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2116 Sunset Ave
Ocean Township, NJ, 07712

732.774.7808

What do you dream of achieving?

Imagine working with your very own champion to achieve your life plans of health, wellness and professional goals; the power of two minds collaborating toward your balanced path. I will work with you to inspire your life on your terms while creating more joy and balance in every daily aspect of who you are.

 

Blog

::A Glimpse of our Wyoming Wellness Retreat::

katie strakosch

✨Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living✨-Miriam Beard

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Breathe in the mountain air. Stretch your body. Strap on your cowgirl boots and invoke your western cowgirl goddess as we awaken our senses through a retreat week devoted to divine self-care. 

Our Wyoming Women's Retreat is a time where we learn how to honor our inner wisdom, tune out from the daily routine and tune into the body's cravings while embracing the beauty of Pachamama.

Envision yourself awakening in the morning to wander outside for our daily yoga offering (open to every level of experience). The class combines breathwork, movement and meditation crafted together to re-energize, rejuvenate and nourish the whole body.

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Conclude your night by stargazing under the great wide open midnight sky.

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In between the rising and setting sun, we will explore the land on a variety of excursions including:

✨Float Adventure down the scenic North Platte River


✨Spend a day horseback riding and picnicking to a mountain side meadow.


✨Restore the body and mind while soaking in thermal waters

✨Hike and explore trails in the Medicine Bow National Forest.


✨Self Care workshops

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And there will plenty of quiet time to reflect, nap and drink in the beauty of the land.

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✨Some of my most empowering and introspective moments have transpired when I've taken a solo journey to different parts of the globe. These have been the times when I've surrendered and opened up in ways I never dreamed of. ✨Travel has a way of doing that... guiding us deeper along on our journeys both outward and onward.

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✨✨If your spirit is craving adventure, I invite you to join us on our Wyoming Women's Retreat this August✨✨

http://www.sunshinekates.com/wyoming-retreat

Wellness Tips for the Holiday Weekend

katie strakosch

Memorial Day Weekend is finally upon us! It was a long winter, and now it's time to celebrate welcoming the summer and warm weather. 

I want to share some of my favorite simple tools to flow through the weekend with ease and energy!

 

HYDRATE WITH VITAMINS AND MINERALS

·         Get the juices flowing by starting your day with a cup of warm water and fresh squeezed lemon juice

·         Tote along a glass water bottle filled with filtered water and fresh lemon slices wherever your days lead you. Add a pinch of electrolyte powder to keep your cells hydrated  and replenished.

·         Coconut water is great because it contains electrolytes, which helps with dehydration. My favorite brands are Harmless Harvest & Taste Nirvana

·         Add a packet of freeze-dried green powder like Green Vibrance or Blue Green Algae for an added boost of nourishment and probiotics to inhibit bloating and get the skin glowing.

·         Celebrate with a mocktail made with mineral water, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and lime. Cheers to a happy liver!

·         Snack on veggies like celery and cucumbers which support sodium/potassium balance in the body, and create a goddess glow… My favorite morning drink is a fresh juice of celery, cucumber, lemon, a pinch of ginger and small slice of green apple. It has become my daily ritual to love up my body with this nourishing blend.

Protect your Skin

·         Use sunscreen to protect yourself from aging effects and cancers in skin due to UV exposure.

·         Opt for products that do not contain harmful chemicals that may cause accelerated damage to skin long-term and subsequently weaken internal tissues and organs. 

·         My favorite pick that I use all summer long: Good Hue ☀️ Protection. This is a nourishing blend of Coconut oil. Zinc oxide, Raspberry seed oil, Carrot seed oil, Vitamin E, Cape Chamomile and Lavender.  This sunscreen is all natural. Most sunscreens contain chemicals harmful to ocean life and reefs. Its estimated that “over 5 thousands metric tons of sunscreen wash off of swimmers each year”, now called swimmer pollution.  I wear it all day long, and after showering my skin feels hydrated unlike many other products that leave you feeling dry and dehydrated. 

-Astaxanthin! My favorite skin health supplement! Astaxanthin is a type of carotenoid which is the pigment that creates vibrant red-orange color to foods like salmon, lobster and algae. t is an antioxidant, so it naturally reduces free radicals in the body. It also significantly reduces the oxidative load in the body by protecting the cells against oxidation.  It offers many health benefits including:

Eye Health – The structure of astaxanthin is similar to other antioxidants: lutein and zeaxanthin. But it actually has a stronger antioxidant activity and UV-light protection effect, both of which point to it being an excellent supplement for eye health maintenance.

Skin Health – Astaxanthin has been shown to help improve skin moisture levels, elasticity, and smoothness while reducing wrinkles, freckles, and spots. 

Astaxanthin's antioxidant properties have also been shown to help improve heart heath, cellular health, and the body's immune system.

 

Move your Body

·         Get your body moving and grooving this weekend!

·         Beach Yoga Season begins this weekend in Bay Head! Join us on Howe Street 8-9am Saturday and Sunday and a special Memorial Day bonus on Monday morning!!

·         Turn on your favorite tunes and dance. Celebrate!

·         Take a barefoot stroll on the beach.

·         Go for a bike ride.

 Go Bunless

  • While the BBQ’s kick into full swing this weekend, steer clear of gluten containing inflammatory foods such as hotdog and hamburger buns.
  • Enjoy your dishes over greens inside. This will boost your fiber intake and inhibit the bloated feeling you can experience after consuming gluten. Raw food is skin food.

Grill with Clean Meats

·         Opt for meats that do not contain hormones and antibiotics. Ideally grass-fed and organic.

·         When cows are raised conventionally, they are typically fed grains and corn feed (they normally eat grass, and cannot digest corn), and as a result, are injected with hormones. These hormones are then passed on to those who eat the meats. This becomes a problem because it can throw our hormones into a tailspin, as we see a prevalence of estrogen dominance in both women and men.

