Category Archives: Health


Published on October 28, 2018 by

Healthy Holiday Food

Crowded shopping malls, holiday parties, grocery store carts, sniffling children, public transportation, theaters – things we all fear during cold and flu season! Germs lurking everywhere! Fortunately, you can create your own arsenal of natural, organic, and safe essential oil blends to help keep you healthy this holiday season.

One of the most effective blends to keep on hand is a stock blend to use as a steam. Just one or two drops (no more!) of blend in a steaming pot of hot water, with head tented with towel, can really help to nip a cold or flu in the beginning or greatly lessen severity and duration. Some good essential oil choices are Douglas Fir, Saro, Eucalyptus (Globulus) or Eucalyptus (Dives), Rosemary, and White Spruce. (If you are asthmatic, smell a drop of Eucalyptus before adding it to blend – in some asthmatics it can really help to open airways, but in others can cause an asthma attack. If you feel like you are beginning to tighten, do not use this essential oil.) Steam for 5 to 10 minutes – this will cause a lot of mucous to be expelled, so keep tissues nearby! Repeat 3 to 4 times per day until symptoms have diminished.

Using a diffuser with a stock blend is a great way to kill airborne germs and contaminants. There are so many oils to choose from, but some to consider are Hemlock, Cedarwood, Black Spruce, Lemon, and Ghandi Root. I generally recommend starting with 5 to 7 drops in diffuser, depending on type of diffuser and size of room. Increase or decrease as necessary. If diffusing around pets, small children, or elderly, use extra caution and make sure room is well ventilated. When using a diffuser, do not run the diffuser continuously throughout day. This is not only wasteful, but it is a lot for our bodies to process. A good rule is to diffuse for 20 minutes, turn off for an hour, and then repeat if desired.

Personal inhalers, one of my favorite delivery methods for many intentions, are another great addition to your winter “survival kit”. Inhalers are portable, discrete, long-lasting and inexpensive. Essential oils are always chosen for each individual client, but some good ones to try are Fragonia, Rosalina, Sitka Spruce, and my favorite, Ravintsara. Inhalers used during cold and flu season should contain oils which are anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-microbial, analgesic, strengthening to the immune system, and, if necessary, opening for nasal passages. If your nose is stuffy, Ravintsara is an “essential” essential oil to add to blend! Ravintsara, however, should not be used with children under 5 years of age, and in very small percentages with children under 10, due to high 1,8 cineole content.

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Holiday Health

Published on September 27, 2018 by

No Stress Express

With the holidays just around the corner, many of us are feeling the pressure of the hustle and bustle that the season seems to bring. Making time for self care is not everyone’s first priority, although it is a very important one we tend to ignore. Give yourself the gift of self care.

There are some simple things that you can do to ensure you enjoy the holiday season.

  1. Schedule time for you. Say no to things you don’t want to do. It’s ok to say no to others and say yes to yourself. Ensure you schedule in time to unplug regularly. You are important. The people who care about you will understand if you take time for you. Have time on a regular basis to do things that bring you joy and relaxation.
  2. Take an Epsom salt bath or schedule a Float on a regular basis. Magnesium is very calming to your brain and excellent for muscle soreness and body detoxification.
  3. Get outside a few minutes each day. Close your eyes and breathe in deeply and slowly. Even a few minutes a day can be rejuvenating to your mind.
  4. Turn off your phone alerts and check your phone when you want to. Having your phone buzz and ring at you is a stressful event to your brain. Take control of your phone instead of having it control you. It is also important to turn off your phone at night to give yourself a break from the outside world.
  5. Schedule a Reiki session. Reiki is a safe, natural, holistic healing practice. Reiki helps us move towards balance and wholeness by using simple relaxation techniques which activates the body’s natural healing response.

