Vacation Zen

Vacation Zen

Going on vacation can be a much-needed break from our busy lives, but it can also disrupt our regular self-care routine. If you’re looking to incorporate some mindfulness and movement into your vacation, here’s a quick 10-15 minute meditation and yoga routine that you can do almost anywhere.

Start with a 5-Minute Mindful Meditation

Find a quiet spot and take a seat. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you: the ocean waves, the birds, and any other natural sounds. Focus on your breath and feel it moving in and out of your body. Take a few deep breaths and as you exhale, release any tension in your body. Then, practice gratitude for being able to travel and experience new things. Take a moment to reflect on what you’re grateful for in your life right now.

Set an Intention in Child’s Pose

From the seated position, move into child’s pose. Take a few breaths here, then come up onto your hands and knees for a few rounds of Cat-Cow. Inhale and arch your back, exhale and round your spine. After 10 rounds, come back to a neutral spine and hold a plank for 10-15 seconds. Lower down to cobra for another 10-15 seconds, then move into downward dog for 10-15 seconds. Repeat this sequence 1-3 times, depending on how much time you have.

Move into Warrior Poses

From the final child’s pose, come up into mountain pose. From here, move into warrior 1, holding the pose for 10-15 seconds. Then, move into warrior 2, holding for another 10-15 seconds. Repeat this sequence on the other side. Finally, settle back into a forward fold and bring yourself into downward dog. End the routine with one final cobra and child’s pose.

The Benefits of a Quick Meditation and Yoga Routine

This routine is designed to help you create lymphatic flow, no matter where you are. This is great especially after a long flight! The mindful meditation can help you reduce stress and improve your overall mental health, while the yoga poses can help you stretch out any tension in your body and promote detoxification (which is super important when you are traveling). By setting an intention and expressing gratitude, you can start your day on a positive note and carry that energy with you throughout the rest of your vacation.

Yoga Pose Instructions

Child’s Pose:

  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Bring your big toes together and separate your knees wide apart.
  3. Lower your hips back towards your heels and stretch your arms forward, resting your forehead on the mat.
  4. Relax your entire body and take deep breaths in and out through your nose.


  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Inhale and arch your back, lifting your tailbone and head up towards the ceiling. This is Cow pose.
  3. Exhale and round your spine, tucking your tailbone under and bringing your chin towards your chest. This is Cat pose.
  4. Repeat for 10 rounds, moving smoothly between the two poses with each inhale and exhale.


  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Step your feet back one at a time, coming into a straight line from your head to your heels.
  3. Engage your core and keep your shoulders directly over your wrists.
  4. Hold for 10-15 seconds, breathing deeply.


  1. Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders, elbows close to your sides, and your forehead resting on the mat.
  2. Press into your hands and lift your chest and head off the mat, keeping your shoulders down and your elbows close to your sides.
  3. Keep your legs and feet active, pressing the tops of your feet into the mat.
  4. Hold for 10-15 seconds, breathing deeply.

Downward Dog:

  1. Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Lift your hips up and back, straightening your arms and legs and coming into an inverted V-shape.
  3. Spread your fingers wide and press your hands into the mat.
  4. Press your heels towards the floor and lengthen through your spine.
  5. Hold for 10-15 seconds, breathing deeply.

Mountain Pose:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward.
  2. Spread your toes and press evenly into the soles of your feet.
  3. Lengthen through your spine and engage your core.
  4. Roll your shoulders back and down, and lift your chest.
  5. Bring your palms together in front of your heart.

Warrior 1:

  1. Start in mountain pose.
  2. Step your left foot back about 3-4 feet, turning it out slightly to the left.
  3. Bend your right knee, keeping it directly over your ankle.
  4. Lift your arms overhead, reaching towards the sky.
  5. Keep your hips facing forward and your back leg straight and strong.
  6. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Warrior 2:

  1. Start in mountain pose.
  2. Step your left foot back about 3-4 feet, turning it out to the left.
  3. Bend your right knee, keeping it directly over your ankle.
  4. Extend your arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor.
  5. Turn your head to gaze over your right hand.
  6. Keep your hips facing forward and your back leg straight and strong.
  7. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

Forward Fold:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips, keeping your spine straight.
  3. Bring your hands to the floor, or rest them on your shins or thighs.
  4. Relax your neck and shoulders.
  5. Hold for a few deep breaths.

Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner, give this routine a try and see how it makes you feel. Ps. I cannot make a post about yoga without mentioning my dear friend, healer, and favorite yoga instructor, Amanda Rush! If you are in the Siouxland (Iowa) area, check her out -if not, her IG has a lot of great content about mindfulness and motherhood – give her a follow.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for educational and informational purposes only. The author is not a licensed healthcare professional or yoga teacher, and the exercises and recommendations presented here may not be suitable for everyone. Before starting any new exercise routine, please consult with your healthcare provider or a qualified yoga instructor to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your individual needs. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for any injuries or damages that may occur as a result of following the information provided in this blog post.

Top 10 Brain-Boosting Foods You Should Be Eating

Top 10 Brain-Boosting Foods You Should Be Eating

There is no denying that our diet significantly impacts our physical and mental health. The foods we consume can either boost or hinder our brain function, so it’s essential to pay attention to what we put in our bodies. Here are 10 brain-boosting foods that you should be eating:

  1. Blueberries – One of the first foods to ever earn the title of Superfood, blueberries are packed with antioxidants that protect the brain from oxidative stress and inflammation. They also contain a compound called anthocyanin, which has been shown to improve cognitive function and memory.
  2. Fatty Fish – Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids essential for brain health. Omega-3s can improve memory, focus, and mood and are linked to a reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  3. Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that can improve blood flow to the brain and stimulate the growth of new brain cells. It can also boost mood and reduce stress levels.
  4. Turmeric – Turmeric is a spice that contains curcumin, a compound that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function in older adults.
  5. Nuts and Seeds – Nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the brain from damage. They also contain healthy fats and protein, which can provide sustained energy and improve cognitive function.
  6. Broccoli – Broccoli is rich in vitamin K, which has been shown to improve cognitive processing speed. It also contains compounds called glucosinolates, which have anti-inflammatory properties that can protect the brain from damage.
  7. Eggs – Eggs are a great source of choline, a nutrient that is essential for brain function. Choline has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function.
  8. Avocado – Avocado is rich in monounsaturated fats, which can improve blood flow to the brain and reduce the risk of cognitive decline. It also contains vitamin K and folate, two nutrients that are important for brain health.
  9. Beets – Beets are high in nitrates, which can improve blood flow to the brain and improve cognitive function. They also contain antioxidants that protect the brain from damage.
  10. Leafy Greens – Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and collard greens, are packed with nutrients that are essential for brain health, including folate, vitamin K, and antioxidants.

Other foods to consider for brain health include Sage, Cinnamon, Hemp Seeds, and Sweet Potatoes!

I created a smoothie that includes as many of these brain-boosting foods as possible while still tasting great! More brain-boosting recipes are planned for the blog, and I will update this post as often as I can, but for now, Check out this smoothie!!!

super brain chocolate smoothie

Incorporating these brain-boosting foods into your diet can help improve your cognitive function, memory, and focus. Try adding blueberries to your breakfast smoothie, snacking on nuts and seeds in the afternoon, and including fatty fish in your weekly meal plan. Your brain (and body) will thank you!

How To Eat Like A European

How To Eat Like A European

Have you ever heard someone say that they moved to Italy or visited Greece for a prolonged period of time and their intolerances for certain foods simply vanished? They were all of a sudden able to enjoy bread and pasta? There are countless stories of people leaving America and also leaving behind food intolerance and all of the sketchy symptoms that come along with it like …. ADHD.

What is this phenomenon?

Well, it’s no phenomenon or strange occurrence at all.

It has to do with the fact that Europe and other Mediterranean countries have much stricter regulations on chemicals that go into the food, and their processes are different. They are using fewer pesticides, GMOs, and even different processing techniques. In the USA, many chemicals, such as sulfites that are used in bleaching processed grains, aren’t even listed on the ingredients because it’s considered part of “processing.”