·         When we consume meats that have been injected with hormones and antibiotics, it can also put a strain on our own digestive systems.

 

Indulge with the Sense of Nourishment and Pleasure

·         Listen to your body.

·         Add a glass of water after every alcoholic drink. Your body dilutes the toxins of alcohol with water. The water comes from your tissues or water you drink… Hence the dehydration that can happen with alcohol. Hydrate, babe!

·         Make activated charcoal your after-party. Wash her down with a glass of water. Activated charcoal can help counteract ingested poisons and enhance digestion health as it stays in the digestive tract. It is a highly absorbent material composed of tiny pores that capture, bind, and remove toxins.  

·         Overeating (and drinking) not only causes major inflammation in your digestive system which can lead to breakouts, but it’s really taxing on your body and mind. But, the reality is that it happens… Don’t beat yourself up and release the shame. Embrace the experience and then love and nourish your body up.

Beauty Sleep

·         Catch up on your zzz’s and let your mind restore itself. Your body does much of its detoxification while you’re asleep. It is the time your body uses to repair damaged tissue and flush out toxins you’ve been exposed to throughout the day.

·         Gaia Adrenal Health Nightly Restore helps maintain the body’s systems that support a healthy response to stress. It has a proprietary blend of herbs including Ashwagandha which helps to promote normal sleep patterns and supports healthy endocrine and immune systems. Magnolia bark calms occasional nervousness and supports sleep.  Lemon Balm show promise in research studies in promoting a sense of calm in the body.

·         Take care of your lymphatic system. Nourish your girls. My favorite tool to support the girls at night is Sentinel Breast Crème. This is a detoxing blend of herbs, nut butters, seeds and essential oils to stimulate lymphatic drainage, support the dissolving and flushing of aluminum salts and calcium deposits stored in breast tissue. This is an overnight application used when the body maximizes its natural detoxifying rhythms. 

::Take Care of the Girls : A Guide to Boosting Radiant Breast Health::

katie strakosch

 Radiance is a whole body job. Our outer terrain reflects the state of affairs from the deep inner workings in our goddess bodies.  I want to share some of my favorite ways to support everyday detox, maintenance and how to offer some good ol' TLC towards the girls.   

Self-Breast Massage.

How much love do you give to these beauties? It’s easy to neglect them and keep them cooped up in restrictive bras for too many hours!

Breast tenderness changes during the month. It changes as our hormones fluctuate. Establishing a daily ritual of giving yourself a breast massage will help you notice and identify any changes within breast tissue and offers your body another tool to decrease stress and tension.

Health Benefits include:

-Relieves tension, stress and tightness in the body.

-Increases energy flow and oxygen flow.

-Improves blood circulation.

-Flushes out toxins and encourages lymphatic drainage (this can prevent cysts and lumps from forming).

-Induces a sense of sensuality and connection the body.

-Alleviates premenstrual discomfort associated with breasts.

-Aids in reducing depression as it boosts oxytocin levels.

-Supports endocrine health and hormonal balance.

 

Nightly Breast Crème & Detox Deodorant

 

As cells regenerate (which is a natural regulation process in the body), they create cellular waste which must be excreted. These waste breast fluids flow through the breast lymphatics and out through the underarm (axilla). Buildups in the breasts may be the result of the body’s inability to flush out calcified salts from accumulated toxins from oxidized heavy metals including aluminum (from deodorants, personal care products, environmental exposures).

My favorite tool to support the girls at night is Sentinel Breast Crème. This is a detoxing blend of herbs, nut butters, seeds and essential oils to stimulate lymphatic drainage, support the dissolving and flushing of aluminum salts and calcium deposits stored in breast tissue. This is an overnight application used when the body maximizes its natural detoxifying rhythms. http://www.sunshinekates.com/shop-sunshinekates/sentinel-breast-creme

 

Get the Body Moving and Grooving

Exercise like walking, running, dancing, yoga, strength training, jumping on a rebounder (if you’ve been in my office, you know we love this trampoline!) stimulates lymphatic activity in the body. When your muscles move, they massage the lymphatic system and promote the flow of fluid through your lymph vessels.

Jumping on a rebounder not only supports breast health, but it also stimulates internal organs, supports intestinal health and assists in flushing toxins out of the body. On a side note, it can also help support heart health, reduce body fat, firm legs, thighs, and abdomen; and strengthens muscles throughout the body.

Exercise also helps improve hormone responses and lower cortisol, blood sugar and other factors which can affect hormones.

 

Infrared Sauna.

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Infrared saunas stimulate lymphatic drainage and boost circulation, which helps to bring essential nutrients, oxygen and other substances to the cells of the body.

The heat also stimulates a cellular detoxification mobilizing toxins through the body. There are two types of toxins in the body.

Water-soluble toxins: which are easily flushed out of the body via the blood and kidneys.

Fat-soluble toxins (Obesogenic compounds): which must be converted by the liver to become water soluble. Fat-soluble toxins include pesticides, preservatives, food additives, heavy metals, pollutants, plastics, other environmental chemicals, fragrances like perfumes, personal care products including deodorants.

 

Dry Skin Brushing.

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Dry skin brushing can increase circulation and oxygen flow, flush the lymphatic system and remove dead skin cells amongst other health benefits. Spend 3-5 minutes of brushing before you jump in the shower in the morning. Start at with your arms and legs and use long strokes to move the brush towards your heart. **This is a very inexpensive investment of resources with a huge payout of results**

 

Nourishment.

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Take a close look at what you put into your body on a daily basis.

Where is it coming from? What kind of packaging does it come in? How many ingredients does it contain? Is it man-made or Mother Nature made?

 

The Underarm Controversy.

There has been a long-standing debate about the ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants containing certain heavy metals and endocrine disruptors.

