An extensive log documenting healing through intermittent fasting.

 

Hello Beautiful Friends!

Do you struggle with eczema or another skin condition?

I do… But did you know we don’t have to live with hand eczema forever! I’ve had many ups and downs with my condition in the past few years, and it increasingly continues to improve. This last episode of symptoms has been enlightening, to say the least, and I know is just another part of the journey meant to shed light on all the depths of me that are moving towards alignment with my true self. Yet, frustration and a desire to desperately seek for answers are still present at times when I have a flare-up.

Along with mindful eating and the emotional/spiritual work I continue to do, I’ve decided to experiment with intermittent fasting and document my experience by logging my symptoms, regimen and any improvements that may occur. I hope that what I learn will help those of you who may be going through a similar experience. I know when this first began to happen to me, almost 3 years ago, I felt incredibly frustrated and confused and so few answers. I’ve come a long way! My symptoms, although not entirely gone, pale in comparison to what I went through the first time. The onset of hand eczema covered both of my hands, rendering acute pain, itching and discomfort for around 2 and a half years without relief. I didn’t know if I would ever have normal hands again. Click here to learn more about my journey in the beginning with hand eczema (candida overgrowth).

Each stride we take toward health, whether big or small, is a step in the right direction.

The root cause…

While on this journey I have discovered the root problem to be imbalanced gut flora which leads to candida overgrowth and/or leaky gut syndrome. The source of the problem is concealed deep within our digestive system causing a wide range of symptoms and is rarely recognized or diagnosed. Generally, doctors end up treating the symptoms with prescription drugs. Unfortunately, the root of the issue is not often realized and the patient can end up going from doctor to doctor and drug to drug desperately searching for an answer. Through mindful eating and an overall balancing of life this problem, I believe, can and will be corrected for many.

I know that for most of you, your digestive system may not be the first place in your body you would think holds the answer to your seemingly unrelated health issues, but when you understand how all the components work together, it starts to make a lot more sense. The condition of our gut is nearly always the culprit behind auto-immune disorders and an array of other health issues like chronic fatigue, depression, fibromyalgia, diabetes and even some cancers. I am sharing my journey through hand eczema, but this approach to healing is most definitely not limited to skin issues.

 

HEALING THROUGH FASTING! 

My story… Why I decided to fast.

Aligning with optimal health is a journey that includes many layers like an onion. I peeled several of those layers over a span of several years with the result that for many months, I enjoyed clear, soft and agile hands.

In June of 2015, I was invited to a farm-to-table-dinner. Even though I made sure the chef was aware that I eat paleo,  I still had a combination of some foods that have not been present in my usual diet.  “Combination” is the key word here.

Since I’ve had my body in balance again, I’ve been able to enjoy the occasional glass of wine or smidgen of honey, but that night I went a little crazy. I don’t know if it was the ambiance of the hanging lanterns, the warmth of the candlelight, the serene setting of the farm, the mysterious log cabin, or the adorable baby goats that we fed with a bottle that sent me over the edge into some kind of forgetful coma.

When it was all said and done, I had consumed 2 glasses of wine, 2 gin and sodas, balsamic vinegar, goat cheese, lentils and tons of sugary beets. This may not sound like much to most, but these are some of the foods that through in-depth experimentation, I have learned are contributors to the breakouts on my hands.

Also, an emotional curve ball that night, my moon time, a persistent cold and running out of one of my probiotics proved to be more than my recovering body could handle. My hands started breaking out the next day and it has felt like I’ve started all over again to some extent.

Yet, thankfully, with much less severity than before.

Researching again…

About two months into the recurrence of hand eczema, I was feeling a little discouraged. I have been adhering to the same paleo diet that helped bring me into a balanced state the first time, yet my hands have been continuing to break out. I felt that there must be something I could do that would help to clear things up a little quicker this time. So, I started researching again.

What I’ve learned through this experience is to always listen to my body and intuition.

I get impatient at times and I just want the symptoms to be gone, but when I calm my mind and allow the answer to come, it always comes.

This time of inquiry was no different. In one day, without concentrated searching, I stumbled upon three articles talking about intermittent fasting. After reading the third article, I felt it was calling my name, so to speak. Ironically, because of my Christian background, I have fasted many times, but never for health reasons!

