Sponsored 04 June 2018
As a scientist and former Miss New York US, it's safe to say my wellness product demands are high. While I'm always looking for something that will help me look fresh-faced (even under glaring spotlights) and feel energetic, I also tend to obsess over ingredients, formulation, and product technology. I am quite picky, especially when it comes to starting new routines, but I am open minded to products that promise to make me feel better. So, about a month ago I met a friend for lunch and she began raving about a green drink from an Australian wellness brand, WelleCo that she says changed her life.
My friend, who happens to be a media mogul on top of her field, was at the time not only on a multi-city book tour complete with a series speaking engagements and book signings, but she was also balancing family and social life as well as managing an investment portfolio. After she told me that her superhuman energy levels, gorgeous healthy skin (not a wrinkle in sight) and mental clarity were all thanks to a daily green drink, I had to know more.
As it turns out, the magic elixir that was giving her so much life is actually a superfood-packed ingestible, coincidentally called The Super Elixir Greens. Comprised of a total 45 whole food ingredients like barley grass, wheatgrass, alfalfa and milk thistle in addition to pre and probiotics, vitamins and super greens that all but promise to revolutionize every part of your health, my first thought was 'that can't taste good."
Although I like to exercise, I'm far from health-conscious when it comes to my nutrition. Due to the nature of my career and my schedule, finding balance in terms of my health and wellness has been somewhat elusive. If something is not convenient, I won't do it, even if I know that it is good for me. So, when choosing any kind of new health regime, 'can I do it,' is paramount but 'will I?' is more important.
After my conversation with my friend, I decided to give The Super Elixir a try. I'll start by telling you that despite my hesitations, the flavor is far from off-putting. Although it does definitely taste like you're drinking something “healthy" at first, the inclusion of fruits like pineapple, apple, and goji berry make it taste light and sweet. It is recommended to mix the powder with plant milk or water, and I opted for the latter, drinking about two cups of my DIY green beverage each day when my sugar cravings hit.
I continued drinking the Super Elixir for a full month, and I have to say that by day three, I was hooked. Not only did I have more energy and mental clarity but I also began to feel and look better in many ways.
Here, the top five ways the Super Elixir changed my life in 30 days:
The first thing I immediately noticed after just a few days of drinking the Super Elixir is that substituting out my 4 PM coffee for the green drink amped up my evening energy levels. Whether I was going to the gym or to an after work meeting, I felt more energized (without the repercussions of a coffee come-down). This increased stamina also helped me be more productive at work, as I found myself less tired and more focused. After a week of feeling generally more alert, it became less difficult to wake up in the morning, as I woke immediately feeling refreshed and well-rested. I even started working out in the mornings, instead of evenings.
My tummy really thanked me for this change over the course of the month. I gradually began to feel less bloated and generally felt much more healthy (even after a helping of Dunkin's infamous donuts). What I really love about the Super Elixir is that it helps counteract any moments of “naughtiness," (which for me is carbs of course) as the ingredients actually bind to toxins and expel them from your system. Plus, the infusion of digestible nutrients that your body can actually recognize and absorb makes this a great hangover cure as well!
From breakouts to dry patches to rashes and sensitivity, I've had chronic issues with my skin my entire life. Despite trying a bevy of skin-clearing formulas, some expensive, some prescription and some from my local drug store, I've never found a regimen or product that fully worked for me. Taking the Super Elixir steadily for the last month I noticed fewer blemishes and while I can't say my skin became suddenly flawless, I certainly look better than usual after a 14-hour workday. I also noticed that my overall texture has, over the past month, become more smooth and my face looks more plumped and hydrated. By the last week, I even stopped wearing foundation, which is a first for me. Perhaps some of my skin benefits have come simply because the Super Elixir has helped me drink more water and stay hydrated throughout the day.
Admittedly, if a sugar or carb craving hits during the day, I am absolutely susceptible to picking up something carb-filled and sweet, and more often than not, a Chipotle lunch. Taking the Elixir at around 4 PM every day definitely quashed that longing for a sugar injection. After I got used to the taste (which really happened by day 3), I found my drink enjoyable and thus not necessary to cram a chocolate glazed in before I leave the office for the night. I also found that I started craving coffee (which is a daily obsession) less, especially in that late afternoon daily slump. My body was almost asking for the Super Elixir instead, so it became almost second nature to drink it around the same time each day.
Sleep & Stress
It's no secret that being an entrepreneur comes with a heaping of stress. My life, once ordered and corporate, is now chaotic and entirely unpredictable. While I wouldn't have it any other way, the negative side effects of a life spent in flux are impossible to deny. While subtle, the drink's superpowers became noticeable even when trying to stay positive while navigating business life and getting to sleep at the end of a long day. After one month, I not only felt more cleansed, but I also found myself getting less anxious about things that are out of my control. I should add that as I started my month with WelleCo, I also began focusing more on my mental well being, practicing mindfulness and meditation every day. I found the Super Elixir really helped me with being present and more positive, which I think in part was to actually getting sleep. As a night owl who does a lot of my ideating in the wee hours, I often toss and turn and wake up feeling depleted. Now that I sleep earlier and wake up feeling more refreshed, things just seem to be falling into place, both with business and my personal life. It's crazy to attribute this wave of goodness to a green powder, but it does seem to be the catalyst for the positivity that surrounds me.
I used to take my health and wellness for granted and didn't prioritize my wellbeing. Now that I found a routine and product that conveniently worked for my lifestyle, I can safely say that my month-long Super Elixir challenge will continue on for many many more.
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For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."