The holiday season is upon us. In theory this is the most wonderful and joyous time of the year. For many of us, however, this season can be extremely stressful and physically draining. From the slew of holiday parties and gatherings we feel the need to attend, to the thought of spending time with family we may have tension with, the holidays can have negative effects on our overall well-being.

If you are prone to holiday anxiety and depression, don’t brush it off. There are many ways to handle the holiday blues. Staying healthy during this time of the year is very important. Try not to resort to drugs and other medicinal solutions with possible long-term effects. Instead, consider the following natural treatments to help you beat holiday depression.

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  1. Understand Adrenal Health

The first step on the road to recovery, from the stress and anxiety of the holidays, is to understand the possible root cause. A possible cause is adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a state where your body feels tired and worn out all of the time. Adrenal fatigue is also a condition that is correlated to stress. If you are constantly lacking energy or feeling overwhelmed, especially during the holidays, it is a good idea to get your adrenal health checked.

Adrenal fatigue occurs when your adrenal glands are performing below their optimal levels. The main function of your adrenal glands is to produce and regulate the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol balance is vital to overall health. Too much cortisol in the body can cause weight gain, mood swings, anxiety and depression. Too little cortisol can result in dizziness, fatigue and weight loss.

  1. Rest and Watch What You Eat

If you believe that you might be suffering from adrenal fatigue, or simply can’t handle the stress of the holidays, make sure that you are getting plenty of sleep. Additionally, stick to eating healthy by consuming plenty of whole foods and decreasing or eliminating your sugar intake. It’s also a good idea to abstain from coffee until you feel better.

If you’re unsure whether your adrenal health may be causing your holiday depression, or if you still don’t feel better after plenty of rest and eating healthy, there are tests that can be performed to check your adrenal health. Our offices in Edina, Minnesota can provide these tests.

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  1. Get Plenty of Vitamin C

While watching what you eat, make sure that you are getting plenty of vitamin C from citrus fruits and brightly colored veggies. Vitamin C is important for helping return cortisol to normal levels. The late fall, winter and early spring months are prime time for fresh in-season citrus. Therefore, you should have no problem getting your hands on oranges, mandarins, grapefruits and more during the holiday season. Perhaps Mother Nature set it up this way to help us manage our stress and cortisol levels during the holidays?

In addition to consuming citrus, a study[i] found that simply inhaling citrus scents for 10 to 30 minutes could alleviate negative emotional stress. If you aren’t a fan of eating citrus fruits, or simply want to incorporate more citrus into your life, add citrus scented candles, essential oils or body wash to your daily routine.

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  1. Practice Stress Relieving Activities

The holidays are a time of giving and a time to be considerate of others. With that said, it can be very easy to forget about taking care of yourself this season. Make sure that you have plenty of “me time”. Use this time to practice stress relieving activities like working out, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises or getting a massage.

Holiday anxiety and depression is often heightened when we’re constantly jumping from one thing to another without any time to step back and unwind. Make sure you are taking time out to relax and reconnect with yourself.

  1. You Don’t Have to do it All

Holiday parties, group potlucks, secret Santa’s, white elephants and more show up in abundance during the holiday season. Although you may feel obligated to get into the holiday spirit by attending and participating in every event that you receive an invitation to, remember that you don’t have to do them all.

If by taking part in these activities you feel stressed or anxious, which affects your overall health, by all means, be okay with politely declining. You may also consider limiting yourself to only those events that you would regret not attending.

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  1. Seek Professional Help

Letting stress, anxiety, and adrenal fatigue linger, without doing anything to help alleviate them, can have long-term effects. These effects include a weakened immune system, chronic exhaustion, dark circles around the eyes and short-term memory loss.

If you have tried the above tips, but your holiday stress, anxiety and depression continues to be more than you can handle, it is time to see a professional. The naturopathic doctors at Balanced Care are conveniently located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area in Edina and Woodbury. We can assist with everything from running tests to find the root cause of your ailment, to prescribing natural treatments. Call to schedule your appointment at 612-564-2218.


Dr. Katie and Dr. Rachel are Naturopathic Doctors serving the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas. Their goal is to address the underlying cause by using natural remedies. We love what we do and would love to help you too! Call 612-564-2218 to schedule your appointment today!

The fall harvest is in full swing. Hopefully you’ve gotten your hands on some seasonal Minnesota fruits and vegetables. Most of us are aware that apples and pumpkins are abundant this time of year, but so are beets, Brussels sprouts, green onions and so much more.

Your major grocery store is probably stocked with some of this seasonal produce, but the produce found in large supermarkets have typically traveled hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles to get there. In these cases, fruits and vegetables are picked before their prime in order to ensure their shelf lives. This premature harvest disrupts the natural ripening process and limits the ability of the produce to obtain its full nutrient potential.

With that said, there are many places in the Twin Cities where you can find locally grown food that is picked at its prime. The following are just five examples of where to get your Minnesota grown produce.

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  1. Farmers Markets

The Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area is home to over 70 Twin Cities farmers markets. With so many markets to choose from, chances are high that you’ll find a market with an array of locally grown produce near you.

Farmers markets ensure that you are buying the freshest locally grown produce around. In addition to purchasing the most nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, shopping at farmers markets also keeps money in the local economy, encourages you to talk to those who grow the food you eat, and provides you with a sense of community. You can find farmers markets in your area through the Minnesota Grown Directory:

  1. Food Hubs and Community Supported Agriculture

A food hub is a business or organization that actively manages the collection, distribution and marketing of local and regional food. Food hubs can vary in size, but their main goal is to provide the appropriate infrastructure and support for small and mid-sized farmers.