I had never thought of the possible health benefits of fasting until now. If anything, I thought it may not be good for you at all! And since my spiritual transformation, fasting was not very high on my “to do” list for spiritual growth. But what I uncovered changed my view completely about fasting.  It made total sense to me now!

 What I discovered!

 For a while, the idea that I may have a clogged liver kept coming to me. I had been wanting to do a cleanse. My candida protocol includes several cleansing foods and supplements, but I had yet to do a specific and thorough cleanse for my liver. I discovered from the random articles that fasting is an exceptionally effective way to cleanse our bodies.

Of course it is! When our system is not busy digesting, it has time to activate its self-healing mechanisms.

“In the fasting state, the body scours for dead cells, damaged tissues, fatty deposits, tumors and abscesses, all of which are burned for fuel or expelled as waste. Diseased cells are dissolved in a systematic manner, leaving healthy tissue.”Healing Through Fasting

I feel that total body healing is not only a possibility but a probability! I have started to do some intermittent fasting and decided to log my symptoms, fasting regimen, and any improvements I may have and share my findings with you. I have taken one day at a time and have applied lots of grace when necessary.

If you have ever fasted before, you know it’s not at all easy to do. I’m doing my best! I started with short spurts and I have hopes to work up to some lengthier fasts. I feel the longer my body has to go through my organs and tissues, removing the unwanted material and toxins, the better.

I’m happy to share this journey with you. Please check with a Naturopathic or Functional Medicine doctor to see if fasting is right for you. Hopefully my story can help shed some light for you on your wellness journey. Good luck on your journey!

Please share your story with me in the comments. I would love to know what has and hasn’t worked for you!

 

MY CANDIDA STORY

Find out more about my journey through hand eczema (candida) and what helped my body get back on track.

GUT HEALTH

Discover why the condition of your gut is key for optimal health.

FASTING LOG AND JOURNAL

DAY 1:

Journal:

Diet: Liquids, Food and Supplements:

8:00 a.m.

LIQUID: warm water with lemon
SUPPLEMENT: Keybiotic probiotic and 50 billion CFU’s of Gut Pro Probiotic Powder

9:00 a.m.

LIQUID: 1 cup of coffee
FOOD: eggs, kale, onion, basil frittata; 3 homemade banana/coconut flour pancakes; sauerkraut
SUPPLEMENT: digestive enzymes; gelatin

1:00 p.m.

LIQUID: chicken bone broth
FOOD: salad greens with paleo ranch dressing and paleo salmon patty

1:30 p.m.

LIQUID: chicken bone broth; filtered water with lemon (both I drank throughout the rest of the evening)

7:00 p.m.

FOOD: 2 spoonfuls almond butter with celtic sea salt

7:15 p.m.

LIQUID: chicken bone broth; filtered water with lemon

11:00 p.m.

SUPPLEMENT: 50 CFU’s GutPro probiotic powder

Improvements:

None

 

Meditation/Prayer:

I lay this health issue down. I align with the truth of my deeper self, the place that is whole and perfectly aligned with health. Cause all parts of me to align with this place. Let all fears, doubts, frustration, disturbance and anger melt away.

 

Today was a little difficult. I had an emotional breakdown tonight, which is to be expected. Fasting tends to bring up entrenched, deep emotional residue to the surface that otherwise may go undetected.

I realized today through the emotional disturbance how important free-flowing independence is in my life and to my wellbeing. Having children is a huge adjustment! Especially, I think, to mothers who highly value the freedom to do what they want, when they want.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely enjoy being a mother! Although there comes a time when years of not having the opportunity to form or finish a thought can take its toll. Everything starts to get jumbled up under those conditions if adequate rejuvenation is not happening on a regular basis.

I swear, I think my children plan their day by saying something like this, “Okay, when you’re done asking mom for something, then I’m going to go ask for something.  Then you throw a fit about something completely insignificant; I’ll hit you; you spit at me and then I’ll have a huge meltdown too. Brilliant!! Let’s not let her sit or think. No!! Let’s do this all day long. It will be fun!!”

I want as a mother to be patient, loving and always have the most productive and magical thing to say to tantalize my little ones into complete and utter bliss. But that just is not always a reality.  

