Gratitude vs. Stress

5 Practical Steps to Manage Stress & Your Health During the Holidays

Functional medicine expert, Dr. Jill Carnahan, MD shares that having some stress in life is unavoidable, but there are positive, healthy strategies to help you manage it. And while there’s no such thing as a stress-free life, building habits that support you can go a long way in keeping your stress levels in check. Regularly practicing these techniques can prevent stressful times from interfering with your life. Even if you can’t rid yourself of the source of your stress, you can learn to manage it and prevent it from affecting your health. Dr. Kelly Turner shares that stress can keep the body in fight or flight mode, instead of rest and repair mode.
What can you do this holiday season to manage stress? How can you make this year different? Here are our favorite tips.
  1. Practice Gratitude – It isn’t always possible to change your circumstances, but you can change where you focus your mind, heart, and soul. The words we speak can set the course for your future. Need a tool to help you? Our new Gratitude Journal will encourage you to speak God’s promises over your daily life, affirm his blessings, and help you to pray from a place of victory.
  2. Plan Ahead & Set Boundaries – Be intentional with your time. Get adequate consistent sleep by setting an alarm on your phone for the same time each night to turn technology off and get ready for bed. Planning ahead by simply taking the time to write out a daily or weekly to-do list can work wonders for keeping stress at bay. “It’s ok to say “no”. You are not obligated to accept every invitation, request, or opportunity that comes your way. Especially if you know saying “yes” will make you anxious or doesn’t align with how you really want to be spending your time.”
  3. Learn New Ways to Relax – We love the NEW One Minute Pause app or learning a new hobby like photography or painting.
  4. Make Time for Exercise – Exercise not only decreases stress hormones but also boosts energy levels and the feel-good chemicals in the brain. You don’t have to join a gym. A short, brisk walk outside can do wonders for your mood. There are also several apps you can use at home to help keep you motivated like Sworkit, 7-min workout, or the Peloton app.
  5. Know What You Can (and Can’t) Control – For some people, the holidays can trigger stress and anxiety because of past experiences. Many have family members that can be difficult, leaving us with a lot of negative emotions. Set an intention to create a different way of navigating challenging relationships. Acknowledge the triggers and set an intention to approach that person with a positive outlook. Keep conversations light and don’t get drawn into their drama or debate. You don’t have control over what others say and how they act, but you DO have control over whether you allow others to affect your mood and stress level.
** Photo by Nathan Dumlao @ Unsplash

Grateful to be alive. Message from Ivelisse

This was me during the holidays in 2008. I remember being filled with fear at the thought of not seeing my four kids grow up or growing old with Jimmy. Some people say that God won’t give us anything we can’t handle, but I believe that He often allows situations that are too much for us to handle – alone. It’s in these times that we realize how much we need each other and most importantly, our need for God becomes obvious.

As we reflect on all the things we are thankful for leading up to Thanksgiving, I am sure that your health is at the top of that list. I know for me I am forever grateful to all of you who gave of your time and resources to help my family all those years ago. I know that God spared my life so that I could work for Him. And, to breathe hope into the lives of those I meet who are feeling hopeless. You were that for me and I can’t thank you enough.
Will you join me this holiday season to help more children and adults struggling with cancer by helping Believe Big reach our end-of-year goal?
You can help by:
  • Making a one-time donation by December 31st. You can donate HERE or text the word BELIEVE to 80888.
  • Becoming one of our Monthly Partners (or increasing your monthly giving)
  • Becoming an annual Family or Corporate Partner (click here for more information)
  • Participating in your employer’s Matching Gift Program
  • Sharing MY VIDEO STORY with 10 friends via text or email.
As of this email, we have raised $67,766 of the $400,000 needed.
If you would like to watch my video story or watch some of our patient gratitude videos, please go to:
I thank you in advance for whatever gift you can make!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving,
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Releasing Suppressed Emotions

Dr. Caroline Leaf shared great information about how to express intense emotions in a healthy way. Below we summarize what we learned.

