I am a Certified Health Coach. I provide a wide range of services to help individuals achieve their wellness goals using whole food you buy from your own favorite grocery store or farmers market. My services include a variety of customizable group workshops, individual consultations, wellness luncheons, and lectures that are appropriate for businesses, schools, community groups and more!
Sciatica is one of the most common, yet misunderstood, types of pain. As many as 40% of people will get it during their life, and it becomes more frequent as you age. Sciatica tends to get lumped in with regular back pain, but it is different. The pain originates with the sciatic nerves and often goes away by itself within a few hours or days. However, some attacks can come and go for several weeks or even months. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to prevent sciatica, as well as relieve the pain.
Exercise is a key way to prevent or help relieve sciatica. Consider these types:
Aerobic exercise: walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling, and other activities that increase your heart rate without causing more pain if you already have sciatica.
Strength training: exercises using free weights or weight machines, or isometric exercises, which involve contracting muscles without obvious movement.
Flexibility training: yoga, tai chi, Pilates, and similar activities that increase both flexibility and strength.
Any exercise that you can enjoy and do regularly is going to help. Try something new, go back to an old favorite, or both.
Strengthen your core
It might not seem obvious that a stronger core could improve your spinal health. But your core is not just your abdominal muscles, even though they are key contributors to the stability of your spine. Muscles in the back, sides, pelvis, and buttocks also are part of your core. Strengthening all of these muscles helps to support your spine.
Many types of exercise, including yoga and Pilates, can strengthen the core muscles. For example, planks and bridges are movements that target the core.
Avoid sitting for long periods
Prolonged periods of sitting put pressure on the discs and ligaments in the low back. If you have a job that requires a lot of sitting, take frequent breaks, or try a standing desk. Less sitting is better for all of us.
Manage your weight
Being overweight or obese can increase your risk for sciatica. And people who have sciatica and are overweight tend to heal more slowly since the increased weight puts pressure on your spine and can lead to herniated discs. Even minor weight loss will reduce inflammation and pressure on the spine.
Practice good posture
Mom was right—slouching isn’t good for you. But you don’t have to walk around the room with a book on your head to practice good posture. Follow these tips:
Pay attention to your body’s position when you’re standing or sitting.
To prevent slouching, pull your shoulders down and back. Imagine your shoulder blades touching.
If you work at a computer, take frequent breaks. Position your monitor so you can see it without bending your head down or tilting it back.
Over the years, I have written and created many books, recordings, and resources, but my favorites are Mentoring Women and Mentoring Young Women. Both are long-term curriculum style resources for groups to use in their churches, small groups, schools or any circle of influence where mentoring is at the heart of the project.
Mentoring has always been a “thing” of mine. I don’t know why, really. I didn’t have a mentor myself. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there were those around me who were instrumental in my life, but not intentionally. Mentoring is a thing that doesn’t just “happen” to someone accidentally, or haphazardly. It is premeditated and accepted by both individuals involved.
I have been blessed to mentor hundreds of women over the year, intentionally, premeditatedly, and where both parties involved were engaged in the process. There is the “sweet spot” of most mentoring; where both are engaged in the process. If you count those who I mentored that have mentored others (in the same fashion) the number would reach well into the thousands. How amazing it is to think about, and what a blessing to my heart to know that there are women out there in the world whose lives are stronger, better, and more grounded because someone came alongside them to walk a part of the journey with them as they navigated life.
I love my fancy title National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, given to me by the National Board of Medical Examiners. All sounds so official. It is an honor. I worked hard to achieve that title. They don’t just hand it out to anyone, but I wish I could be called a Health and Wellness Mentor instead of a Health and Wellness Coach. Mostly, because the term coaching is more face-to-face, like a coach to his team, where the coach is doing all the talking and the player is doing the listening and nodding.
Mentoring is coming alongside a person on their journey to help them get to where they want to go. The mentor has been where they are going, sees what they will be seeing, and is doing what they want to be doing. That’s what I do. I still love and have a huge place in my heart for those I have walked alongside during my Mentoring Women / Leading Ladies days. They are my friends on facebook and though I don’t interact with them regularly or intentionally like our year of their journey, I like to think that our time together lives on in them in some fine way.
I still have the CDs (yes, AKA Compact Discs) if you happen to have a Compact Disc player, contact me and I can hook you up with a terrific program for your personal growth or a group experience!
Hire me to do a Smart Shopping Trip for you and your family. It is a great way to learn about health and life-giving foods. Feeding your body well doesn’t have to be such a challenge. That’s why I offer “Smart Shopping” trips to answer most frequently misunderstood concepts. I even provide recipes to get my clients off to a healthy start as they go home from the grocery store. I love to teach folks how easy it can be to avoid nutrition-related diseases, improve learning and behavior, control weight, increase energy levels, prepare healthy snacks, and make great meals that your body will love as much as your taste buds do! I love food, and there is no reason not to love it, as long as you understand what is in it and where to find the best sources of fuel for the body systems you depend on every day. So many people let the aisles and aisles of choices at the grocery store intimidate them. They stare at the produce and think it will take hours to prep or don’t even know what they would use it for, or they are mesmerized wall of yogurt or eggs wondering what is best! The Get Fitters can now shop with confidence after discovering some of the secrets to identifying healthy foods and what to do with them. I believe they went home from the store more set up for success. My motto is “Work with me if you’d rather Die of Old Age than anything else!”
Tip #1Eat Living Food and LOTS of it. Living foods are what I call “Go Foods.” To fit this category they need to be: 1) Grown, not manufactured 2) Colorful like the colors in the rainbow 3) Can be eaten raw. (Not that you must eat them raw, but you must be able to eat them raw.) These living foods help you to live long and strong. Natural immune boosters, anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and phytonutrients just to name of few good reasons. So much more to say on this topic!