The Good Acre[i] is a non-profit food hub in Falcon Heights, MN that provides space and the infrastructure necessary for farmers to wash, process and store produce fresh from the field. Additionally, The Good Acre purchases seasonal produce from its network of growers and distributes these in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes to its 450 members.

As a CSA member you pay an upfront fee. In return you receive a box of fresh picked produce every week, typically from mid-June to mid-October. Minnesota is home to a number of CSA programs. You can search for a CSA in your area through the Minnesota Grown Directory:

  1. Food Co-operatives

Food co-operatives or food co-ops are food distribution channels that can sometimes look like a smaller version of a large supermarket. What makes a co-op grocery store different from the typical grocery store is that the co-op is usually member-owned and frequently purchases its products and produce from local sources. Often times, co-ops will detail where exactly its produce came from.

Normally, you do not have to be a member of a co-op to shop there. Being a member, however, may provide you with benefits not available to non-members, such as specials and discounts. Minnesota is home to a number of grocery co-ops. You can find a list of them here:

  1. U-Pick Farms

If you really want to appreciate the work and dedication of those who grow the produce we eat, visit a u-pick or pick-your-own farm. A u-pick or pick-your-own farm is usually a family farm where you actually go out into the fields or the orchards and handpick your own produce.

U-pick farms can be a great family activity and the satisfaction you’ll receive after eating produce you picked yourself is second to none. You can locate a pick-your-own farm near you through the following website:


  1. Grow Your Own

If you are completely committed to the benefits of locally grown food, why not experiment with growing your own? Plant and garden centers like Mother Earth Gardens[ii], with two locations in Minneapolis, are committed to providing plants and products that have been grown in a sustainable way. At Mother Earth Gardens you can find seeds, fruit trees, plant starters and bulbs to help you prepare for next year’s harvest.

There are plenty of resources throughout the Twin Cities including The Good Acre, Mother Earth Gardens, grocery co-ops and more that can help you with tips and advice for cooking locally, and how to start an organic garden.

The health benefits of locally grown fruits and vegetables should help build up your immune system during this cooler season. However, if you find yourself or your family members feeling ill, please reach out to the naturopathic doctors at Balanced Care. We can run tests to determine the root cause of your illness and provide you with natural treatments for all of your ailments.


Drs. Katie and Rachel are wishing you a spooky Halloween!! They see patients in Edina and Woodbury, MN serving the Twin Cities. Their goal is to address the root cause by using natural medicines and nutrition. They offer complimentary 15 minute consultations if you would like to learn a little more. 612-564-2218



Anxiety blog

Written By: Julia MerrillPhoto by Pixabay

Do you worry that your child may be silently suffering from anxiety? It’s certainly possible. One out of every eight children is affected by an anxiety disorder and of those kids, 80% are not receiving treatment. But what’s more disturbing is that anxiety disorders seldom travel alone. Instead, they’re commonly accompanied by depression, eating disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other mental health issues, which only work to compound the problem.

So what tools can you give to your child if he or she is already suffering from this debilitating disorder? You can start by following these sometimes whacky but effective steps to help your child manage his or her anxiety.


#1 – Take Time For Self-Care

The Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA) recommends yoga, exercise, meditation, a healthy diet, and avoidance of drugs and alcohol to combat stress and anxiety – and they may be onto something. Researchers found that those who get regular vigorous exercise are 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder within the next five years. The good news is that to relieve depression or anxiety, a ten minute walk may be just as effective as a 45 minute workout.


#2 – Make Your Fear Boring

If a thought is making you anxious, take its power by repeating it slowly and clearly over and over to yourself for at least twenty minutes. This works much in the same way as it does for those facing a physical fear. For instance, if you had a fear of elevators but rode in one a thousand times in a row, at first you would be anxious but eventually you’d become used to it and ultimately, bored of riding it altogether. You can do the same thing with anxious or fearful thoughts by riding them as well and eventually they’ll just become boring.


#3 – Recognize Anxiety Attacks As Temporary

Anxiety attacks are commonly described as a sudden and inexplicable feeling of intense panic, which can be unnerving and downright frightening to experience. But that rapid heartbeat doesn’t mean you’re having a heart attack – it’s simply your natural physical reaction to fear. Instead of focusing on this physical cue, treat it the way you would a defined thought in meditation: thank it for its message, then let it pass by.


#4 – Schedule Time To Worry

Instead of stopping to address each and every one of your worries during the day, schedule some time at the end of your day – 4:30 or so, especially if you work office hours – to dedicate to worrying about your daytime troubles. As worry pops up throughout the day, jot it down for your later appointment and move on with your current tasks. Once your dedicated worry time rolls around, you may find that the items on your list no longer have any bearing on your anxiety level and you’re able to let them go. If you find yourself creating new worries during your appointment, jot them down along with any possible solutions, and schedule them for the next day.

While trying to control your anxiety usually backfires and leaves you feeling worse, there are a number of ways for you to take its power away, which empowers you. And sharing these coping strategies with your child can help them manage their anxiety whether they’re facing a school presentation, a new extracurricular activity, or a new home and new school, which can be especially stressful for those dealing with anxiety.