Many commercial deodorants contain parabens and estrogen mimicking chemicals that may also impact breast health. A recent study found aluminum in cancerous breast tissue that had been removed during a mastectomy. The aluminum concentration was higher in tissue near the underarm. "Aluminum is added to deodorants to prevent sweating. The metal has been shown to trigger cancer in animals but it is not known whether or not this could cause the same problems in humans."

Explore the ingredients in your underarm care. There are many natural, inexpensive, effective deodorant options that do not contain any of these chemicals. To make it even more accessible, there are many ways to make your own natural and chemical free deodorants!

GRATITUDE.

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Offer it out. Bring it in. Every single day... 

 

 

 

Summer Afternoon Lemonade Cooler

katie strakosch

Hydrate and nourish your body with this easy recipe. It’s versatile so you can mix and match herbs that support your body based on your health focus. Lemons are naturally detoxifying and anti-inflammatory, local honey boosts the immune system and fresh herbs can energize or relax you depending on selection.


Ingredients

  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 2 cups sparkling water
  • 1-2 tablespoons raw and local honey
  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (I love the combination of rosemary and lavender)
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
    **Makes 3 servings

Preparation

  1. Place lemon juice, mineral water and honey into a blender, add ice and pulse to crush ice.
  2. Add herbs and salt and pulse for one moment.
  3. Pour into mason jars. Garnish with sprig of fresh rosemary. Serve immediately

Enjoy making a batch, pour into your favorite mason jars and kick your shoes off while you relax and sip a glass of summer afternoon bliss.

::The In-Between::

katie strakosch

'The waiting.
The meantime.
The in-between.
It all serves a purpose.
Trust your process, even the delays and detours.'


Ahh, the waiting....

“Sometimes, to get from where we are to where we are going, we have to be willing to be in-between.

One of the hardest parts is the concept of letting go of what is old and familiar, of what we don’t want, and being willing to stand with our hands empty while we wait for what fills them next.

Being in-between can apply to every aspect of our lives, as well as emotions, behaviors and habits.

Being in-between isn’t always fun or easy, but it’s necessary.
It will not last forever.
It may feel like we’re standing still, but we’re not.
We’re standing at the in-between place.
It’s how we get from here to there. It is not the destination.

We are moving forward, even when we’re in-between."

I share the photo above that I snapped last spring as a beautiful reminder of embracing the in-between and celebrating the beauty and color of the season. 


Cheers to embracing all of your in-betweens and the beauty that awaits to be unveiled there!
.
-Sunshine Kate

::Friday the 13th::

katie strakosch

Happy Friday the 13th! 

The # 13 is associated with feminine energy.
Tis the day to honor and nourish your creativity, beauty and sensuality. 
The # 13  is considered to be the number of death and rebirth, creation, fertility and blood. This is because as women  we have 13 moon cycles a year and the average female also experiences 13 periods per year.

Wow! Very different than the association with unluckiness.
How blessed are we to experience this type of flow and fluidity in our lives?!

I hope you honor and celebrate your divine feminine energy.


My male friends reading this.. you too!
That's the beauty of life: we balance the masculine and feminine. 

Supporting Natural Detoxification in the Body

katie strakosch

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The spring season is a time of new beginnings. It’s a time of renewed energy.  We feel it in our bodies, we see it all around us in nature. It’s a time to integrate new healthy habits to support whole body wellness.

I’ve put together a list of methods to help naturally support your body feeling its best this season.

Different Methods of Supporting Natural Detox in the Body:

Hydrate your beautiful body!  

Water is key to flushing out your system, hydrating your skin for that healthy glow, and boosting your metabolism. Add fresh lemon or a pinch of Himalayan or Celtic salt to protect those kidneys. Electrolyte powder is also a supportive tool in giving your cells the energy they need to function, thrive and keep the body energized.

Load up on greens!  

Leafy greens are full of vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting phytochemicals as well as a source of fiber which can aid in weight loss. The more bitter the greens, the better they are for liver support.

Move your body, Move your lymph.

Moving your body reduces stress, supports heart health and helps to flush toxins and stagnant energy out. Aim for at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity. Explore new ways of stimulating your lymphatic system like jumping on a rebounder, jumping rope or taking a brisk walk.

Eliminate inflammatory foods from the diet.

These include sugar, dairy, gluten, corn, soy, caffeine, alcohol. These foods tend to tax the liver and lead to stagnant energy which can show up as pain in the joints, digestive distress, sinus congestion, headaches and irritability.  

Dry Skin Brush on a daily basis!

This is a TWO MINUTE investment of energy which can lead to increased energy throughout the day!  Read more about the lymphatic system here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/blog/the-lymphatic-system

Sweat!

Far Infrared Sauna is a whole body way to increase circulation while flushing toxins out. Far Infrared Waves help expedite toxins out at a cellular level.  Here is a link to my recent sauna blog: http://www.sunshinekates.com/blog/infrared-sauna-health-benefits

Soak.

Epsom salt baths reduce stress and inflammation in the body while enhancing sleep quality. Epsom salts are loaded with magnesium which help to support the nervous system and ease muscle tension.  Don't have a bathtub? Create an Epsom salt foot soak! Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to the bath or footbath and enjoy! I love to take an Epsom bath at the end of the day and drift off to bed. Sleep is the time when the body maximizes its detoxification functions in the body

Flush the Tubes: Coffee Enemas

This is a process where filtered water/coffee is introduced in the rectum through a pipe to soften and expel toxins or accumulated waste from the colon. The colon plays an important part in digestion, and extracting all the nutrients you need from your diet to keep you healthy. Coffee enemas rapidly help remove toxins from the liver. A coffee enema can help support the liver to produce more bile, open the bile ducts, and cause the bile to flow.

Fresh Air.

Improve air quality in homes and office space by opening you windows. Even if it’s for few minutes, crack them open and welcome in fresh air.

Reduce your Time with Electronics (especially in the evening). 

Power down from all electronics at least 30 minutes to an hour before you turn off the lights. Electronics emit a light that disrupts our natural sleep cycle, so it is important to give our eyes and minds a chance to transition.