Benefits of Reiki:

  • Heal mind, body and emotions
  • Relieve pain and calm the mind
  • Promote deep relaxation
  • Relieve stress and anxiety
  • Increase rate of recovery from injury
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Help meditative state
  • Promote personal awareness
  • Enhance spiritual connection
  • Foster natural self healing
  • Balance energies in the body

Best of all, Reiki adapts to the needs of the recipient. If you are overwhelmed with stress, worry, emotional upsets, physical aches and pains, and disease you should consider a Reiki session. Your physical and energetic bodies will thank you!

By taking time to care for yourself on a regular basis, you will find yourself more energetic and able to handle life, as well as the holidays, much better. You can live an Optimal life by taking care of you!!

By Darla Conchas & Richelle Schmidt

Reiki Masters
Wellness Partners at An Optimal You

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New Year Reflections

Published on December 13, 2017 by

The new year is a great time to reflect upon what you would like to improve in your health and make positive changes. Sometimes this can seem overwhelming and yet, it can be a simple thing to do. There are things you can do in order to make positive changes painlessly and move towards your goal. Everyone thinks that you have to make drastic changes immediately, this is simply not true.

Healthy New Years

The first step is to set aside an hour or two to focus on what you want. If you are not clear on where you are going, it is easy to get off track. You are worth taking some time to visualize how you want to feel and look a year from now. Write down your thoughts. Include as much detail as you can—involve all of your senses(sight, sound, feeling, etc) . Write down what achieving your goal will mean for you in your life using all of your senses. Dig deep and write down everything that comes up. Use a pen and paper— this works better with our brains.

Once you have a clear idea on what you desire, you can achieve it by taking small actions daily towards your goal. Take your vision and first write down the big steps that it will take to get to your goal. Then break those down into smaller steps until you come up with easy to do action steps. You will be able to use your emotional attachment to your goal to help motivate you to stay on track as you take these small steps.

Next, write down obstacles in your life that could derail you from your plan. Be honest with yourself. Things are going to come up and that is to be expected. Plan for them and know how you will handle them.

Here is an example for you to understand the above recipe for success:

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Spring Cleaning For Your Health

Published on April 1, 2017 by

Spring is a great time to clean out your house but it is also a wonderful time to take stock of your health. Is there something that you want to improve upon?

Healthy Life Style Word Cloud

Take some time and think of one thing that you can work on. Write down a goal that is doable. For example you may want to lose weight but that is a huge goal. What if you start with eliminating soda, or adding more vegetables, or increasing the amount of movement you do every day; pick something that you can focus on and is a piece of your bigger goal.

Once you have picked the one thing that you can do and will do, take some time to develop a plan of action. Figure out a way that you can accomplish your goal. You may want to ask for guidance from someone who has achieved what you desire.

It is really that simple. We like to make things more complicated than they should be. Break down your big goal into easily obtainable goals. It is the little things that we do that add up to big successes.

Achieving Optimal health is a multifactorial approach. It involves getting the right mind set so that you may achieve your goals. It includes incorporating proper nutrition and supplementation, bio-identical hormone balancing, getting adequate sleep and exercise, and minimizing toxins. Each of these are important to address. Pick the piece that you want to work on and break it down into manageable steps.

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An Optimal You – 2017

Published on December 26, 2016 by

2017 and New Years Balls

Feeling optimal involves hormone balancing, restful sleep, adequate exercise, proper nutrition, detoxification, a healthy mindset, and the right supplements. Let’s talk about exercise since it is the beginning of the new year.

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get a parking space at the gym in January? The place is crowded with people coming and going all day long, every day. People are motivated and they go to the gym.

What does the parking lot look like in March? July? December? It has more open spaces and it is easy to park. We have all seen this trend. Typically in January people are motivated and energized to make a change and then this tapers off in February and as the year progresses.

Goals written on a napkin

The reason we see this trend is that people are trying to make a change by taking quick action and not by changing their mind set. They consciously want to make changes but forget that it takes more than that to create lasting change.