Original source article can be viewed here >

Your emotions will impact how you decide to behave and they can end up controlling you and impacting your relationships if you don’t learn how to regulate them and express them in healthy ways. You can start doing this by:

  1. Embracing and accepting the fact that you feel a certain way.
    Don’t suppress your emotions or feel guilty for them. Recognize that these emotions will pass. They don’t have to define you!
  2. Asking yourself questions in the moment, such as “What am I feeling? Where does this emotion come from?”.
    When the thought is recalled, the informational memory (what happened, or the facts), emotions (feelings), and physical sensations (flu-like symptoms, sore stomach, and so on) come flooding back. What is all this data telling you about yourself, or about what is going on in your life?
  3. When you can grasp your own emotions and their root(s), you can understand more fully what you are trying to communicate or express to the other people in your life. Indeed, we are often so confused about our emotions and may not be able to put a name on what we are feeling. Sometimes, we may even need to speak to someone we trust or a mental health professional to begin to understand how we feel and why. But the key is asking ourselves these kinds of questions and trying to grasp a way of conceptualizing our feelings before just unloading them onto the people in our lives.
  4. Remembering your body language. What we think and feel in our minds is often communicated in what we say AND our body language. In fact, it is estimated that non-verbal communication accounts for around 50% of our communication as humans. This means that expressing emotions doesn’t just happen verbally—you also need to be aware of how your emotions affect your body language, such as avoiding eye contact, moving away from someone, crossing our arms, and so on, and how this can impact the people in your life.
  5. Working on the way you talk to yourself. One way to improve your emotional expression is to work on your positive self-talk. If we are constantly thinking in negative patterns and expressing how we feel with negative self -talk, the way we communicate our emotions to others can also have a negative impact on our relationships.
  6. Checking your state of mind before you share how you feel. One of the biggest ways to avoid impacting others in a negative way when expressing your emotions is to make sure you are in a good state of mind when you communicate how you feel. For example, if you haven’t slept the whole night and feel emotional, you might say things you don’t actually mean, and they will probably be pretty hurtful to the person you are communicating with, so it may be a good idea to rest before you open up to someone.
  7. This also means understanding your triggers! If you are in a space where you feel triggered, expressing your emotions can sometimes lead to more pain; you might be so triggered that your emotions come out in anger, sadness or aggression. Learn your triggers by paying attention to how different people and places affect your emotions. This can be done by keeping track of your emotions and the reasons why you feel the way you do in certain situations. (The Neurocycle is a great way to do this, as it only requires a few minutes a day to make emotional awareness a habit!)
  8. Having empathy and compassion and recognizing that everyone is struggling. Knowing that some of the feelings we have are felt by others as well can help us to share those feelings in a way that won’t trigger others. For example, you may be struggling with self-hate, and if you talk for ages about how you hate yourself to someone else, that may trigger their feelings of self-hate in a negative way. However, if you recognize that they too may be struggling with these feelings, then you may adjust how to communicate your emotions in a way that helps them feel like they can also share what they have been going through. Recognizing that all humans struggle will help you express how you feel in a productive way.
  9. Listening. One of best ways to have more compassion and empathy is by listening to other people. Taking time to listen to and try to help others can completely transform the way you feel and express your emotions. First, you won’t feel so alone in your struggles. By listening more, you are bound to recognize some of the feelings you struggle with are also things other people in your life struggle with. You may also find that by helping others, you will feel better yourself. There is a lot of research out there that shows how when we help others, we also improve our own chances of healing.
  10. Practicing forgiveness. If you are angry at someone or even yourself, the way that you express your emotions can be clouded by that anger or pain. As a result, everything that you express or share may be a lot more negative, and most likely make your relationships worse.
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Food For Thought – Nutrition Program

Join Us for “Food for Thought”

Nutrition plays an important role in cancer at all stages – prevention or risk reduction, treatment, and post-treatment. The time to start eating well is now and Food for Thought was created to give individuals a simplified look for incorporating healthy practices and dietary therapies into their daily routine.
Classes will be led by Paula Weinberg, Integrative Oncology Nutritionist and founder of Healthspan Nutrition, and moderated by Believe Big’s patient advocate and owner of Fit2Order, Stacy Fritz.
Register today and start now to learn the foundational basics of nutrition to optimize and enhance your overall health and wellbeing. This class is for everyone – patients, caregivers, and those wanting to learn more about nutrition.


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You Made Our Day, Month, YEAR!

You Made Our Day, Month, YEAR!