Create a sleep sanctuary.

Turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary. This means removing the electronics from the room! Use an good ‘ol alarm clock, not your phone to wake up. Your sleep sanctuary should be just that! A place for rest.  Try to sleep in a room with complete darkness. Falling asleep with the television on is a big NO-NO!

These are a few of my favorite tools. I would love to hear from you on how you support your body!

 

Infrared Saunas

katie strakosch

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Infrared saunas are an effective tool for natural healing, prevention, maintenance and overall wellness. Infrared light has the ability to penetrate human tissue which in turn produces a host of health benefits making infrared saunas one of the “hottest” therapies for overall healthier living.

We have offered our Far Infrared Sauna Sessions in our two offices for over three years here on the Jersey Shore.

Clients utilize the saunas for immune support, pain relief, detoxification, pre-conception preparation, stress relief, as well as a tool to step away from busy schedules and renew themselves.

We want to share a few of the many health benefits that can be gained by experiencing an infrared sauna and a few important components to tune into when using an infrared sauna.


When you decide to use an infrared sauna, it is important to tune into quality!

There are many brands of sauna available on the market and many levels of quality. This is the most essential component! The sauna wood should be completely non-toxic and non out-gassing. Many low price saunas generally use thinner and cured woods that emit gas into the air and are inhaled back into the body (this negates the whole experience of detoxing).

Tune into the material used to make the heat emitter: carbon or ceramic. Carbon heaters have the advantage of spreading heat more evenly around the sauna unit. This ensures that all the wall space is covered and heat penetrates your body more evenly and safely. We use Sunlighten Saunas which have patented Solocarbon heating panels. These are FDA approved, ultra-low EMF exposure and support health benefits like reduced blood pressure, weight loss, and detoxification due to high concentrations of infrared waves—not just heat ( i.e. coal burning saunas). Sunlighten has the only far infrared heater on the market clinically shown to raise core body temperature, lower blood pressure and aid in weight loss. 

Research Supported and Practitioner Education

Only Sunlighten saunas are medical-grade, clinically backed and proven 95-99% effective. When you decide to use an infrared sauna in different health practices, it is important to work with a practitioner who is educated around the contraindications and counter effects of detoxing (and how to manage these).

 

 

Some of the Health Benefits Gained from Infrared Saunas Include:

Detoxification   

Sweating is the body’s safe and natural way to heal & stay healthy. Far infrared heats the body directly causing a rise in core temperature resulting in a deep, detoxifying sweat at the cellular level, where toxins, viruses, bacteria and old residue reside. 

Relaxation    

Unlike traditional saunas which operate at extremely harsh temperatures, infrared is a gentle, soothing and therapeutic heat that promotes relaxation and improved sleep. Infrared sauna therapy helps you relax while receiving an invigorating deep tissue sweat, leaving you fully refreshed after each session. 


Lower Blood Pressure    

Infrared saunas induce a deep sweat to make the heart pump faster, which in turn increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure and helps circulation. Scientific evidence shows that using an infrared sauna a couple times a week lowers blood pressure. 


Anti-Aging & Skin Purification   

The near infrared wavelength (sometimes referred to as Red Light Therapy) is the most effective wavelength for healing the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin. Infrared treatments stimulate collagen production to reduce wrinkles and improve overall skin tone. 


Cell Health   

Near infrared therapy stimulates the circulatory system and more fully oxygenate the body’s cells. Better blood circulation means more toxins flow from the cellular level to the skin’s surface to improve cell health, aid in muscle recovery and strengthen the immune system.

We have two locations in Monmouth County, NJ:

2116 Sunset Ave Wanamassa, NJ

79 Oak Hill Road Red Bank, NJ

Infrared sauna sessions combined with chromotherapy are a supportive tool to boost the immune system and bid adieu to the winter blues!  http://www.sunshinekates.com/blog/chromotherapy-sauna-benefits-color-therapy-explained

 

Retreat. Refresh. Renew.

katie strakosch

'Approfondement' : a French word that means 'playing easily in the deep.'
 

Over the past three years, I've been blessed to have led four wellness retreats to Italy celebrating the Approfondement way of living.

We dedicate our retreat weeks to divine self care by recharging our minds and bodies. 
Awakening the senses through movement, food, nature, community, solitude, connection, surrender, release, clarity and embracing the mystery of life.

What draws women in to join the retreats? 


Many reasons...
adventure, relaxation, celebration, curiosity..

Some women decide to embark on the retreats solo, others travel with friends, sisters, mothers...
to bond, to release the ending of relationships, jobs, to celebrate life, etc.
It's been a beautiful process to witness women saying 'Yes' to opening up to the unknown.
Witnessing the shifts and awakenings of these women during and after the retreat week has been nothing short of INCREDIBLE!


The experience of spending a week away permeates our cells in a way that the benefits are ever-flowing afterwards.

Every time I’ve taken my own retreat, I've come back a different person.

It's created a shift in me. I've learned a bit more about myself where I've connected deeper.   I've opened up more to vulnerability, to surrendering old patterns and beliefs and dreaming a bigger vision for my life. 

In our society, we experience a constant of everyday life demands. Sometimes it’s just necessary to get away ---to step really away --- to focus solely on YOU without distraction and the responsibility of daily life. 

This can be a time of sweet respite, rejuvenation and replenishment.

This year, we are staying stateside heading to Medicine Bow, Wyoming.

Nestled away at 8500 feet in the Snowy Range of the Rocky Mountains, we will spend our time at a beautiful rustic dude ranch.
An area completely untapped by technology and development.
It's a spot to bring us right back to our connection
to Mother Earth in all her beauty.