In order to create lasting changes it is important to first determine why you want to make the changes. There needs to be a motivating force to get you through the tough times. Take some time and write this down (pen and paper works best for your brain). Write down how it will feel when you have made the changes. Be specific on why you desire the changes and how it will make your life better. This applies to any change, not just exercise.

You would not get in your car in a new place and drive without looking at a map, would you? Create your map for the outcome that you desire. Be sure to write down why you want to make the changes you desire and look at it each day. This is your map that will guide you each day.

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Diet and Hormones

Published on December 6, 2016 by

Healthy Older couple in front of fruits and vegetables

Refined grains and sugars plus processed and heated fats, all serve to raise your estrogen and cortisol to abnormal levels. This affects both men and women. The increase in estrogen and cortisol can cause irritability, fatigue, moodiness, fat deposition, and an increased risk for certain cancers and heart disease.

Refined grains and sugars also decrease a number of other hormones critical to the health and wellbeing of both men and women. A decrease in Testosterone can cause sleep disorders, moodiness, depression, loss of focus, muscle mass decrease, and an increased risk for dementia, osteoporosis, and heart disease. A decrease in Progesterone can cause anxiety, sleep disorders, headaches, and an increased risk for osteoporosis, certain cancers, thyroid disorders, and dementia. A decrease in thyroid hormone can cause fatigue, weight gain, depression, and an increased risk for heart disease.

Treating hormone imbalances helps you to feel better and to prevent a variety of chronic diseases. Balancing your hormones requires a whole-body approach; addressing diet, exercise and other lifestyle-based strategies along with replacing deficient hormones with bio-identical hormones. A healthful diet, low in processed foods, minimal grains, and high in whole organic foods, along with regular exercise, can go a long way to ensuring that the bio-identical hormones prescribed for you can work optimally.

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The Ultimate Gift

Published on November 23, 2016 by

During the holiday season, so often people rush around to get the right gifts for those they love. They go to malls, shop on line, and spend their few spare minutes on shopping. The pressure to get things done is felt by many.

What if the gift you focus on, is the gift of taking care of you?

The results of taking care of you:

Present Wrapped with a bow
  • Sleep Better
  • More Energy
  • Balanced Hormones
  • Improved Mood
  • Less Pain
  • Less Disease
  • More Productivity
  • Healthy Libido
  • Optimal Weight
  • Live With Vitality

If you have these things, do you think that those you love will enjoy being around you?? Will they be happy for you? Hopefully the answer is YES!!

After spending 40 days in the hospital ten years ago, I learned that the people who care about you, want you to take of yourself. They understand when you take time and money to take care of you. They suffer when you suffer. They feel better when you feel better. Besides, why would you “kill” yourself pleasing the people who do not understand?

It is selfish not to take care of you. When your Progesterone, Testosterone, or Cortisol are depleted from stress; you will feel out of balance and those around you will suffer as well. When you overeat or don’t sleep because you are not taking time for you, your weight and irritability will increase. When you don’t take time to exercise you will have more pain, a depressed mood, and be less productive. The list goes on.

Taking time out for you is a gift for you and for those around you. Talk to your loved ones and come up with ideas to make this holiday season a time to rejoice and enjoy those you love. You will find that you have more energy and overall feel better.

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The Healthy Edge

Published on October 6, 2016 by

So often people ask for the diet to be on, the exercise routine that they need, or the specific supplement that is a must have. “Tell me what to do to be healthy” is the common question. But knowing what to do is only one piece of the puzzle. It is so easy to forget that the most important thing to do is to start with the mind.

I know that this may sound wierd and way out there, but it is the truth. It is very well documented. Your philosophy dictates how you feel about things and ultimately dictates the actions that you are willing to take which leads to your results.

This is the “slight edge” philosophy. I highly recommend the book, “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson. It explains this concept in an easily understood manner.

Man running up a hill at dusk

The essence of the slight edge is that it is the small daily little things that we do each day that lead us to positive results (or negative results if the small daily things are negative actions). For example, it may seem insignificant whether you eat french fries or broccoli. But, compound that decision over time and it adds up. The person who eats broccoli more often will end up with a healthier outcome than the person who chose french fries. Seemingly insignificant daily choices are what matter.