I do my best in spite of the demands as a mom, but things go awry now and then. At times, staying present and aware of my needs and desires seems to slip from my fingertips. Consequently, when you take food off the comfort list, all hell is sure to break loose! Yet, everyday I am learning that if I can find a moment to breathe, to let go, to unwind, the outcome and emotional environment just might be able to breathe too.  

If I do not invest in serenity, emotional stress tends to fester beneath the surface.  Even though that can be scary and doesn’t feel very good, I have to admit I quite enjoy feeling the deep, dark, and crusty belief patterns become exposed and awakened from a rigid state of rigor mortis.

Through the storm of tears, confusion and pain comes the well-watered soil ready for new growth.

In this instance, it was me not listening to what my body, mind and spirit have been telling me moment to moment. It is imperative for me to get the rest I need and partake often in activities that are my personalized source of renewal. I haven’t fasted in many years. We’ll see how this goes. I feel hopeful for even more depths of improvement.

 

Symptoms:

  • Hands are red, itchy and scaly/flaky with a few open cracks.
  • Rash is mostly on left palm and fingers.
  • A little rash on my right hand between middle and first finger.
  • Foggy brain; hard to speak words out
  • fatigue
  • Bending fingers is difficult because of tight skin

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DAY 2:

Journal:

Diet: Liquid, Food and Supplements:

9:30 a.m.

LIQUID: warm water with lemon
SUPPLEMENT: 50 billion CFU’s of Gutpro probiotic powder

 1:30 p.m.

(Break fast – fasted 24 hours)
LIQUID: chicken bone broth
FOOD: 2 eggs, kale, onion, basil frittata; sauerkraut; 2 paleo banana muffins; coffee
SUPPLEMENT: digestive enzymes; gelatin

2:00 p.m.

LIQUID: water with lemon and chicken bone broth throughout the rest of the day

11:00 p.m.

SUPPLEMENT: 50 billion CFU’s of Gutpro probiotic powder

Improvements/Downturns:

Hands became more flaky and painful today

Today my emotions are feeling much better and the fast seems to have gotten easier. I think my appetite is already adjusting to a smaller food intake. However, my hands look worse today, but I’m not concerned. From what I know in previous experiences, the symptoms often will get worse before they start getting better. So, I’m going to continue and see what happens.

Symptoms:

  • severe flakiness
  • minor itching
  • redness
  • tightness of skin
  • cracking

Meditation/Prayer:

5338990623_2084b31c91_bToday I feel thankful that my body knows exactly what to do to bring itself into optimal health. I trust my body and the decisions that it makes. The cells of my body use their intelligence to move into alignment with perfect wellbeing. I have grace for my body and I trust the process. When I feel anxious, I relax and take deep breaths to center myself. I allow all things to work in divine order with love.

 

DAY 3: 

Journal:

Diet: Liquid, Food and Supplements:

9:00 a.m.

LIQUID: warm water with lemon
SUPPLEMENT: 50 billion CFU’s GutPro probiotic powder

10:00 a.m.

(fasted 20 hours)
LIQUID: coffee; chicken bone broth
FOOD: 2 eggs, tomato, green onion, kale, basil frittata; 2 paleo muffins; sauerkraut
SUPPLEMENT: digestive enzymes, gelatin

10:30 a.m.

LIQUID: warm water and chicken bone broth (all day)

8:00 p.m.

(fasted 9 1/2 hours)
FOOD: tacos – corn tortilla (no guar gum) beef, spices avocado, tomatoe, lettuce

11:00 p.m.

SUPPLEMENT: 50 billion CFU’s GutPro probiotic powder

 

I’m feeling hopeful that fasting is going to be a key factor in the balance of my body. It feels good to give my digestive system a break. I can sense within me that things are improving. Although, I still get concerned that it won’t get better.

When those thoughts come in, I show them to the exit door as quickly as possible. What I learned from the first time I went through this is how much my thoughts affect my health. Keeping negative or fearful thoughts from taking hold is key by just allowing them to move on through.

I know my body can correct itself. I’ve seen it happen before. I also know that my emotional state of being is very much connected to what’s happening in my body. So, I am staying open and aware of any emotions that may be hidden. I want those thoughts that can sometimes go unnoticed to rise to the surface and be skimmed off the top.