Excursions include:

  • Float Adventure down the scenic North Platte River
  • Spend a day horseback riding and picnicking to a mountain side meadow
  • Restore the body and mind while soaking in thermal waters 
  • Hike and explore trails in the Medicine Bow National Forest

Each day will begin with awakening the body in movement and yoga classes (accessible to all levels of yoga experience).
We will spend the days exploring the region on our excursions, feeding our bodies with local and sustainable cuisine and complete each day embracing awe inspiring sunsets all while connecting with your inner goddess cowgirl. 

 

If you are a woman craving a week to refresh, renew and connect with other amazing women, I invite you to come along!  
Wyoming Retreat!

Womb Wellness Podcast with Dr. Christine Schaffner

katie strakosch

This week's blog is actually a podcast!  

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/3-womb-wellness-and-yoni-steam-katie-strakosch/id1339733591?i=1000400976854&mt=2

I sat down with my dear friend, Dr. Christine Schaffner, to chat about the world of womb wellness. Christine is an inspirational and progressive physician based out of Seattle. She is shedding light on so many aspects of chronic illness including exploring the root causes, underlying environmental exposures and creating healing protocols. 

We invite you to settle in, cozy up with a cup of tea and tune into the wisdom that the body holds within the womb.

Here is a bit more about Christine:

Dr. Christine Schaffner is a board certified Naturopathic physician who graduated from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.  Prior to Bastyr, she completed her undergraduate studies in Pre-medicine and Psychology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Dr. Schaffner is passionate about practicing medicine and creating healing spaces.  She is the Clinic Director of Sophia Health Institute; the clinic she co-created with her mentor Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt in Woodinville, Washington.  She actively sees patients at Sophia Health Institute and through her practices Marin Naturopathic Medicine in California, as well as Bella Fiore Organic Med Spa & Klinik in Seattle, Washington.

You can learn more about her here: http://www.drchristineschaffner.com/

Womb Wellness & Detox Packs

katie strakosch

The womb is our connection to the very essence of what makes us women.
This space within a woman’s body is the “house” of our Sacred Seat.
The Sanskrit name for a woman's womb is known as 'Yoni'.
This is all encompassing of the reproductive system: physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

Every woman has an energetic connection to healing and nourishment through her womb, regardless if her organs are present or not.

One of the tools that we offer under our Womb Wellness Services is a 'Womb Detox Pack'. This is a combination of castor oil and bentonite clay applied over the lower abdominal area and over the liver (located under the right rib-cage). After the pack is applied, it is covered with infrared heat. 

We focus both on the liver and lower abdominal area to support the whole endocrine system. The Thyroid produces T4, and sends T4 to the liver to be converted to T3. When the liver is congested, it cannot process the T4 and then thyroid imbalances can occur.

The liver loves love and attention. It is one of the most forgiving organs in the body. It takes on a big role of filtering and detoxifying everything that the body is exposed to through food, water, personal care products and environmental exposures.

The body produces excess hormones during the different times of the month when a woman is cycling and the liver needs support to keep the filtration system flowing.

 Some of the benefits that can be gained from using womb detox packs include:

  • Supports an increase in circulation and lymphatic drainage
  • Supports removal of impurities and heavy metals
  • Supports pain relief
  • Cleanses and purifies the skin
  • Reduce symptoms of PMS
  • Soothes and eases congestion in the liver and lower belly
  • Supports ovarian health
  • Supports fallopian tube health
  • Supports uterine health
  • Deepens the connection to the body: physically, emotionally and energtically
  • Healing to the body after cesarean births (as castor oil can help disipate scar tissue)

***Belly Wraps are not intended to treat or cure medical conditions.  Please seek the advice of a medical practitioner.

Learn more our Womb Wellness Services here

 

 

My Winter Women's Wellness Guide

katie strakosch


Yoni Steams

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A yoni steam is a warm steam bath for the vagina. It combines a customized blend of herbs and warm steam generated from a pot beneath a seat. It is a powerful and grounding experience that can be a vehicle in healing on all of these levels.

Yoni translates to ‘sacred seat' all-encompassing of the reproductive system: physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

A yoni steam is a gentle way to bring warm steam and heat to the pelvis and to the womb, increasing circulation and energy flow. The moist heat opens up the pores of the tissues and the herbal infusion offers the medicinal benefits of the plants.

The vaginal tissue is one of the most porous and absorbent of the entire female body. As a result, the steam is supportive for women’s reproductive, urinary and digestive health.

This was major game-changer for my body! After I first experienced this tool, I knew life would never be the same. I have consistently practiced monthly yoni steams for the past few years. My cycles have never been so beautiful: regular, no PMS symptoms, PCOS has cleared. My own practice led me to explore a certified training program. This was very complementary to my background in nutrition and herbs. This has enhance my passion to share this tool with other woman

**Please note that it is essential to work with a trained practitioner when you begin to explore your yoni steam practices. The yoni is a sacred seat of a woman's body. **

Read more about womb wellness work here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/wombwellness/


Yoni Eggs

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The practice of yoni eggs involves wearing a gemstone carved like an egg inside the vagina. When you practice with a Yoni Egg, you engage the muscles of the vagina and the pelvic floor. While practicing, the brain can begin to create new neuron connections correlated with areas of the body. 

Living our busy lives, we do not engage the pelvic floor muscles. This leads to loss of sensitivity and sensation in the vaginal area, reproductive health problems, urinary health interferences, PMS, disempowerment, decreased libido and a disconnection to our sacred feminine energy.

Studies show that the main culprit of reproductive dis-ease is lack of blood flow to this area of the body.

According to the Yale University School of Medicine, women overall have an up to 60% rate of incontinence and 50% rate of POP (pelvic organ prolapse) post-partum today. 

Yoni Eggs offer many health benefits including,but not limited to:

  • Gain control of the perineum and all groups of pelvic floor muscles
  • Support Orgasmic Health: including vaginal, cervical and uterine orgasms
  • Reducing PMS, menstrual cramps, breast discomfort; as through regular practice it can increase blood flow to pelvic organs and help move stagnant energy.
  • Stimulates the ovaries in a gentle way balances hormone levels

Read more about Yoni Eggs here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/wombwellness/


Plant Based Collagen

This is my favorite way to naturally boost collagen in my body. It strengthens bones, nails, hair, tissue and skin. I love how it supports an inner and outer glow!

