This March the SHiFT team partnered up with local non-profit Bounty & Soul and other community leaders in health to bring about the innovative education series ‘Rooted in Health.

Bi-weekly classes presented different topics concerning brain health and nutrition.  Free cooking classes or demonstrations followed the lectures and participants left with bags full of free, nutritious and fresh fruits and vegetables.     What a powerful way to spend a couple hours and give back to this community that has given us so much.

Leslie Fay kicked things off for SHiFT. She gave a great lecture on the connection between adrenal burnout and our diet. Adrenal burnout is a stress-related condition marked by exhaustion, low immune function, and disrupted sleep. When you are under extended periods of high stress (‘the alarm state’ as Leslie calls it) your body can’t keep up with the cortisol production the body needs and you eventually burn out. “To get back in balance it’s important to take time to center,” Leslie shared, “This can be spending a few minutes doing some deep breathing, eating mindfully, exercising and having a nighttime routine that gears you up for a good night of sleep.”

Up next, SHiFT founder and CEO Laura Cardwell talked stress management and neuroplasticity. For years we have believed that the brain remained static after a certain point of development. We didn’t believe new growth or development was possible. However, recent advances in research have shown that the brain is actually a pretty nimble machine. Change is possible with the right work and right intention. This ability to change – called neuroplasticity – is also tied to effective stress management.  Laura says “By changing the way we think, we change the way we are. We have the power to focus on the positive and attract more positive into our lives. As we have seen, our thoughts create our reality.”  You don’t have to be stuck in the same old patterns of stress and alarm.

         “When we see the glass half full, then we always have enough and we create a positive feedback loop that begins the process of attracting more into our lives. Through mental fitness, meditation, sound, community and optimism we can create a future free of the shackles of stress.” – Laura Cardwell

Nikola Tesla once wrote: “If we want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.” Doug Hutchman based his talk on frequencies, more specifically how different foods have different frequencies.  When we say frequency here we are talking about the property of energy, not how often something occurs.  Western medicine tends to view our bodies only in terms of biology and chemistry.   Brain Integration incorporates the Eastern tradition of using physics as well. Doug used muscle testing on a willing volunteer to show how the body involuntarily reacts to the proximity of toxic and nourishing substances. It was a real eye-opener!   This class concluded with a cooking demonstration for a delicious, nutritious and positive-reacting spaghetti squash recipe.   Scroll down for the recipe!

Rounding out the series from SHiFT, Brain Health Coach Robin Schuh talked about the importance of optimizing the four circles of your life. With a nod to Dr. Amen, Robin explained we can break our lives into four categories: Biological, Psychological, Social and Spiritual. To become whole, healthy people, we really need balance in these four circles. Robin recommends a good diet, plenty of water and a good night’s sleep to optimize your biological factors. To optimize the psychological factors, try meditation, journaling, ANT therapy (ask Robin for more info!) For balance in your social life she recommends you cultivate connections, take a class, join a group! We are social critters and we need community. Lastly, to optimize your spiritual factors, Robin recommends meditation or prayer, journal, set major life goals. There are numerous ways you can help yourself without a big investment of time or money.


SHiFT believes strongly in giving back to the community and we are proud and honored to team up with Bounty & Soul.

Be sure to check them out and show your support to this amazing non-profit that promotes health, nutrition, and education. Based in Black Mountain, North Carolina, Bounty & Soul offers weekly markets where neighbors in need can acquire fresh, free produce. Bounty & Soul also promotes wellness education through no-charge classes, such as the Rooted in Health series, hoping to promote healthy diets, healthy bodies, and healthy communities.


Oh, and we didn’t forget. Here is that amazing spaghetti squash recipe! So much yum.