If you have the philosophy that you value health, this will lead to a healthy attitude towards food and exercise. This will result in you actually taking healthy actions (eating more of the healthy foods and exercising more often) which over time, will lead to the results that you truly desire. It is not glamorous, earth shattering type activities that lead you to the goal that you want. It is the small daily seemingly insignificant choices that you make that are based upon your philosophy.

What if you have the philosophy that you should be able to eat and drink what you want and that you hate exercise?? Do you see how that leads to an unhealthy attitude towards food and exercise, which leads to actions such as eating unhealthy foods more often and not exercising?? Which then leads to being a weight that you do not desire and/or being in a state of health that you do not desire.

It seems that the daily small choices do not matter, but they do. Our small daily actions that we take are based upon our core philosophies. Which means that it is critical to adjust our mindset and beliefs if we want a different result.

As part of helping patients achieve optimal health, addressing the mind is a very important piece. Your mind is a beautiful and powerful tool that you can use to your benefit. Re-balancing your hormones with bio-identical hormones and getting you on the right supplements do help you to have more energy, better focus, more vitality, sleep better, etc. To achieve optimal health, it is also important to work on a healthier diet, exercise program, and to overall detoxify. This involves addressing the mind. By adopting the right philosophy that creates the results that you want, you will find yourself achieving more than you ever thought possible.

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Published on August 21, 2016 by

inflammation word cloud

Inflammation has been found to be associated with just about every health condition. This is a change in direction from how medicine has been approaching diseases. Modern medicine has been focusing on treating symptoms, not addressing the root cause of an issue.

Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. Heart disease is inflammation of the arteries. Instead of taking a medication to reduce joint pain or lower cholesterol, it is smarter to reduce inflammation in the body–the source of the symptoms.

Although inflammation has long been known to play a role in allergic diseases like asthma, arthritis and Crohn’s disease, it is now believed that Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and Parkinson’s disease may all be related to chronic inflammation in the body.

Researchers believe that the cause of chronic inflammation is that our immune system becomes overactive. Your immune system gets overactivated from dietary and environmental toxins that build up in the body, turning the immune system on and keeping it highly reactive. This results in the body being flooded with immune defense cells and hormones that damage tissues.

Foods that promote inflammation include:

  • Corn and Soybean oils
  • Wheat and gluten containing products
  • Pasteurized dairy products
  • Refined carbohydrates
  • Conventional meat
  • Sugars
  • Trans fats
  • Foods you are specifically allergic too

Anti-Inflammatory foods can help you to reduce your inflammation and risk for disease and it can reduce any symptoms you are currently having. It is advised to eat foods with healthy fiber and plenty of organic non GMO fruits and vegetables to reduce inflammation.

Specific foods that can help you to reduce inflammation:

  • Acai fruit
  • Allium vegetables (chives, garlic, leeks, onions, scallions and shallots)
  • Beans and lentils
  • Green vegetables
  • Hot peppers
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Berries
  • Beans and Legumes (Ansazi beans, adzuki beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas or lentils)
  • Healthy Fats (avocadoes, expeller-pressed organic canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed, hazelnut oil, hemp seeds, high-oleic safflower or sunflower oils, sesame oil or walnut oil)
  • Herbs (basil, chili peppers, cinnamon, curry powder, garlic, ginger, rosemary, turmeric and thyme)

Supplements that can help you to reduce inflammation:

  • Co-enzyme Q10
  • Carotenoids
  • Fish oil
  • Selenium
  • Vitamins C, D, & E
  • Curcumin
  • Turmeric and reservatrol.

Reducing your cortisol (stress hormone) is also important. Supporting your adrenal glands by proper stress management and hormone balancing can also help reduce your inflammation. This takes some time and patience. Your health is worth it! Schedule time to focus on you on a daily basis. Unplug from electronic devices regularly. Be aware of negative influences on your health and minimize your exposure to them.

