Sustainable Health: A Few Simple Hacks
‘Tis the season for “the resolution.” Rather than running a complete overhaul of lifestyle and habits, we’re more about giving you the tools and strategies necessary to make wellness part of your daily, weekly, and annual rituals and routines. Here are our favorite simple - and sustainable - changes, along with our take on the hot new trends (CBD anyone?) that will ultimately get you to a healthier and happier you.
Because wellness is an attainable goal that is only achieved if it is taken into your life as a friend, and not a chore. Small change, big reward is the theme, so squeeze in one of these healthy hacks to your routine and benefit all year round, for years to come.
That’s how we do resolutions.
A Few Simple Health Hacks for 2019
Herbal Tea. One cup a day.
These are little powerhouse bags of healthy goodness and just the self nurturing act alone of boiling water, grabbing a bag and cup, and taking a moment to care for yourself in the form of a warm (or iced in the summer) drink has deep effect. Grab/order five different types make sure to have one a day (I often double bag to mix flavors and effect).
Every Day Detox – any time for detox
Chamomile - after dinner digestion support and calming
Hibiscus – kidney support
Dandelion root – liver love!
Nettle – allergies be gone
Anise – digestion, breathing, oral health support
Parsley – kidney (great on a plane!)
It’s critical to select the cleanest, highest quality teas. Some brands have been found to use bleach to whiten the tea bags themselves (eek!), and chemical regulation and labeling is very much a grey area for herbal medicines. But they are medicine! Here are my favorite brands that are recognized as having the highest quality and purest content:
Amazon often has great organic brands, just make sure they are certified organic.
Read a paper copy of a book once a month. (Or read one more than you usually do).
Too much time on the iphone and computer is tough on brain and eyes – and studies show that the more time we spend on these devices, the less appealing following long form stories gets. A good book takes about 6 or 7 hours to read. Spread it out over a month. Your brain will thank you.
Tune in. Learn more about your body by wearing a fitness/sleep tracker once a week a month, NOT all the time.
Awareness is key to change and the trackers on the market today are terrific for doing just that. But using them all the time can get old. Just one week a month, tune back in to see how you are doing. Even if you love it, take it off after 7 days. You’ll look forward to reconnecting next month.
Skin brushing. A powerful detoxifier.
Use a loofah, keep it next to your shower, and before you get wet, brush legs, arms, back, torso – ALWAYS brushing towards the heart. It’s powerfully detoxing, feels great, takes 3 minutes and sends all sorts of “taking time for myself” vibes.
For one week a month, cut out sugar. Mark it on your calendar.
Sugar is aging for brain and body, adds to the stress response in an unhealthy way, and negatively impacts immune response – but cutting it out for good is unrealistic for most and a depressing thought for many. Mark out a week on your calendar and say no to dessert and sugary snacks during those 7 days – knowing that for the other three weeks you can indulge! Some of the effects you can look forward to: better energy, heightened cognition, and better skin.
As always, help your body get rid of the bad and make space for the good with detox. January is a great month for a focused effort here.
Favorite Assisted Detox is Xymogen's 6 day detox - It comes with protein powder, detox drops, colon support, and eating guidelines. For those of you who want more than the allotted 6 days, order two and make it a 12 day detox cleanse. If you are a current patient of mine, you can call Xymogen directly to order.
For a non-assisted detox, try four weeks of applying the 4 days off/ 3 days on rule for alcohol, sugar, and wheat to give your gut and brain a mini break. Will make an enormous difference in mood, hormone balance, sleep quality, and stress management.
2019 Trend Report
Lots of folks celery juicing and people tell me they feel great doing this. Pending the science, a greens juice is always beneficial. As a practice, I do not typically support ‘juice cleanses,’ but rather a healthy eating and living lifestyle, so would not recommend for you to limit yourself to celery juice for days, but I encourage a greens juice daily to most - if not all - of my patients. Celery itself is full of gut healthy minerals and has a very high water content. If you don’t want to juice it, always a great snack for dipping in place of a a crunchy cracker.
CBD for sleep and relaxation appear to be going main stream in a big way. Here’s what I see: Way too much variety in quality and effect. CBD oil is unregulated and goes unmonitored. There are benefits proven in the science, but I am not seeing any kind of quality control in the oils or manufacturers that make them. Agencies are not considering - or monitoring - amounts of cannabinoids (the active ingredient) per batch and they are not putting it on the label. Also, cannabinoid content is affected by weather and soil - so there are big differences to product manufactured in Sonoma, Arizona vs Portland, Maine vs hydroponic plants. In my practice specifically, many clients use it with great effect for a week or so, then the benefits appear to wear off. As of this writing I have no favorite brands, but highly recommend you do major research to ensure you are using oil derived from all natural, 100% organic plants with high quality farming practices, due to the absence of regulation. More to come on this.
This favorite veg is and always has been a powerhouse of nutrients. It has one of the highest concentrations of glutamine - the primary food for cells lining the gut and is packed full of antioxidants and immune boosting goodies. Saute some up for dinner, and have weekly!
For the most thorough - and effective - approach to reaching your wellness goals, come in for an appointment for a personalized plan, tailored to your specific health and lifestyle needs.
Wishing you a happy New Year, full of sustainable, fulfilling, and rewarding health.