Read more about it here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/shop-sunshinekates/anima-mundi-plant-based-collagen

 


 

V-Magic Down There Care

 

 

This an all-natural vulva and intimate skin cream that soothes, protects and calms. This nourishing cream provides immediate relief for dryness, redness, itching, burning and general discomfort. Vaginal tissue is vulnerable to temperature change and dampness. This is a proprietary blend of antimicrobial and antibacterial ingredients that can counter the irritated tissues.

This is an everyday cream that can be used both day and night.

Read more about it here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/shop-sunshinekates/v-magic


V-Magic Feminine Wash

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This gentle wash soothes, calms and nourishes the most delicate area of a woman's body. It's divine rejuvenation for the winter months.

Read more about it here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/shop-sunshinekates/vmagic-gentle-feminine-wash


 

Infrared Sauna Therapy

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Infrared Sauna Heat warms your body from the inside out. It helps increase your core body temperature which in turn:

-Reduces Inflammation in the body

-Supports Circulation

-Supports Lymphatic Drainage

-Supports Reducing Stress

-Improves Cellular Renewal

-Boosts the body's resistance to bacteria and viruses

-Chromatherapy Lights support mood, reduce SAD (Winter Blues), enhance relaxation

I work a few sauna sessions into my week to support my body and mind. I am a sun-worshiper. I thrive in the warm months. Using the sauna has reduced my response to the winter blues, keeps my spirit up and has improved my immune health.

Learn more about the infrared sauna here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/infraredsauna/

 

 


 

Cheers to nourishing your body this winter!

I would love to hear some of your favorite winter self-care tools!

My Favorite Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

katie strakosch

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a medically recognized form of clinical depression that typically occurs during the darker winter months.  It is most likely caused by shorter daylight hours which cause shifts in the body’s biological clock and hypothalamus.

The winter blues are most severe during November, December, January and February.

Some symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Mood changes
  • Over-eating
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Sleep problems
  • Weakened immune system
  • Restlessness

A little background on brain health: During the hours of darkness, the pineal gland produces a chemical called melatonin which makes us feel drowsy and signals the time for sleep. Exposure to sunlight prevents the production of melatonin whilst increasing the production of a neuro-transmitter called serotonin.

When the seasons change, the circadian rhythm (biological clock) in your body shifts due to the changes in daylight, and this can affect the body’s production of serotonin and hormones. It has been discovered that disruption to the body’s circadian rhythms together with a decreased production of serotonin can trigger depression.

Hence the need for natural daylight!!


Move & Groove Every Day

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Exercise pumps up your endorphins, your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters.
Movement supports a sense of well-being, while flushing away any residue from the holidays and BOOSTS the immune system!
Experiment with what type of exercise works for you and GET MOVING!

I keep a rebounder in my office and find myself taking short breaks to JUMP. Five minutes of rebounding generates such a boost of energy and gets the blood pumping!

Support your Vitamin D levels

Vitamin D plays major roles in:

  • immune function
  • heart health
  • joint health
  • manages blood pressure
  • oral health
  • mental health (as low levels are linked to depression and anxiety)
  • supports weight management

Ways to increase your Vitamin D levels:

  • eat fatty, cold-water fish like salmon and sardines
  • consider supplementation 
  • take a vacation someplace warm and sunny ( I know it isn’t always practical to step away from life and resources can be limited, but if you really struggle with the winter blues, taking a short trip to soak up vitamin D does wonders for the spirit).

Eat

I hear it over and over again around this time of year 'I'm on a detox cleanse'. 
Yes, it is a wonderful time to move away from the overindulgence of the holiday season. But please remember this beauty, DON'T STARVE YOURSELF!
During the winter, your body needs and craves heartier foods rich in high quality protein and essential fatty acids. You need food to maintain immune function, hormonal balance and energy. 
Take the time to nourish your body through warming soups and stews.

Start your day with a boost of protein through eggs or a superfood smoothie.
Feed your body healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds, nut butters, guacamole. Lean proteins and essential fatty acids can boost levels of serotonin (which can be deficient with SAD). An increase of starchy carbs and sugars can leave the body feeling bloated and the mind foggy.


Sleep

  • Don't skimp on this essential foundation for life!
  • Emails, projects and everything can wait until the morning. 
  • Give yourself permission to rest and restore for at least 7-8 hours!
  • Create a sleep sanctuary for yourself. Remove all electronics, including your cell phone from your nightstand.
  • Buy yourself a good ‘ol battery operated alarm block.
  • The lighting in your bedroom should support a peaceful environment.
  • This room should be used for sleep and sex only.
  • Not for falling asleep with the light of the television shining on your pretty face all night.
  • Without proper sleep, your body cannot regulate its natural detox pathways. What does this mean the next morning?
  • We wake up looking puffy and have an increase in cortisol production in the body, leading to excess weight.

Explore my recent blog on Sleep Essentials called 'Sleep Superfoods'


Light Therapy

Have you ever heard of the ‘Happy Lights’?  I had not until I spent my first winter in Seattle during college. I found myself calling it a day by 4pm, with pj’s on and feeling very blah… These ‘Happy Lights’ provide Natural Spectrum light comparable to daylight. Natural spectrum light cues the body and boosts energy while reducing sluggishness. This lovely light was a game changer for my whole body!

Another form of light therapy is using the Infrared Sauna.

The light found in a far infrared sauna is far infrared light, a type of invisible light located below the optical color red in the electromagnetic spectrum.

Far infrared light is used to purify polluted air, keep newborn babies warm in hospitals, promote growth in plants and more.

