meditation has a number of positive effects on mind and body. It’s also deceptively hard, which is why many people try it once or twice but struggle to make it a regular habit. Meditation helps combat the physical and emotional affects of stress and has lasting benefits that affect your productivity, as well as your ability to relax under pressure. Set aside time to meditate for just 10 minutes a day over the next week or two and experience the benefits for yourself. 

Here is one of my favorite personal meditations, taken from my book Cured by Nature:


Sit up straight in your chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground.

Wipe your mind clean and start over. Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your abdomen.

Breathe In and feel where your air flows in your body. Is it just your lungs or does it fill your stomach, your abdomen or other parts of your body?

Breathe Out: I am connected.

Breathe In and focus on smoothing your breath.

Breathe Out: I am connected.

Continue to focus on your breath. Anytime your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath. When you are ready, open your eyes with a smile and greet your day.

Research determined that mindfulness meditation decreases activity in the brain’s default mode network (DMN). The DMN is responsible for the “monkey mind” chatter, mind-wandering, and self-referential thoughts.

Walk It Out

If you follow along with me on instagram, you know a daily walk with my pups is a non-negotiatble. While just about any walk will help to clear your head and boost endorphins (which, in turn, reduces stress hormones), consider walking in a park or other green space, or taking a short hike, which can actually put your body into a state of meditation, thanks to a phenomenon known as “involuntary attention” during which something holds our attention, but simultaneously allows for reflection.

Visualize To Manifest

A short visualization is an easy way to get back to center. Much of our worry stems from feeling a lack of control. Even the National Institutes for Health recognizes the power of “guided imagery” to elicit a relaxation response.

Simply make yourself comfortable and then picture a peaceful scene: a future vacation, your favorite beach. You can even visualize yourself accomplishing a future goal or picture yourself in in your dream home next to the man or woman of your choice (yup. anyone! Have fun!) These are some of my favorite mind-strengthening techniques to do because they truly WORK.

BONUS: Hang Up, Then Detox

Cell phones stress you out, there’s no question about it. Talking on your cell can even raise your blood pressure. If you recognize that social media, emails or your phone in general is stressing you out, put it down for the day and walk away. If you’re feeling a bit of phantom limb syndrome, read a book, take a walk or spend quality time with loved ones cooking, organizing, decorating or doing something you’ve been putting off. When you say you’re out – be OUT. Be present. At the end, I highly doubt you’ll remember the texts you got, but your loved ones smiles and laughs will be at the top of your most precious moments.

For weekends, you can also give yourself a curfew of when you’ll begin looking at your phone in the morning and what time you stop at night (for instance, 11:30 am – 3:30 pm). This will help you manage your time and open up tons of time to work on yourself and projects that are important to you as well!

Hat | Dress: Sustainably designed and ethically produced COSSAC  similar (if COSSAC dress is sold out) | Necklace

Photos by Arielle Levy

Chronic Back Pain? Bet You Haven’t Tried This for Pain Management!

Chronic Back Pain? Bet You Haven’t Tried This for Pain Management!

It wasn’t until I lost the ability to move that I ever appreciated my pain.

It was March, 2012. I had come off not one or two, but fourteen different medications just a year before.

In that time, I found myself bedridden for the majority of the year, fighting withdrawal symptoms that rivaled a handful of the most hard-to-watch scenes in Trainspotting.

Being bedridden had changed a lot about who I was already. I had no choice but to lay on top of my sweat-soaked sheets, staring at the ceiling, waiting to get breathlessly sick (again), contemplating my life choices.

Many of them had been not just awful or poor decisions, they’d been completely toxic. Totally unhealthy. I had treated my body like garbage for my whole life! I had run myself into the ground. Between my lack of thought with the food I put in my body, to the attempts I’d made at masking my pain, to the drugs I’d taken in hopes that I’d someday wake up pain-free, I realized that for years I’d been selling myself not just a pack, but a house full of lies.

I’d suffered from scoliosis, arthritis and excruciating back pain for more than a decade, which makes it very difficult to do everyday tasks. Sleeping is a good example of one of those things that is hard to do sometimes. One of my friends was telling me about some of the top adjustable beds the other day. Apparently, they are good for people suffering from chronic pain as they can be adjusted to a comfortable angle. I might have to look at that. I’ve never really done anything for it except take the pills I was prescribed, so maybe I should look into purchasing one of them. The drugs I’ve used before are painkillers, opioids, muscle relaxers, nerve blockers… it never ended. When they didn’t work, all I did was complain, switch drugs and make more doctors appointments. It’s exhausting just to think about! Looking back, I should’ve tried marijuana to see if it had an effect on relieving my pain. I’ve heard of it being rather effective for many people, and although everyone is different and it doesn’t work for everyone, I believe it would’ve been worth trying. Perhaps trying this pink tuna strain would’ve been a good place to start.

A little over a year after my withdrawal began, I was sober and began feeling well enough to take walks and to move. More and more I found myself up at dawn, butt in my meditation pillow, relaxing my mind and preparing myself for the day. Often I’d leave my workout clothes or running shoes out by my bed the night before a not-so-subtle reminder to get myself in gear. Directly after this I’d get up, change,wake up my pup, put her harness on and take her on a long walk, hike or bike ride. This is when everything changed.

There were days I’d wake up convinced that I was too drained, too sick or too exhausted to move. I’d have absolutely no energy, feel more frail than I’ve ever felt or be in such excruciating pain that all I wanted to do was lay in bed.

But this new mindset I had gained while meditating forced me to push myself. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I pushed myself up when I wanted to sit. I pushed myself outside when I wanted to lay in bed and sleep. I pushed myself to get ready when I felt like I wanted to stay inside and hide. And something miraculous started happening…

It worked! I felt better, I looked better, and I GOT better which had been the goal all along.

Today, my entire life and my entire life’s work focuses around this type of healing. Not only is exercise a non-negotiable for me, it’s something I truly enjoy. It’s my healing. It’s healed me from chronic pain, nausea, exhaustion, depression and unhealthy habits. It’s encouraged me to explore other natural methods for pain treatment, such as anti-inflammatory foods and spices.

I went from treating myself with Fentanyl one of the deadliest and most addictive painkillers in the world to treating myself with turmeric, one of the most traditional and widely used spices in the world. Spices like turmeric, garlic, ginger, cinnamon and skullcap (all herbs I take regularly) have been used for thousands of years for the treatment of pain and inflammation. Studies show that spices like turmeric work in a superior way to drugs by breaking down existing inflammation in the joints and supporting the body’s natural healing techniques.

I must mention that there are other natural ways to treat chronic pain too. A good friend of mine uses cannabis to manage the symptoms of her pain and has found that this white castle strain has helped her to feel more relaxed. Finding what works for you is absolutely crucial and therefore if you are contemplating turning to alternative medicine, always try to do as much research as you can.

Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants scavenge molecules in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can fight free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. You can use these spices in tea or in your cooking every day for the most effective benefits.

Below are some of my favorite exercises to combat back, joint and ligament pain. I practice these exercises 1-2 times a day for at least 5 minutes each to amazing results! With regular maintenance I am now pain-free and have been off all drugs, including painkillers and muscle relaxers, for over six years! I am thrilled to teach others these ancient and effective healing techniques through my books, blog and media. I hope you’ll join me and really start seeing the difference in your own life!

This piece was originally shared on Wicked Spatula