Here are 5 American “Food” ingredients that the USA claims are “safe” but are banned in other countries:

  1. Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)
  2. Olestra
  3. Potassium Bromate (Found in bread)
  4. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) / Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  5. Food Color Dyes (Yellow No. 5, No. 6, Red No. 40)

6 Steps to a Healthy Mediterranean Diet

But don’t get discouraged, you can still live a healthy Mediterranean lifestyle, right here in the US. Here’s how:

  1. Focus your attention on eating REAL food. There’s a saying that goes: “If it doesn’t have a mother, or grow naturally on the earth, then you shouldn’t eat it”
  2. When eating animal products, be mindful of how they are fed and raised.
  3. If you must eat processed foods, use the 5 ingredients or less rule.
  4. If you cannot pronounce an ingredient, don’t eat it.
  5. Watch out for “Natural Flavors or Natural Ingredients” on a label. Many lab-created chemicals derived from a small amount of “natural” products can be disguised on food labels.
  6. Avoid dangerous trans fats and incorporate as many healthy fats into your diet as possible. Mediterranean cuisine focuses more on healthy fats from olive oil, avocados, and nuts rather than trans fats that occur in highly processed foods.

Eat Clean 21 | Now Available On Amazon

Eat Clean 21 | Now Available On Amazon

I am excited to announce the release of my latest book, “Eat Clean 21: A 21-Day Detox and Nutritional Cleanse.” The program was initially available as a digital download on this website. Clients who participated in the original version of this program had great results! They experienced weight loss, increased energy, clearer skin, and higher levels of cognitive functioning.

The new and improved program is published on Amazon as both paperback and Kindle!

What is this cleanse?

The basis of my detox and nutritional philosophy remains the same: eat real food and nourish the body, do not starve it. Diets are usually a scam and/or an unsustainable way to make changes to your health. Many cleanse, diet, and detox programs on the market can leave you feeling miserable! The Eat Clean 21 program is not a die. It’s unlike any other cleanse. It’s a 21-day introduction to a clean, whole-food-eating way of life. With my program, there’s no calorie counting or fasting involved – just a focus on reconnecting with real, nourishing food. You’ll feel satisfied and energized throughout the 21-day program.

Who is it for?

Anyone who wants to start or continue a healing journey! Whether you’re looking to reset your metabolism, kickstart your weight loss journey, improve your cognition, or heal your digestive system, the Eat Clean 21 can help! It’s one of the only cleanse programs that truly support your body’s needs without leaving you feeling hungry, moody, or deprived!

What do I eat on the cleanse?

During the program, you will be eliminating some highly processed foods and toxic food groups, but you will be replacing those things with foods extremely high in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Clients who have participated in the program felt so full and nourished. As a result, they barely noticed they had eliminated anything! I even had a client state that they had difficulty eating junk food after the cleanse! Eventually, processed food just doesn’t taste good anymore!

If you are looking to improve your health, lose weight, think better, and feel better – this program is for you!

A Guide to Skin Detoxing for You and Your Family

A Guide to Skin Detoxing for You and Your Family

Hey there beauties! In today’s world, our skin is constantly getting shat on by toxins from everyday products. Let’s dive in to learn how you can protect your body from excess toxicity while simultaneously introducing beneficial types of toxins into your diet.

What is skin detoxing and why should you do it?

So, what is skin detoxing, and why the heck should you do it? Skin detoxing refers to the process of cleansing your skin to remove the toxins that have settled within it. Ideally, you should detox your skin at least twice a year. I like to focus on detoxing before the summer and fall seasons start, as this is when my skin is more likely to become oily and break out.

Toxins in cosmetics and skincare products

You may think that your favorite beauty products are the sh*t when it comes to improving the condition of your skin, but that’s not always the case. Many popular makeup and cleansing products on the market can wreak havoc on your skin and fill your body with toxic chemicals. By detoxing your skin, you can help to remove the following toxins from your skin left there by beauty products: Resorcinol, Hydroquinone, Parabens, Sulfates, Triclosan, Silicones, and Paraffin wax. Who wants those things getting into their bloodstream? Not me.

Toxins in household cleaners

If you really want to protect your skin from toxins, then you’ll also need to pay attention to the household cleaners that you’re using. Many household cleaners contain harmful toxins like Dioxane, Ethylene glycol, and Triclosan that can negatively impact the quality of your skin when it comes in contact with the cleaner and by absorbing chemicals in the air.

Okay, So How Do I Detox My Skin?