Thank you for linking arms with us! You helped us surpass our goal and raise $439,000 once we add the $100,000 challenge grant funds! We are in awe of your goodness and God’s. These additional funds will allow Believe Big to help more patients gain access to mistletoe and nutrition therapy through our grant program. These funds will also help to provide the resources needed to continue our mistletoe research with Johns Hopkins, which will one day make mistletoe therapy part of the standard of care in oncology. It will help to provide the building blocks to see The Believe Big Institute of Health realized and much more! With so many unknowns in this world, what comfort to know that we have such an incredible support team behind us to keep our programs running. Without your support, none of what we have done and will do in 2022 would even be possible!
Take a moment to read the most recent messages we received over the holidays about how your generosity impacted lives.
From a Hope Package Recipient:
“Dear BB Family, Thank you! We are so grateful for the care package you sent our family. Holidays are hard-especially the first one after a loss. The tools of faith you sent are much needed. I fully believe that your group and the mistletoe extended my Mom’s life far beyond expectations. And of course, our FATHER had a hand in that as well. Pat is safe and happy in Heaven. We will see her again someday! Until then she continues to send us reminders of her love.”
From a Grateful Parent:
“Thank you! Your research and information helped cure our son of Stage 4 colon cancer.”
From a Grateful Patient:
“Thank you Believe Big for helping people faced with cancer. I appreciate what you did for me. I am celebrating 2 years cancer-free today!”
Thank you again for your incredible support!
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Help Families Face, Fight, and Overcome Cancer – Believe Big

Recently Ivelisse Page was interviewed by Go Solo. That article is copied below, original source can be viewed here >


Interested in starting your own journey in a non-profit organization, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ivelisse Page, co-founder of Believe Big in Colorado, USA.

Tell us about your organization…

It is our mission to help families face, fight, and overcome cancer. We do this by educating individuals on a comprehensive approach to cancer prevention and treatment. We help connect patients with physicians trained in mistletoe therapy, oncology nutritionists, and the resources necessary to allow them to advocate for their health. We provide spiritual and emotional support to help patients and their families overcome fear and anxiety. Lastly, we plan to overcome cancer with The Believe Big Institute of Health and support the ongoing phases of the Mistletoe Clinical Trial in collaboration with The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

How did you get started? What is your motivation?

After facing, fighting, and overcoming stage IV colon cancer, I wanted to reach out to other patients facing the many challenges I encountered through my cancer journey. After assembling a team of doctors and accumulating extensive research, my husband and I established Believe Big in 2011 to help families bridge the gap between conventional and complementary medicine for treating cancer.

What’s your biggest accomplishment so far?

My most significant gift in what I do is bringing hope to those feeling hopeless in their cancer diagnosis. I have witnessed in the lives of hundreds of patients that Believe Big helps not only quality of life but also quantity of life.

What’s one of the hardest things that you’ve faced with your organization?

One of the biggest challenges we face is to continue to meet the funding needs of our organization. The number of those diagnosed with cancer continues to grow, and thus the need for our help grows. All of our resources are free to patients that contact us, and at times it can be challenging to meet all of the funding needs of our programs. I am grateful that we have been able to help every patient that has reached out to Believe Big due to our faithful donors. Just last year, we impacted over 170,000 individuals.

What are the top tips you’d give to anyone looking to start, run and grow an organization today?

To someone starting, I would advise them to know their why, share stories, and engage with other businesses and organizations for support. Your why will carry you through the difficult days and help you be creative when things are hard. The stories you share of the lives you impact each day build loyalty and inspire others to know their donations or support make a difference. Lastly, engaging with an organization or business five years out from you can help you maximize your efforts and energy.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

In the days ahead, when you are facing seemingly impossible challenges, remember that God can turn your adversity into victory, your obstacles into opportunities, and your problems into possibilities.

Where can people find you and your organization?


If you like what you’ve read here and have your own solopreneur story that you’d like to share then email, we’d love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn “one day” into day one.

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Childhood Cancer Awareness with Dr. Dagmara Beine

There is a big difference between BLAME and Awareness. Parents who live in this cancer world are aware – too aware of the pain, the worry and the statistics. Parents of children who do not have cancer are not aware- but they SHOULD BE because it is currently the number one cause of death by disease in children.
Number 1 and… in many cases it CAN be preventable. This does not mean that all the parents who have children with cancer caused it – or could have done better – ABSOLUTELY NOT. THEY DID THEIR BEST. I am one of those parents. I have always done my best. Yet my daughter’s journeying in this world again. Some cancers are relentless – BUT THOSE PARENTS WHO’S KIDS have never had this diagnosis can be more AWARE THAT THEY CAN DO BETTER- I wish I knew before Zuza was diagnosed that living behind a corn field that sprays roundup can affect her.
I wish I knew the Clomid I took to conceive her raised her chance of having leukemia. This is not blame – this is true awareness 95% of cancers are a mix of environmental factors with our epigenetics. So many but definitely not all – cancers can be prevented by making the BEST decisions for our children before ANY diagnosis enters your world. Our country allows MANY cancer causing ingredients into our food and our toiletries- start there- do not allow anything on or in your children that is cancer causing.
Roundup (Glyphosate) has now been proven to cause cancers, especially in kids. We have amazing epigenetic testing now that can educate us on our kids genetic hiccups so that we can make the best decisions for our kids in life. That is AWARENESS.
Everyone knows someone with cancer.  I encourage you to get involved with Believe Big today!  Your support will help so many thrive in the face of cancer!
About Dr. Dagmara Beine
Dr. Dagmara Beine is a Masters Degree Physician Assistant and a PhD practicing Functional and Integrative Medicine. It wasn’t until her daughter was diagnosed with cancer that she learned the real value of Integrative Medicine. Learn more about her a her practice Zuza’s Way Integrative here >
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Little Sip, Big Benefits