Reducing your inflammation has been linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In addition, it can help you to lose weight. Inflammation must be addressed if you want to stay or become healthy.

Come to Joseph Montgomery’s talk on inflammation at 10 am on September 17th at our Wellness Expo if you would like to learn more about this important topic!

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Guard Your Health

Published on August 2, 2016 by

About half of the American population has at least one chronic illness. The majority of these illnesses can be prevented, delayed, or alleviated with proper treatment. You do not have to suffer—we can do something about this together!

The Optimal Wellness Network was created in order to fill this role. “OWN your health” is the motto of our integrative network of wellness professionals. You do not need to be overwhelmed and confused by the information out there. By utilizing the services offered through the Optimal Wellness Network, you can get the results that you need and end up saving time and money.

Guardians Of Health Logo

People generally first come to our office seeking hormone balancing. Proper hormone balancing is a critical piece of your health. Having your Testosterone, Estrogen, Progesterone, Cortisol, Thyroid, and Growth Hormone properly evaluated is a must if you want to have a vital life. It is like having gas in your car. But it is not the entire answer.

To have optimal health we must also address what you eat & drink, your sleep, the supplements that you require, the stress that you have & your overall mind set, your exercise regime, and your toxin exposure. This can be overwhelming to most people. Each of these areas has multiple sub categories. Our goal is to simplify this for you and help you with every step.

The Optimal Wellness Network offers a true integrative approach to your health. The other practitioners in the network coordinate with what we do at An Optimal You. Here is the extended team of highly experienced and talented professionals that are available for you under one roof in our building in Murrieta:

  • An integrative nutrition specialist who eliminates the confusion about diets and supplements. He tailors his approach to your specific needs; helping you to achieve lasting energy, decreased inflammation, functional digestion, and overall great health.
  • A thermography expert who helps you to be proactive with your health. Why wait for disease to occur when you can detect the precursors to cancer and diseases?
  • A yoga instructor who specializes in customizing stretches and breathing exercises to your needs and capabilities. She will first listen to you and then guide you toward a healthier, more radiant life.
  • A massage therapist who gets to the root of your problems utilizing Ortho-Bionomy-a gentle, non invasive form of healing. She has a unique gift at reminding your body of its natural ability to restore balance and heal itself.
  • Hypnotherapists who can help you overcome a lack of confidence, phobias, smoking, weight concerns, sleep issues, etc. The power of the mind is incredible and the use of proper hypnotherapy allows you to heal yourself from the inside out.
  • Reiki practitioners who offer you a truly unique healing experience. Reiki utilizes your own body’s energy to heal itself. One of our Reiki practitioners is a Reiki master who also offers transformational coaching. Another Reiki practitioner also teaches you how to easily meditate.
  • A colon therapist that offers painless detoxification to rid your body of toxic chemicals, yeast, & parasites to promote a healthier colon. It is incredible the things that she can find and eliminate from your colon!
  • There is also a mild hyperbaric chamber—oxygen is good, more oxygen is better!! Pro athletes are using these types of chambers after their games in order to increase healing and improve recovery time.
  • A practitioner who specializes in PRP and Stem Cell—utilizing your body’s own healing powers to fix musculoskeletal complaints. You may be able to avoid surgery and steroid injections by utilizing this therapy that is widely used in professional athletes.
  • An ultrasound screening technician who offers ultrasound screenings without having to go through insurance hoops. An affordable way to check for problems.

It is sad when people choose the path of poor health, but it is a tragedy when they suffer because they do not know what is out there to help them. The Optimal Wellness Network works with you to reduce or eliminate pain, move better, think more clearly, sleep restfully, digest normally, feel balanced, and prevent disease. If you are interested in learning more about this amazing network and start your journey towards living a life with more vitality and joy; attend the upcoming wellness expo on Sept. 17th from 10 am to 3 pm.

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