The infrared saunas we have are equipped with Chromotherapy Lights. Chromotherapy is the science of using colors to adjust body vibrations to frequencies that result in health and harmony. Each color possesses frequencies of a specific vibration, and each vibration is related to different physical symptoms.

Our bodies need the sun’s light to live. Color therapy works on various energy points to help balance your body via the full spectrum of visible light, each color addressing a distinct need.

Enter in the many benefits far infrared light offers in sauna sessions:

  •  increased blood circulation
  • improved cardiovascular functioning
  • strengthened immunity
  • relief of headaches, muscle pain and joint stiffness
  • deep cellular detoxification
  • improved sleep quality
  • decreased stress levels in the body

Ready to stop reading all about the infrared sauna and come experience it for yourself?  Book your experience here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/infraredsauna/


Aromatherapy

Essential oils influence the limbic system, which is the area of the brain responsible for controlling our moods and the body’s circadian rhythm.

Using uplifting and energizing essential oils can be used as room diffusers, pillow sprays, body mist, bath soaks and body oils can boost the spirit and support the emotional body.

These oils can include (but not limited to):

  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Bergamot
  • Grapefruit

We’ve created a supportive ‘Beat the Winter Blues Kit’ to support you not only surviving but THRIVING during the winter months! Explore all of its magic here: http://www.sunshinekates.com/shop-sunshinekates/winter-blues-kit

I would love to hear some of your favorite ways to beat the winter blues!

Sleep Superfoods

katie strakosch

We crave it.

We chase it.

We take potions, tonics, pills and spend lots of money, energy and resources to experience the richness of it.

The body does most of its detoxification while you’re asleep. It is the time when the body rids toxins and buildup that it’s been exposed to during the day. We need at least 7-8 hours of restful sleep, but most of us are lucky if we get 5-6 fitful hours.

Without adequate sleep, many systems of the body go awry. 

We deal with blood sugar instability, hence the sweet cravings. 

We increase our stores of cortisol = excess weight. 

We become anxious, depressed, moody, fatigued.

We struggle with loss of sex drive, infertility, inflammation,

In order to ensure a restful and restorative sleep session, it is important to be mindful of the hours leading up to dreamtime.


sleep

I’ve put together a list of my favorite sleep practices and tools to explore.

  1. Power down from all electronics at least 30 minutes to an hour before you turn off the lights. Electronics emit a light that disrupts our natural sleep cycle, so it is important to give our eyes and minds a chance to transition.
  2. Turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary. This means removing the electronics from the room! Use an good ‘ol alarm clock, not your phone to wake up. Your sleep sanctuary should be just that! A place for rest.  Try to sleep in a room with complete darkness. Falling asleep with the television on is a big NO-NO!
  3. Sip a calming tea containing herbs like chamomile, kava kava, lemon balm and passionflower.
  4. Soak in an Epsom salt bath. This not only eases muscle tension, but increases detox pathways in your body.
  5. Oil up those tootsies! Give them a little massage using coconut oil or castor oil. Add your favorite relaxing essential oils for an aromatherapy experience. The feet are connected to every organ in the body. Why not love them up before closing your eyes?
  6. Write it out. Take a few minutes before going to bed to write out your to-do list for the next day. When you go to bed with a full mind, it can be challenging for the mind to quiet and truly rest during sleep.
  7. Say your gratitude prayer. Take a moment to reflect on the blessings of the day. Send your gratitude out into the world.

Cheers to a nourishing winter's rest!

Chromotherapy Sauna Benefits: Color Therapy Explained

katie strakosch

infraredsauna

We are right around the corner from winter, and many people now understand what “winter blues” are, in fact, the very real Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Many SAD sufferers find relief with bright light therapy but others are unable to use bright light therapy for various sensitivity or medical reasons. Chromotherapy, which is known as color therapy, is integrated into all our far infrared sauna session to help balance the body’s energy wherever it is lacking. Chromotherapy sauna benefits include physical, emotional, mental and spiritual healing.

Chromotherapy is the science of using colors to adjust body vibrations to frequencies that result in health and harmony. Each color possesses frequencies of a specific vibration, and each vibration is related to different physical symptoms.

Our bodies need the sun’s light to live. And that light can actually be broken down into a seven color spectrum. An imbalance of any of those colors can manifest itself in physical and mental symptoms. Color therapy works on various energy points to help balance your body via the full spectrum of visible light, each color addressing a distinct need.

Color and light have been utilized by healers for thousands of years. Color therapy possibly has roots in Indian medicine (Ayurveda), ancient Egyptian culture and traditional Chinese healing.

Alternative medicine practitioners who use chromotherapy often relate the seven colors of the color spectrum to specific body areas.*

sourced from  www.sunlighten.com


A Brief Overview of Colors used in Chromotherapy

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Red

  • Red is believed to increase the pulse, raise blood pressure and increase the rate of breathing. Red would be applied to support circulatory and nervous functions.

Strong Pink

  • Strong pink acts as a cleanser, strengthening veins and arteries.

Pink

  • Pink activates and eliminates impurities in the blood stream.

Orange

  • Orange is a mixture of red and yellow. Activates and eliminates localized fat. Assists with asthma and bronchitis

Strong Yellow

  • Strong yellow strengthens the body and activates internal tissues.

Yellow

  • Yellow, the brightest color used in chromotherapy, has been used to purify the skin, help with indigestion, strengthen the nervous system, treat glandular diseases, hepatitis and lymphatic disorders and assist metabolism.

Green

  • Green, a color associated with harmony, provides a neutral, positive calming effect.

Strong Green

  • Strong green provides anti-infectious, anti-septic and regenerative stimulation.

Strong Blue

  • Strong blue lubricates joints, helps address stress, nervous tension and infections.

Blue

  • Blue promotes relaxation and calm. Blue exhibits tranquilizing qualities often used to relieve headaches and migraines, colds, stress, nervous tension, rheumatism, stomach pains, muscle cramps and liver disorders. Blue is thought to have a positive effect on all kinds of pain.

