I read about 10 easy ways to health in the newspaper

My local newspaper  recdently printed a big article on health.  Thank you Julie Deardorff!  And thank you Orlando Sentinel (orlandosentinel.com/health) for including this comprehensive piece, right now, during the holidays.  All ready I am skipping yoga to go shopping and I am eating a lot of pumpkin bread with loads of cranberries ( giggle, it is the holidays!) instead of my usual sprouted whole wheat.  You too?

Ms. Deardorff begins with the obligatory and very neccessary reminder about hand washing.  I am so appreciative!  No mention of hand sanitizer, just wash your hands and sing Happy Birthday!  Then her article rolls out simply.  Her title: 10 ways to take control of your health.

1. Take a walk I preach this too.  We humans are absolutely built to move.  Find something, or a couple of things you like to do.  Everybody you know needs to move everyday too.  Find a walking, or workout, or sports buddy.

2. Keep a food journal My teenager has this assignment from her personal fitness class.  She finds it to be difficult to write down everything she eats.  She wants to look good on paper!  Over several weeks, our discussion about her foods list has revealed this: if you look good on paper, eventually you’ll feel better about what you are eating and about what you are not eating.

3. Strengthen your muscles If your body is not stimulated, it atrophies.  Pretty simple.

4. Stop drinking soda My mantra!  Soda, sweetened iced tea and Gatorade, (sorry Michael Jordan) even orange juice do not quench thirsts.  Drinking water does. How many teaspoons of sugar are in a can of soda?  find out, watch this video:  http://youtube.com/watch?v=F10EyGwd57M This a tough habit to kick, because the more sweet drinks you drink the more you want them.  ___ teaspoons of sugar in one can of soda!  Get real!  Drink water.  Be happy about it. Watch this video.

5. Chill out Thank you for including this this vial factor in our health consciousness Ms. Deardorff!  We can’t avoid stress.  However, we can learn skills to help us curb our reactions to stressors.  Exercise, deep-breathing, tai chi, yoga, these help you relax more so your immune system can do what it is meant to do, keep us healthy.  Rest and relax in between push ups and sips of water!  Kidding!  Regularly, look out the window or sit on the porch and breathe.  The Beatles were right, Let It Be

6. Eat out less Eating out is a treat for my family and me, but for many people it is a staple activity.   The choices that are affordable many times, have way too much fat, white flour and sugar to be healthy.  Eating at home is labor intensive.  I think it is worth it.

7. Be a social butterfly What an awesome idea to include in a health article!  She quotes the MacArthur Foundation Study of Aging in America “We do not outgrow our need for others.  Loneliness breeds illness and early death”  Find your own birds of a feather and enjoy the flapping!  Yes, it is an effort sometimes.  But we need the stimulation and new ideas that friendships can bring us. Yes, it is good for our health!

8. Get your zzzzz Sleeping well strengthens our immunity and studies show it helps with weigh loss!  If you have trouble sleeping, there are a myriad of ways to solve this problem.  Read up, get help.  Make your bed and bedroom a sanctuary.  Remind yourself it is a privelidge to go into a beautiful bed.  And go!

9. Eat whole foods I grocery shop from the perimeter of the store as much as I can.  That is primarily where the good foods are.  How long has all that stuff in boxes and cans or in the freezer been in there?  I can’t bear to think.  My poor kids are served beautiful baked potatoes with real butter and never happy fries from a bag.  They grunt about it too, that is, until they are eating, and absolutely reveling in the yummy whole foods I make for them.

10. Find your passion Everyday do something that adds meaning to your life.  This is good for your whole self.  I have an organic garden.  Yes, me with my busy life, 2 kids and a big house to take care of, I am doing it.  Slicing a homegrown green pepper into my salad or presenting my neighbor with another tomato makes me feel great!  You hear me bragging?  Yep, that’s living!   Why do you get up in the morning?  Figure it out and do more of that!

10 easy ways, Julie Deardorff says.  Let’s get started!

A holistic health professional surprised me

I take a prescription for synthroid.  My refill calls for a doctor visit.  This week, I had the priviledge of sitting with a holistic health care professional.  www.sajune.com is the website for the fine facility I visited.  During this 45 minute, $150 session I learned a lot about hormones, nutrition and bathroom habits!  It’s not that I didn’t think I would learn a lot.  I knew I would, but it was what this professional emphasised that surprised me.

She explained that our hormone levels control our ability to utilize the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals we have in our bodies. I had always thought nutrition was the basis of great health first.  She later explained what many of us already know, the mind and spirit are what really are foundational to great health.  More on that in future blogs.

The symptoms listed on the medical form I filled out are, among others, sleep problems, irritability, depression, hair loss, dry skin, lethargy.  Having any of these could point toward a hormone imbalance.  This day I learned that because I did not have any of the symptoms on their list, that hormones are not my specific problem.  And even though my synthroid dosage must be alright,  I’ll still have to visit the lab.

For most people, men and women, who come to them not feeling quite right, a battery of blood tests are suggested that include a measure of every vitamin and mineral level including iodine, and, of course the hormone levels.  It is very comprehensive and of course, the cost for it reflects this.  You pay for another half and hour consultation to review the results and to form a plan to correct any imbalances.  The supplements they would recommend might not be in a pill form.  She said there may be other, much more effective ways to achieve desired results!

WOW!  I am thankful that I am well.  I need only to heed a couple of the strong suggestions she made for me and take my synthroid and …. and….  I am not getting the battery of tests.

This is what she recommended for me.  Eat more, more, more  leafy greens!   I already eat really well, but she said that we can always utilize more B vitamins and calcium.  It’s true.  Such a toxic and stress filled world we live in.  These vital nutrients help us with those immensely.  Chinese medicine, (this I learned from my acupuncturist) tells us that green foods help us deal with grief and disappointment.  Greens are life giving, life affirming, gosh, downright hope filled!

This health care professional told me that I must, no matter how good I eat, take a multi-vitamin that is in capsule form.  A tablet might just be too hard to digest completely.  She saw from my medical form that I already exercise regularly and take enzymes.  She asked me to answer honestly when she asked me about bathroom habits.  She said most people don’t sit long enough or often enough.  Thanking Dr. Oz, because he speaks of this on Oprah, she told me that we all should sit at least twice daily producing an S shaped, well you know what I mean.  Anything less, she said is not optimal health.

I have never been told to sit longer and more often in the bathroom!  Luckily I would like to read more of the books I love so here is my excuse!   As instructed, I cooked up some beautiful greens.  You could, dear reader, buy a bag of collard greens and look up a recipe.  Spice ’em up.  Yum! Yum!  Optimal health!