Spiritual Guidance and Physical Wellness Advice from Jenna Davila – September 2017

Every month, Spiritual Guidance and Plant Based Wellness Coach Jenna Davila answers your questions on physical and emotional health and wellbeing. If you have a question for Jenna’s next advice column, send it here.

Dear Jenna

How do you handle negative people and negativity in general?

– Meaghan, USA

Hi Meaghan

Thank you for your questions. Everyone emits their own energetic vibration, which is a reflection of how aligned someone is to their Highest Self. Of course, this alignment fluctuates but the more mindful one becomes of their own energy, the easier it is to come back to centre and ground. The awareness we have of our own energetic frequency is key to navigating our lives. By taking the time to self reflect, we can become more conscious of where our harmonic vibration is resonating. Not only should we be mindful of our energy but we need to integrate deep soul work, practice radical self love and know who we are authentically. This gives us a better understanding of our own boundaries. To know ourselves is to know what we want to invite into our lives and what we don’t find acceptable. It is easier for us to handle negative people in our lives when we can remember our empowerment as a Divine being of light. With that being said, our confidence and self worth must become solid if we want to handle situations with internal resiliency. This becomes significant when we anchor in the stability of our self love.

If you are involved with someone who is releasing their negativity out on you, you can always try to change the subject or show them a lighter perspective on how to see things. This is a great way to change the focus of the conversation without entertaining negativity. Another way to help you is to make sure you are keeping track of when you find yourself coming out of your natural joy filled state due to someones negativity. Is this happening around a specific person? Is this person related to you or are you choosing to surround yourself with this person? How often does this happen? Is this person trustworthy, loving and giving a balanced partnership? When it comes to work related issues, what are your motivations for being there? Is your employer being negative about the business, themselves, others and/ or you? These are just some questions you can ask yourself. Remember, if you aren’t being treated with respect or acceptance, you can always move through fear and leave a situation that no longer serves your Highest good. Do not allow yourself to compromise your values and morals. People are constantly revolving in and out of our lives and sometimes walking away is courageous and the best way to honour yourself. Always speak with kindness, sincerity and presence when you choose to remove yourself from an unhealthy environment.

Sometimes a person who is a total stranger can knock you out of your alignment. It is called “an emotional drive by” when someone randomly comes into contact with you and brings their negativity into your life. This can be viewed as a gift because it challenges you to be compassionate, empathic and altruistic in a sense. No one truly knows what anyone else is going through and negative behaviours are a sign that something is not in flow for an individual. It’s important to not take these situations personally and to recognise that there are reasons that a person can’t handle his/ herself in a positive manner. This brings me to my next tip: LET IT GO! Bring your hand to your heart, breathe deeply and release any attachment to a certain person or situation. Their negativity does not belong in your sacred space.

Lastly, by knowing who you truly are and what you want to cultivate in your life, you will find yourself becoming surrounded with people who resonate with you more. It is so important to be crystal clear in what your look for in a friend, partner or employer. It is your choice who you allow or don’t allow into your world. Freewill has been given to us, so use it wisely. Welcome people into your life who are caring, positive influences who support you, encourage you, inspire and uplift your soul. It is your responsibility to sort through your tribe and connect with those who will help you to live the most authentic, expansive, conscious and healthy life you deserve. The more discovery and mastery you do with yourself, the easier this will become and you will transform your life. Enjoy the journey and many blessings!

Dear Jenna

I’m a cross country/ track runner and I’ve been wanting to convert to veganism (I’m a vegetarian that doesn’t have dairy due to lactose intolerance) but I’m having trouble maintaining my weight while training hard core and I was wondering if you could give me advice?