Indigo

  • Indigo is used to address conditions involving the eyes, ears and nose. It has a calming, sedative effect.

Violet

  • Violet is used to calm the nervous system, soothe organs and relax muscles. Violet has meditative qualities and is often used to treat conditions of the lymphatic system and spleen, as well as urinary disorders and psychosis.

All wooden Sunlighten saunas have a chromotherapy lighting option available. This add-on is unlike any other on the market, offering sauna benefits unique to other forms of color therapy. Instead of single color lights, Sunlighten’s package includes 16 colors, four color-changing modes, and four brightness/intensity settings. The lights are soft and gentle and can be controlled by remote. Very affordable, chromotherapy lighting is one of our most popular infrared sauna options.

Color therapy has been practiced throughout the world for centuries, and remains one of the most popular Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies available.**


*What is Color Therapy?, Insight Journal, October 16th, 2006

**A Critical Analysis of Chromotherapy and its Scientific Evolution, Samina T. Yousuf Azeemi and S. Mohsin Raza, Evid Based Complement Alternative Med. 2005 December; 2(4): 481-488.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1297510/

Refining Self Care

katie strakosch

 I hope this finds you well flowing through November.
It's hard to believe we are approaching the middle of the month already!
I just returned back to NJ this week after leading another women's retreat in Italy.
It was a beautiful time of year to be over there.
We were tucked away in a quaint village in the mountains immersed in the fall season.
Leaves were radiating their beautiful colors, fireplaces were ablaze with warmth and the crisp air helped flush the lungs.
 

RE-CALIBRATION. 
That was the big 'aha!' takeaway of the week for so many of the women on the retreat.
They said 'YES' to taking the time for self-care,
hit the pause on 'doing' and eased into 'being', 
took a deep look at their lives.. 
and gently began to cultivate awareness of what was flowing and what felt stagnant.

Yes, it is a true blessing to be able to travel on a retreat and have the opportunity to explore life from this perspective.
BUT, it is not the only way to gain this insight.

Clarity comes when we have the courage to recognize that we are all worthy of taking time for self-care, to give ourselves permission to take a pulse-check on our lives,
and then take action steps leaning in or pulling back when needed.

As we approach the yin months of winter, I invite you to take time to assess your own investment of self-care.


How do you practice it? 
How often?
Do you give so much away that you feel so depleted and can't give yourself anything?
Do you carry guilt or find excuses as to why you can't take time for yourself?


By no means am I asking you these questions to cause judgement, but simply to become a witness and cultivate awareness on a deeper level in your life.

Nature heals, it re-calibrates our systems. When we watch and listen to the seasons, we can find a deep sense of nourishment for ourselves.

This holiday season, we are shifting gears with our awareness around committing to self care. 

 http://www.sunshinekates.com/shop-sunshinekates/dazzle-shine-virtual-program

Morning Rituals

katie strakosch

Did you know that how you spend the first ten minutes of the day sets the tone for the rest of the day?

Do you tend to wake up and immediately look at your phone? I was guilty of this habit for a long time!

Then I decided to get a good ol' alarm clock and moved my phone out of my bedroom. This is helpful to avoid excess EMF exposure and also less tempting to browse and overstimulate the brain during rest hours. 

The morning moments are so sacred as our bodies ease into their wake state. It's easy to rush into the day and step into 'GO' mode. I invite you to use this autumn season with darker mornings to slow down and nourish your body on all levels (even if it's just for a few delicious moments). 

I've put together a few of my favorite and simplest ways to flow into the day and  energize the body. 

What are your daily morning rituals?


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Travel Essentials

katie strakosch

 

Italia bound today!

I'm off to facilitate an amazing group of women gathering together for my wellness retreat in Abruzzo!

We will be spending the week awakening our senses, rejuvenating our bodies and spirits, releasing the old and creating a bigger vision for ourselves to step into. All of this will be done along the the Adriatic Sea tucked away in a little Italian village, where we will eat, stretch, laugh, celebrate and connect.

Traveling is exhilarating and exciting. It's an opportunity to explore new cultures, new food, new ways of life and get out of the comfort zone... While embarking on new terrain, it's important to protect and support the body with some good loving nourishment!

I want to share a few of my essential travel tools that are packed for my journey to Italy. These tools are geared to keep my immune system strong, digestive tract happy, energized and grounded.


Wellness Formula

This combo is a blend of herbs, antioxidants, and vitamins to keep the immune system strong. I pop a few of these on the plane to boost my body before I travel.

Natural Calm

This magnesium powder supports regularity, a restful night sleep and soothes tired muscles from flying and long hours of wandering and exploring.

Over the Moon Essential Oil by Well Scent

This proprietary blend of rose, geranium and lotus blossom oils are geared towards loving the endocrine system and hormonal balance. This oil works to support the body on all levels and is my favorite to integrate into our yoga classes and manifestation workshop on the retreat!

Probiotics

These pearls of help promote a healthy gut environment, which supports and protects the immune system. Probiotics can keep the digestive system healthy, happy and regular.

Maca Powder

I mix this superfood into my morning caffe. This adaptogen gives my body a boost of energy, stamina and boosts the immune system.

 Flax and Chia Powder  

These small but mighty powerhouse seeds are loaded with essential fatty acids and fiber. I love this combo in the morning to stabilize blood sugar and support digestive health. 

Daily Immune Boost by Herb Pharm

This blend of Echinacea, Astragalus, Reishi mushroom, Schisandra berry and Prickly Ash bark adds a layer of immune protection to the body and adrenal booster. 

Blue Green Algae

My new obsession for cellular energy!! I brought this with me to Bali in April and it helped my body with that 24-hour flight! Blue green algae is loaded with antioxidants, essential fatty acids, B-vitamins and chlorophyll. I love mixing this into a glass of water and feeling so deeply nourished!

Cheers to exploring new lands and a healthy body while doing so!