 

 Symptoms:

  • a little less flakiness
  • skin is tight
  • cracking
  • minor itching
  • redness

Meditation/Prayer:

I relax all parts of my body and mind and allow all negative thoughts to flow out of me with ease. Any energy that feels stressful or tense is relaxing now and leaving my body. The flow of life lives within me. This flow is what is most natural to the deepest core part of me who is eternal. I allow myself to feel this flow. I allow myself to feel good. I allow myself to be embodied by and be made aware of an unconditional love. I am love. Nothing in this world can define me because I come from the undefinable.

Supplements

Discover 6 supplements that can help bring your gut back into balance.

DAY 4:

Journal:

I haven’t experienced the same foggy symptoms that plagued me during the first day of the fast. I’m feeling fairly good physically and exceptionally good spiritually. I feel connected. I’m realizing today the difference between my old idea of fasting when I was in the Christian church and the experience I’m having at the present moment. Fasting was viewed as a tool to “get God’s attention” and show him we mean business.

It was a declaration to God that we are willing to sacrifice ourselves or, in other words, beat our flesh down for his approval and become more holy. This makes total sense to me now why I have felt absolutely no need to fast since my view of God has drastically changed. I no longer view myself as someone who needs to become more holy or gain the favor of a perfect God. My belief now, which has profoundly changed my life is this, we are already holy. We already have all the approval one could possibly ever have. There is nothing to gain, because we already have it.

So why fast for spiritual reasons?

Today the answer has become clearer than blue skies. We fast to bring ourselves into alignment with what already is. When we take away earthly comforts like food, what remains is a greater awareness of our core; our true self which cannot have anything added or taken away. We are complete just as God is complete. We are perfect just as God is perfect. Granted, the manifestation of this wholeness doesn’t always seem to be present. Habitual belief patterns we create don’t always align with the reality of our innate wholeness. We start to believe we need something to feel whole or that there’s too much work to be done to fix the brokenness. We feel that it’s not possible to ever attain the security we desire. This newfound view on fasting has become no longer about winning God’s favor, but is about aligning with the favor we were born with in order to receive all the benefit of being a divine creature.

Diet: Liquids; Foods and Supplements

10:00 a.m.

LIQUID: warm water with lemon
SUPPLEMENT: 50 billion CFU’s GutPro Powder Probiotic

12:00 p.m.

(fasted 15 1/2 hours)
LIQUID: coffee
SUPPLEMENT: digestive enzymes and gelatin
FOOD:  2 eggs, kale, tomato, green onion and fresh basil frittata; sauerkraut; 2 paleo blueberry muffins with cinnamon pecan struesel

1:00 p.m.

LIQUID: warm water with lemon (begin fast)

11:00 p.m.

LIQUID: warm water with lemon
SUPPLEMENT: 50 billion CFU’s GutPro Powder Probiotic; 1/4 cup coconut kefir water

 

Improvements:

  • Less flakiness than the first 2 days
  • no itching

 

Symptoms:

  • Left hand has minor flakiness with light pink tone in the affected area across the palm and up the fingers.
  • Woke up a little itchy, but has subsided now

 

Meditation/Prayer for Today:

My body is in perfect alignment with all that is. My body knows exactly what to do to bring itself back into the awareness of alignment. All is well in my soul and in my body. Thank you for bringing into my awareness the things that need to be seen or known and shed from my belief system that would keep perfect health from being realized. Thank you. I feel the presence of gratefulness permeating my being.

 

DAY 5:

Journal:

Diet: Liquids, Food and Supplements:

9:00 a.m.

LIQUID: warm water with lemon
SUPPLEMENT: 50 CFU’S GutPro probiotic powder

11:00 p.m.

(fasted 22 hours)
LIQUID: coffee
FOOD: 2 eggs, kale, tomatoe, green onion frittata; 2 blueberry paleo muffins; sauerkraut
SUPPLEMENT: digestive enzymes; gelatin

11:30 a.m.

LIQUID: warm water with lemon; chicken bone broth (throughout day)

8:00 p.m.

(fasted 8 1/2 hours)
FOOD: egg crepe chicken enchiladas (egg, chicken, fresh tomatoes, spices, avocado, green onion)

11:00 p.m.

SUPPLEMENT: 50 CFU’s GutPro probiotic powder

 

Some days are harder than others to stay committed to this fast.

