by Julia Scalise, DN, PhD
I have been a Holistic Health Practitioner since 1998. Along the way, I’ve seen the positive impact of very simple and easy to incorporate tips to improve the overall health and well-being of my clients and myself. Some of these tips may already be a part of your health program. If so, good for you. Telling you to continue is not necessary, for I’m sure you already are reaping the benefits. Some of these tips, or all of them, may not be part of your day to day practices for health. If not, then I encourage you to incorporate one or all, as you see fit for you.
My goal when working with clients is to improve not only their physical well-being, but also other aspects of their life. Therefore I impart the benefits of looking at ways to improve the non-physical aspects of health and vitality with my clients also.
I am listing them in no specific order of importance. Each of these tips for health independently carries merit. It is for you to decide which is most needed or which is easiest for you to utilize if not doing so already.
- Nutrition. We all need macronutrients. We need good proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The percentage and types of each differs by a person’s metabolism, level of activity, health status, genetic profile, and any medical restriction. I find I do best on meals that contain approximately 75% protein, 15% carbohydrates, 10% fats. I may vary it a little here and there from meal to meal, but overall, I feel my best with this proportion. Do you feel your best after a meal of mostly carbohydrates, with no crash in blood sugar and hunger soon after? Or do you feel your best with a more protein laden meal for better blood sugar stability? I don’t know of anyone that feels satisfied with a meal of mostly good fats, but I do know many who feel more satisfied and have longer satisfaction when good fats are incorporated. Of course, avoid processed and packaged food as much as possible. Aim for mostly fresh, whole foods and foods free of hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, genetic alterations, and toxic pesticides and herbicides. Then experiment with varying combinations to find what keeps you feeling your best.
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- Water. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Water is necessary for survival. But beyond that, it helps with appetite suppression, joint mobility, toxin elimination, cognition, and supple skin just to mention a few benefits. All fluids are not created equal. Some fluids, such as those which contain caffeine or salt laden broths, can actually contribute to dehydration. Drink adequate water and see how much better you can feel. The rule of thumb for adequate ounces of water daily is your body weight divided by 2.
- Get Moving. Physical activity is another tip that many do not make a part of their health program. Whether it is because of lack of time, or doing something they don’t like to do, often this is a health tip that gets pushed off the daily schedule. To make it easier for my clients, we first determine an activity that they like, and then find a way to make it a consistent part of their program. Even if it is only 1 day a week, that’s still better than no physical activity per week.
- Micronutrients and Supplements. I prefer that my clients get what they need from the food they eat. Likewise I strive to eat a variety of nutrients so that all vitamins and minerals come mostly from diet. However, some people need additional support on a daily basis or on a regular maintenance schedule. But I always caution everyone- if a little of something is good, more is not necessarily better. If a lot of something is bad, none is sometimes not optimal. If you are working with a practitioner who is helping to guide you based on your unique needs and health status, great. But if you are taking vitamins, minerals, and other supplements on your own, make sure you aren’t creating more problems for yourself. Some supplements are contraindicated for a health condition, or medication, or if not in proper amount or ratio can negatively impact your health. Just because something is “natural” does not mean it is always safe for everyone. Understand that physiology is affected so make sure you do your research.
- Sleep. So many people are in “heightened alert mode”. We are overwhelmed with schedules and obligations for family, friends, and careers, keeping up with social media, and technology devices that never seem to get turned off. Exhaustion is a frequent complaint I hear from many of my clients. They can’t wind down at the end of the day, or if falling asleep is easy, frequent waking through the night is more the norm than the exception. I work with clients to discover the reasons they either can’t fall asleep or stay asleep. Sometimes it is related to excess stress hormones and/or deficient sleep hormones, sometimes to an inverted circadian rhythm, sometimes to blood sugar imbalances, and sometimes related to toxin overload. Once the cause is discovered and addressed, and sleep is improved in duration and depth, a long list of health complaints and symptoms either disappear or dramatically improve. If you have issues with sleep deprivation, work with your medical team, or find practitioners that can help discover your unique causes. Getting adequate, restorative sleep is as important as the air you breathe and the food you eat.
Next month, I will list 5 more tips geared towards the non-physical aspects for improved health and well-being. I know most or all of you have heard of the ones I have discussed. However, unless you are utilizing your knowledge and incorporating them, information without action changes nothing.
If you are unable to find practitioners to help you, feel free to contact me for a consultation. I do all consultations by phone, so distance is never an issue.
Until next month, I challenge you to try one or all of these tips and assess the benefits for yourselves. And if you are doing them all already, then I salute your commitment to living your best and healthiest life.
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