– Maddie, USA

Hi Maddie, thank you for reaching out with your question. When someone is extremely active burning through calories and energy, it is very important to nourish the body in ways that promote quick recovery and healing. When it comes to maintaining weight, I recommend trying to introduce more healthy fats into your diet. These include avocados, coconut meat, nuts, nut butters, seeds like hemp, pumpkin and chia, to name a few. You may also benefit from eating more nutrient dense foods like mangoes, bananas, dates, persimmons, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, beans, lentils, quinoa, rice and gluten free oats. Including plant based protein powders into your smoothies, as well always having a stash of protein bars, is another way to help maintain a healthy weight if you are having trouble doing so.

Another recommendation is to not to allow yourself to get to a point that you feel ravaged with hunger. If you find this happening, try to be prepared and carry around snacks that will fill you up so that you never get too hungry as this will help keep your body in equilibrium. If you are struggling with weight, you may find it beneficial is to eat within 15 minutes of waking up and eating more frequently throughout the day, every 2-3 hours. This will help you expand your stomach muscles so you can eat more nutrients that will help you fuel your body. In addition, you may want to try increasing your meal size, especially after intense training. Play around with these suggestions and see what works best for you. I would also suggest incorporating strength training at least two times a week to help you pack on muscle. As a former track runner myself, I noticed I was losing a lot of muscle tone in my legs that I had built up from playing soccer and found lifting weights to be extremely beneficial. Thank you again for writing in and all the best!

Dear Jenna

I wonder if you can explain more about how we can manipulate our genes for better health? When you say we don’t have to be victims of our genetic makeup, what other choices do we have?

– Tony, UK

Hi Tony, thank you so much for writing in. When we take a look at the DNA that is passed down from parents to their offspring, we have to understand the important role epigenetics plays. Epigenetics is our ability to change how our genes are expressed within the body due to external factors that contribute to our overall health and wellbeing. In many facets of our lives relating to diet, lifestyle, behaviour, psychological influences and environmental factors, we have the capacity to alter up to 90-95% of how our cells communicate with each other by activating or inactivating genes that either prevent or promote disease and illness including cancer, autoimmune disease, mental disorders, cardiovascular health, diabetes, etc. Our genes don’t determine our destiny or fate but they create certain predispositions within our body, meaning that with the right or wrong combination of factors in play, we can express or suppress certain characteristics over others.

There are many factors to take into consideration when it comes to changing the operation of genes. Some elements that can negatively impact our human genome are malnutrition, poor health, harmful relationships, stress, depression, trauma, exposure to toxins/ pollution, inactivity, substance abuse and lack of self care. Conversely, eating a healthy diet, exercising, getting a proper amount of sleep, maintaining an appropriate weight, avoiding chemicals, getting enough clean air and water, being a non smoker and having low to no alcohol intake are all ways to positively affect your gene expression. Stress management is particularly important. Incorporating forms of meditation, mindful thinking, optimism and gratitude (and generally being more loving) have been shown to have a positive impact in reducing inflammation, which can be the underlying cause of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Another amazing way we can alter genes is by actually growing new nerve cells. This process called neurogenesis is the birth of new brain cells. Why is this important when it comes to epigenetics? It can improve our mood, emotions, memory and learning skills which is great for neurological diseases. By eliminating things like processed sugar, high saturated fat, alcohol, dairy and eating a healthy plant based diet loaded with vitamins E, A and B and flavonoids and antioxidants, particularly those found in grapes and berries, one can aid in neurogenesis. Introducing hemp, such as CBD, blueberries and curcumin into the body is also extremely beneficial and highly recommended. Cardio/ aerobic exercise, meditation, intimacy, cognitive stimulation, intermittent fasting and sunlight exposure are all great ways to not only give you more blood flow and oxygen but also help new nerve cells to be born. This can treat and prevent depression, as well as help reduce anxiety and prevent the decline associated with ageing and stress that leads to disease and illness. I hope this was helpful and I encourage you to take a deeper dive into the science of neurogenesis and epigenetics! Blessings!

Disclaimer: The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this column not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist. The opinions or views expressed in this column are not intended to treat or diagnose; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed professional, physician or mental health professional. This column, its author and the website are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.