Now, here are five badass ways to detox your skin: 1 – Detox Diet: A detox diet is a healthy eating plan that helps to remove toxins from your liver and digestive tract. When you nourish your body, you can enhance the body’s natural detoxification process. Oh, by the way, did I mention that I wrote a whole flipping book about detoxing? It’s actually a 21-day nutritional cleanse with a done-for-you meal plan, mouth-watering recipes, and loads of other great resources to help your body naturally detox. You can grab the Eat Clean 21 Program here or head to the menu at the top of the page to learn more! 2 – Exercise: Regular exercise helps to flush out toxins from your body through sweat and by increasing circulation. 3 – Drink water: Drinking water helps to flush out toxins from your body. 4 – Sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential for detoxing your skin. Your body repairs and regenerates your skin cells while you sleep, which helps to remove toxins from your body. 5 – Skin Care: Use natural skin care products that don’t contain harmful chemicals. This will help to prevent your skin from absorbing the toxins mentioned above.. 6, Try Dry Brushing: It’s a bit like using a giant toothbrush on your body, but instead of toothpaste, you use nothing but the bristles to work their magic (be sure to choose one with natural bristles, like this one HERE).

How To Dry Brush Your Skin:

The deal is simple: grab a brush with stiff bristles and get to work, starting from your feet and working your way up to your heart with a gentle circular motion, then hop in the shower to wash away all of the yuck!

So, there you have it, gorgeous! Now you know how to protect your skin from harmful toxins while introducing beneficial types of toxins into your diet. Happy skin cleansing, babes!

Detoxify Skin

What You Need To Know About The MTHFR Gene Mutation!

What You Need To Know About The MTHFR Gene Mutation!

MTHFR stands for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase – a crazy long word! 

The MTHFR enzyme in our body helps convert folate (B9) into its active form – 5-MTHF. It is involved in a process called methylation, which is crucial for detoxification from parasites, mold, chemicals and toxins. 

We all have the MTHFR gene in our DNA that makes this happen. As a matter of fact, we each have two copies! One from our mother and one from our father. 

An Deeper Look at The Methylation Process

The process of methylation is a chain reaction that involves bonding methyl groups to different molecules. These methyl groups turn one molecule into a totally different molecule with specific functions. When a methyl group is removed, it deactivates that function. For instance, MTHFR converts the folic acid found in food (vitamin B9) into folate by attaching a methyl group to it, which is the starting point for your methylation cycle.

One critical methylation process is converting homocysteine to methionine, which detoxifies your body, repairs cells, builds proteins, and helps with inflammation. Your liver then breaks down the methionine into an inflammation-fighting agent called SAM-e (s-adenosylmethionine), which helps to break down neurotransmitters and assist in repairing cells.

The most important thing to remember is that glutathione, your body’s most powerful detoxifier, is produced from methionine. So, if you can’t convert homocysteine into methionine, you’re stuck with low levels of glutathione and high levels of homocysteine and your body is left holding on to many toxins that you are exposed to, which can lead to neurological issues like ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, Depression, and an array of other health problems. 


Where Things Go Wrong… 

Now that you understand the MTHFR Gene and what it does in the body, I’m going to throw a wrench into the mix… In 1994, a scientist discovered two mutations of this gene (1).  

It is debatable whether this is called a mutation or variant; however, the original abstract refers to them as mutations, so that is what we will stick with in this book. 

Somewhere between 40 & 50 percent of the US population carries at least one MTHFR gene mutation. 

Even just one mutation could mean that you may not get enough MTHFR enzyme action inside your body! As mentioned previously, without that enzyme doing its job, you could be stuck holding onto parasites, chemicals, mold, and other toxins like heavy metals which all roll out the red carpet for ADHD symptoms. 

Food for thought.. One copy of my MTHFR gene holds one mutation, and from the beginning of this book, you know my struggle. If MTHFR is the culprit to all of my issues, imagine someone having both copies of their gene with two mutations each? What could that look like?

How to Discover if You Have an MTHFR Mutation

You can visit your healthcare provider to talk about testing options, or order a DNA test online yourself. You can also have your healthcare provider do a methylation pathway test, which analyzes five key methylation pathways, including cysteine, glycine, dopamine, serotonin, and methylation itself → this, I recommend (and what I did for my kids). I wouldn’t just “assume” you cannot detoxify properly even if you have a mutation of your MTHFR gene. With that said, Your DNA is still something very cool to take a look at, and it’s how I found that I personally had the mutation. 

