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Tips for having a healthier relationship with substances from cannabis to caffeine and how to implement healthy eating habits without feeling overwhelmed.

Welcome back to another special-edition episode of Ask the Herbalist” on What’s the Juice. While the last episode focused heavily on just one question I received about hypothyroidism, this week I tried to answer as many hotline inquiries as possible. And like I’ve said — keep ‘em coming! Leave me a voicemail at 929.591.6432 so I can answer your wellness questions in my next episode. 

And please note before I dive in — this is not medical advice. Everyone’s situation is different. I’m simply sharing the information I’ve gathered along the way to help you know what to look for, what questions to ask, and how to support your overall well-being. 

Tune into the podcast for ALL the juicy goodness and find a brief overview of the episode below. 

I am having so much trouble quitting nicotine, and I’m wondering if there are any similarities you’ve experienced with quitting caffeine. Any advice? I just can’t seem to stick with it. 

Addiction is very much an issue of nervous system dysregulation. We’re utilizing a substance — in this case, nicotine — to try to self-regulate and stop “brain pain.” As with any “addiction,” it’s important to ask yourself the following questions: Is this substance helping me when I’m overwhelmed, sad, distracted, bored, etc.? What need is this substance trying to satisfy? 

Once you’re able to identify the void this substance is trying to fill, you’re on the path to discovering a new way to fulfill the need. Consider it data. The good news is we have lots of habits, strategies, and herbs that are not nicotine to scratch your itch, including:

Lobelia: Calms lung wind, helps increase focus, aids ADHD symptoms, and grounds the nervous system. Lobelia is often used as a tobacco substitute, and while smoking the herb can be helpful with nicotine withdrawal and mimics the “ritual” of smoking, I don’t recommend burning the herb long-term so as to protect and heal your lungs. Alternatively, you can find it in a powerful tincture form or a tincture blend with additional adaptogens and tension-calming herbs like milky oat seed, licorice root, Chinese skullcap, and/or calamus root.  

For so long, I’ve learned about food through your podcast, on Instagram, etc. But for some reason, I’m always overwhelmed by the idea — it actually stresses me out. I do well for a week, then I’m back to eating fast food. Where should I begin on this health journey?

First of all, NO SHAME. It’s okay for your food to be really freakin’ simple. As a busy entrepreneur, I find it so helpful to prep food in batches and rotate ingredients so I can get some variety in there without going overboard. That way, I’m able to make good, healthy choices on the fly without giving into cravings. 

Remember nothing has to be trendy or overcomplicated like what you see on Instagram. I give you permission to make it boring! That way, you might be excited to tackle those more exciting recipes or even recreate your favorite fast food meals.

As for the second part of the question about finding your life’s purpose, know that this is normal. Here are a few practical resources to help: 

  1. Listen to this episode with Amina AlTai on how to set boundaries in life/work relationships and finding your purpose, as well as on Liz Moody’s podcast on how to be happier at work. 
  2. Listen to this episode with Nikki Novo on how to strengthen your intuition, clear your energy, and identify your true purpose (beyond what you do for work). 

It will get better, and you will find your thing! As you listen to the podcasts I’ve linked above, I encourage you to think about other ways you can feel fulfilled in the meantime. These are the four areas I often audit in my own life: connection, creativity, service, and fun

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the episode! Be sure to drop a comment on IG, @shoporganicolivia.



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