Every morning I wake up ready to have my one meal in the day and then refrain from eating the rest of the day, but I don’t always make it.

Today was one of those days.

For some reason, all day today, I was dreaming of making egg crepe enchiladas. I’ve had lots of chicken leftover from making my chicken bone broth and the enchiladas started calling my name. So, today became a semi-fast day. But I believe all of the bone broth and lemon water is helping even without fasting.

This is a process, right?

Grace, grace, grace. Having grace for ourselves and others is possibly even more important than the food we eat. The emotional vibration that we allow ourselves to dwell in, I feel, is a huge factor in the quality of our health.  

I truly believe our nature is completely whole and satisfied. The negative records we play in our minds can give us the illusion of entrapment to fears, rage, hatred, jealousy, strife. If we believe in those illusions, then that is what becomes manifest in our lives, but if we can lift our heads above the surface of the water, we will see that the shore has always been just within reach.

Usually, all that is needed is re-training the thoughts we choose to dwell upon.

We don’t have to be miserable!

We create our world. We create either fear or love. Whatever we want. It’s our choice. I’m choosing what I want now instead of what I don’t want and it feels good. My hands are guiding me to more freedom within myself. The breakouts, I believe, have an emotional component. I will continue to stay open to see and know any way within me that does not align with my deeper self.

Symptoms:

  • no itching
  • lighter pink today
  • flakiness has greatly subsided

Meditation/Prayer:

Presence, I believe, is where all love abides and is expressed. I allow all parts of me to align with presence. Any worry that I feel about the future, I let it go. Any concern I have from things in the past that seem to haunt me, I let them go. I enter into all that is right now. I accept all that is right now. Presence is where God is. Presence is where love is. Presence is where my best self is found.

 

Stairsteps to Wellness

Learn to to take your health approach one step at a time.
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DAY 6: 

Journal:

Most of the day went well today. It’s back to school soon for my kids so I’ve been busy preparing for their return. I woke up this morning with some minor itching. I didn’t end up fasting the entire day yesterday. I made some fabulous egg crepe chicken enchiladas that proved to be too wonderful to pass up. One of the hardest parts of this fast is preparing almost 3 meals a day for my family. I love to cook!

 

I love to come up with new paleo recipes that would rival a dish you could get in a restaurant, but if I can’t eat and enjoy them, then I don’t want to make them. It’s a dilemma that I’m still aiming to solve. It seems very apparent to me that the next morning after not fasting, I’m usually itchy. This is enlightening as well as annoying. It feels like I’m allergic to food in general, but I know that cannot be true.

I started fasting today after eating at 1:00. Then tonight one of my paleo banana muffins lured me into its sumptuous chamber. I felt like it would be fine, but later I started itching! Ugh! So tomorrow, I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I may try to fast the entire day. I really think my body needs more time to heal. Although, my hands do look significantly better than when I first started. It just feels discouraging when I get any new itchy blisters.

Diet: Liquid, Food and Supplements:

9:00 a.m.

LIQUID: warm water with lemon; chicken bone broth (all day)
SUPPLEMENT: 50 CFU’s GutPro probiotic powder

11:00 a.m.

(fasted 14 1/2 hours)
LIQUID: coffee
FOOD: 2 egg, kale, basil and onion frittata; 2 banana muffins; sauerkraut
SUPPLEMENT: digestive enzymes; gelatin

2:00 p.m.

LIQUID/FOOD: 1/2 cup coconut milk, raw cocoa shake (coconut milk, almond butter, raw cocao, vanilla, stevia, celtic sea salt)

10:30 p.m.

FOOD: 1 paleo banana muffin

Improvements/Downturns:

  • little more flakiness
  • woke up a little itchy, subsided in the day and returned after eating the banana muffin

Symptoms:

  • minor flakiness
  • redness
  • itchy (morning and evening)

Meditation/Prayer:

Even when circumstances feel discouraging I know that I’m on the path. I focus on here and now. Right now my body knows what to do to be in perfect alignment with health and wellness. I pray that any thought patterns or beliefs that are hindering my centeredness will rise to the surface and be revealed to me. I ask for anything blocking my body from manifesting its fullest potential be shown to me. I allow all to flow. Flow up and out.

DAY 11

Journal:

Diet: Liquid, Food and Supplements:

9:00 a.m.