Signs that you might have an MTHFR mutation or that your body isn’t methylating properly could be hidden behind other conditions like poor response to supplements, fibromyalgia, and anxiety. You might also experience mood disorders and depression related to serotonin deficiency, increased allergies and asthma due to a lack of methylation, and increased risk of birth defects when pregnant due to DNA methylation issues.

I searched the web, and according to some medical doctors (2), some common symptoms of MTHFR Gene Mutation and poor methylation include: 

  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Autism – this one makes sense as it is proven that people with autism have difficulties detoxing from heavy metals (3). I haven’t found any studies that show everyone with autism, or a certain percentage of those with autism have MTHFR gene mutation, but I would love to know if that’s the case! To me, a simple first step would be to detox.
  • Autoimmune disease and thyroid issues
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Colon Cancer
  • Digestive Issues, including IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
  • Hormonal issues, including PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)
  • Migraines
  • Schizophrenia

The Good News: Our Genes Are Not Our Destiny

Epigenetics is the study of gene expression and it has been another one of my favorite topics in my educational journey. Environmental changes such as diet, exercise, exposure to toxins, and medications can influence our genes and traits. Nutrition in particular, influences genetic expression. Which means, certain genes can be turned “on” or “off” like a light switch depending on what you eat. There are some steps you can take to decrease complications from having an MTHFR gene mutation.

According to research, it’s possible to aid your methylation process. Here are 5 things you can do.

Eat Clean & Green To Support Detoxification

Because poor methylation contributes to reduced detoxification, it’s important to support your body’s natural detoxification. Consume organic folate rich foods such as dark leafy greens, asparagus, calf’s liver, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, celery, avocados, lentils! Fill your diet with a healthy amount of vitamin B6 foods such as spinach, bell peppers, garlic, tuna, bananas, & cabbage.  


Pre-methylated B vitamins: For those who have MTHFR mutations, folate needs to be in its pre-methylated form (5 MTHF). Non-pre-methylated B vitamins are a waste for someone who cannot convert folic acid into, folate, and then into 5-MTHF. In theory, folic acid, a man-made chemical, could be very dangerous for those who struggle with methylation causing a buildup of folic acid. 

Other supplements that support methylation include: 

Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Glutathione.

Manage Stress With Lifestyle Changes

An imbalance of neurotransmitter levels, which can affect mood and irritability when stressed, is more likely in those with MTHFR mutations. In fact, high levels of stress can worsen poor methylation symptoms. To reduce overall stress, start a meditation routine, write in a journal, spend time in nature, and volunteer. Discovering the activities that help you unwind, stay grounded, and decompress are the most critical in helping you manage your personal stress levels on a daily basis.

Decrease Alcohol Intake

Alcohol intake increases detoxification demands on the liver. Methylation processes may already be impaired in those with MTHFR gene mutations, so only consuming alcohol in moderation or not at all is recommended by some doctors.

It’s worth noting that not all gene variants and mutations are created equal, and some may be more clinically significant than others. If you’re concerned about your MTHFR status, it’s best to consult with a qualified healthcare professional who can help guide you through the appropriate testing and treatment options.

  1. Goyette P, Sumner JS, Milos R, Duncan AM, Rosenblatt DS, Matthews RG, Rozen R. Human methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase: isolation of cDNA, mapping and mutation identification. Nat Genet. 1994 Jun;7(2):195-200. doi: 10.1038/ng0694-195. Erratum in: Nat Genet. 1994 Aug;7(4):551. PMID: 7920641.
  2. Parsley Health. (2018). MTHFR Mutation: How it Affects Your Health and What to Do. Parsley Health Blog.
  3. Jafari T, Rostampour N, Fallah AA, Hesami A. The association between mercury levels and autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2017 Dec;44:289-297. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2017.09.002. Epub 2017 Sep 4. PMID: 28965590.

I will update this article as I learn more. Be sure to check back frequently if you are on the MTHFR journey, or consider applying for health coaching with me for the latest education in holistic health.

MTHFR Gene Mutation

This article and information provided by Jessica Carrier on this website and as part of her products is not meant to heal, diagnose, or treat any medical or mental illness. Jessica Carrier is not a medical doctor and the information contained in this article is meant to be educational. Jessica encourages you to do your own research and talk to your doctor before starting any diet or supplement regimen, as some foods and supplements can cause negative reactions with certain medications. The links contained in this article may be affiliate links and may not be. See the full disclaimer here.