Making Good-For-You Taste Great

POWERFUL BENEFITS: Powerful high dose of functional mushrooms & adaptogens to support your immune system, productivity, and glowing skin everyday


DELICIOUS TASTE: Sip three refreshing shots made from delicious fruit juice, adaptogens, and vitamins. Who knew good-for-you could taste great?


PURE & CLEAN: 3rd party lab tested for purity, Organic, no artificial sweeteners, or flavors, and obviously vegan and gluten free


CONVENIENT: No need to refrigerate: shelf-stable Four Sigmatic shots go wherever you are.


Learn more here >


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Strawberry-Balsamic Arugula Salad

Strawberry-Balsamic Arugula Salad

•2 cups baby arugula, organic
•½ cup shredded cooked chicken breast, organic
•½ cup fresh strawberries, sliced, organic
•½ cup chopped Granny Smith apple, organic
•2 tablespoons light balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
•2 tablespoons toasted walnut pieces
•Half Avocado

In a medium bowl combine arugula, chicken, strawberries and apple. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with walnuts and top with Avocado.

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Memorial Day Recipes to Try


Red, White and Blue Summer Salad

Recipe Credit: Green Light Bites


3-4 cups of fresh romaine lettuce, organic, cleaned and torn (you can use the bagged lettuce)

About ½ cup fresh blueberries, organic

About ½ cup fresh strawberries, organic, cut into small chunks

1 oz. (28 g) crumbled feta cheese

1 tbsp dressing (recipe below)


Wash and prepare all your ingredients.  Top the greens with the berries and cheese.

Drizzle on the dressing (recipe below)


Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup of lemon juice

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp poppy seeds

½ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp fresh ground pepper


Whisk all ingredients together.


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Red, White and Blue BERRY Smoothie

Recipe Credit: Super Healthy Kids


2 cups strawberries, frozen, organic

1 cup raspberries, frozen, organic

1 tablespoon honey

2 medium bananas, green-tipped, frozen

2 cups blueberries, frozen, organic

1 ¼ cups almond milk, unsweetened

2 tablespoons flaxseed, ground

Low glycemic fruits in this recipe, means lower sugar


If you do not want the separate layers, just blend everything together at once in a high-powdered blender.

If you DO want to make the layers, start by blending the red layer ingredients together. Pour into individual glasses, about 1/3 full. Set glasses in freezer for 10 minutes.

Rinse out the blender jar to remove any remaining red layer mixture. Then, add your white layer ingredients.  Blend until smooth.  Pour the white layer over the frozen red layer, fulling about 2/3 full.  Set glasses back in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Rinse out the blender jar to remove any remaining white layer mixture.  Then add your blue layer ingredients.  Blend until smooth.  Pour the blue layer over the frozen white layer, filling to the top.

Serve with a straw.


RED: frozen organic strawberries, raspberries and a bit of honey (can use coconut water to loosen it if needed).

WHITE:  frozen bananas, unsweetened vanilla almond milk (but any milk will work) and a few ice cubes

BLUE:  frozen organic blueberries, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and ground flax.

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She Inspires

Panache and Believe Big – Maru Fava – Believe Big Volunteer

By: Caitlin RogersPosted at 1:36 PM, May 20, 2020

She Inspires is a new initiative from the boutiques at Green Spring Station who are giving back to women and non-profits that inspire them. Panache is a premier women’s fashion boutique specializing in high quality merchandise and impeccable style.

The owner’s sister in law is a two time cancer survivor. Believe Big is a non-profit organization that bridges the gap between conventional treatments like chemotherapy and surgery and complementary treatments like nutrition, acupuncture, and spiritual wellness.

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