LIQUID: warm water with lemon; chicken bone broth (both throughout the day)

10:00 a.m.

LIQUID: coffee
FOOD: 2 eggs, kale, basil, and onion frittata; sauerkraut; 2 paleo banana muffins
SUPPLEMENT: 50 CFU’s GutPro probiotic powder

1:30 p.m.

LIQUID/FOOD: cocoa coconut shake (coconut milk, almond butter, raw cacoa, vanilla, stevia, celtic sea salt)

7:30 p.m.

FOOD: beef spaghetti sauce with spaghetti squash; salad with paleo ranch dressing; almond butter cup

 

So I haven’t been logging the fasting I’ve been doing for the past several days. Life has been very busy and it’s been difficult to keep it up. I’m still adhering to the diet (as I have for the past 3 years) and I continue to drink warm water with lemon, bone broth and take probiotic, but I’m only fasting about one meal a day at the moment for my sanity. When my little ones return to school next week, maybe I’ll have a little more down time to commit to some lengthier fasts. I’m going to continue to document as much as possible when I have the time.

 

Symptoms:

  • minor itching
  • minor tightness
  • minor flakiness
  • redness

Meditation/Prayer:

All is well. I know that everything unfolds just as it should. There is no rush. All things work together perfectly through surrender to the all loving spirit who is our source.

My Candida Story

Read how I journeyed from severe hand eczema (candida) and other ailments onto a path of health and wellness.

Week 3-present

Journal:

Symptoms:

  • little to no itching
  • little to no redness
  • minor dryness
  • no blisters
  • Yay!!

The past couple of months have been so busy. My kids went back to school and I’ve continued to commit time to growing my baking business.

I have had some ups and downs with hand eczema, yet all in all, my hands have been doing very well! 

It really seems that the intensive fasting that I did helped to jumpstart the recovery I am now experiencing. Even though my hands are not completely clear, I have had minimal blistering and the dryness/flakiness has greatly subsided.

I haven’t been documenting my diet or supplements throughout these past several weeks, yet I have adhered to the paleo diet, my supplement regimen and have fasted, on most days, at least one meal. I’ve added a few supplements that I wasn’t using previously and they seem to be helping as well like Body Ecology Fermented Herbs for Candida.

Healing is a process. Allowing for the process to unfold is key for lasting success. Patience must be cultivated. The “fast food, fast results” mentality will only perpetuate symptoms and add to the stress that in the end will only contribute to the cycle of imbalance. I’ve learned so much through this process!

Overall Fasting Assessment:

My assessment is that intermittent fasting works! I have seen great improvement in my hands. Although I’m not 100% symptom-free, it’s pretty damn close considering where I started.

I rarely have any small blisters or feel itchy and the redness and flakiness is almost completely gone!

I highly recommend intermittent fasting to anyone wanting to improve their health. The basis being that your body knows how to heal on its own when allowed the optimal environment to do so. By giving your body a reprieve from spending energy to digest food, it allows for energy to be focused elsewhere.

Our bodies naturally move toward health, detoxifying the body of toxins and ridding it of damaged and diseased cells.

I’m going to continue the intermittent fasting protocol as well as a detox regimen, bone broth, warm water with lemon, gelatin/collagen, digestive enzymes, Pau de Arco tea, etc. until all symptoms have gone. You can check out 10 Foods that Heal, 10 Foods that Steal to learn a little more about the diet protocol that has worked for me.

The Emotional Component:

My assessment would not be complete without emphasizing what an impact I know my emotional/spiritual state of being has had on my condition.

It’s uncanny how the symptoms of hand eczema always seem to coincide with how I feel internally. It leads me to believe, through analysis of my emotions, that typically when I feel feelings of stress surrounding who I am or what I do, when I worry about what others think of me, or when I feel pressure to perform a certain way or be something other than what I truly am – the symptoms increase.

They almost always begin to dissipate when I let go, accept myself in this present moment just as I am, a full and complete spirit having a human experience. Please check out Our Emotional and Spiritual Gut for a closer look into what tools can help you become your most balanced self and create Your Happy Gut!

Love to you all! Thank you for reading.

 

Sharla

Our Emotional and Spiritual Gut

Discover 8 practices to help bring more balance to your life physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

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