Tip #2Avoid Processed/Manufactured Foods. These are the opposite of Living Food. I call them “Slow Down” foods and you want to focus on quality and quantity here. Also, the front of any box, bag, jar or can is nothing but advertisement so turn off the marketing manipulation and look at the ingredients first (the nutrition info second, but most do not realize the myths hidden here). You are looking for 10 ingredients or less, no High Fructose Corn Syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial ingredients or colors. Ingredients you can pronounce and would eat alone. Be sure you know that there are over 30 names for sugar – this way the manufacturer doesn’t have to claim sugar as the first ingredient, therefore the highest content in the container.
Smart Shopping is only one of the services I provide. Check out my classes at Sugar Hill E Center or at www.wholefoodhealthcoach.com
Type 1 Diabetes usually affects younger people, although it may occur at any age. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder wherein the immune system mistakes the healthy beta cells in the pancreas as foreign invaders and attacks them. Unlike Type 2 Diabetes, Type 1 Diabetes is not a disease brought on by lifestyle choices, but healthy lifestyle choices CAN and DOES positively affect both types.
Choose a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet.
Choosing a healthy lifestyle is generally beneficial for everyone’s overall health, but especially for those whose blood sugar levels need to be controlled to help prevent the complications related to diabetes. Here are some tips to help you to help yourself:
☐Timing your meals: Meal timing is crucial to the treatment and management of Type 1 diabetes, since it may affect the efficiency of your insulin intake. It’s extremely important for you to match your meals with your insulin doses. The best time to eat your meal depends on the type of insulin that you’re taking. Regular insulin should be taken 30 minutes before a meal. Eating foods with low glycemic load allows the blood sugar to slowly rise, giving the insulin ample time to take effect.
☐Watch your carb intake: Make sure that you monitor your carbohydrate intake. Carbs include starches, sugars and fiber. Your body converts starches and sugars into glucose, enters your bloodstream and increases your BG levels.
☐Avoid sugars: Sugar, in moderate amounts, is essential to our body. As a carbohydrate, it helps supply you with the energy you need for your daily activities. All of your cells use it. But at the same time, sugar is also a calorie, and once it is consumed in excess, negative effects to your health will follow. Excessive amounts of sugar can result in obesity, diabetes, heart damage or failure, cancer cell production, depletion of brain power, and shorter lifespans.
Avoiding foods with high sugar content is definitely easier said than done these days, given the massive amounts of it in everything. It’s everywhere, not just the usual suspects like energy drinks, sodas, candy bars, and cereals, but also bread, and peanut butter. Even more dangerous than sugar is the world of artificial sweeteners, often marketed as a healthy alternative to sugar, and are anything but healthy.
☐Eat nutritious foods: Avoid eating processed foods. Most contain sugar, preservatives, trans fat, refined flour, and other unhealthy ingredients. Fill your plate with wholesome foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. You should consume foods that are high in healthy fats and probiotics, since these may help you gain better control of your blood glucose levels. Everyone has access to them.
☐Exercise regularly — Following a consistently active lifestyle may help regulate your blood sugar levels, as it allows your body to use insulin more efficiently. It also helps reduce your risk of developing complications, such as heart disease and stroke. It’s important to note that your physical activities and diet plan significantly affect your blood glucose levels. Make sure that you consult your physician before making any changes to your lifestyle habits and dietary plan.
☐Regular Monitoring your glucose levels is a must! — Don’t mess with this. Before and after mealtimes. Before and after exercising. Before sleeping. When you’re not feeling well.
☐Don’t let Diabetes define you, depress you, or discourage you. Choose well, and you will live well. Enjoy life. Be healthy and be wise.
Get out your Yoga Mat! Seriously, go now! No wait, read this first.
Go get out your yoga mat. It’s somewhere at the bottom of the closet or in the storage room. If you don’t have one, buy one. You won’t be sorry after reading all this.
Did you know yoga can do more than just strengthen and tone your body? In fact, it can do much more – especially for women. We must protect and build our muscles, since muscle strength helps support our bones as we age, and we know how important that can be.
For years I considered yoga a practice embraced mostly by celebrities and “New Agers” but it has come a long way since then, and so have I. I began a regular yoga practice back in 2005 and I loved it. It has done more for me than any exercise machine or gym membership has. The truth is, I haven’t always been in a class, however I use the strength-producing poses throughout my week and have recently started back to class. Today yoga studios are everywhere, and millions of people like me enjoy the overwhelming benefits. My friend, Julie Adams teaches an amazing Pi-Yo (Floor Pilates and Yoga Fusion) class at the E Center in Sugar Hill, where I teach my health and nutrition classes. She is the reason I am back in class, because as a health coach, a business owner and woman in the second half of life, I have many more reasons, so I will share them with you here.
Recent research shows yoga can have a powerful effect on your health—making it a perfect remedy for everything from heart disease and high blood pressure to anxiety and depression.
You may already be familiar with some yoga moves such as downward dog and mountain pose or my favorite – the warrior poses. But you may not know that yoga is a total mind-body workout that includes: postures, breathing practices, relaxation, and mindfulness. This practice can transform your physical and mental health in dozens of ways. Here are just a few:
Helps improve balance, flexibility, strength, and coordination
Helps reduce your risk of heart disease
Relieves migraines for many people
Helps improve MS, IBS, and fibromyalgia
Prevents stress and even can reverse the harmful effects of stress
Relaxing breathing techniques can be practiced anywhere for calm nerves and release tension
One study showed how yoga increased the flexibility of blood vessels by 69%, and even helped to shrink blockages in arteries without the use of medications!
Another showed the power of the meditation component of yoga may even help to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and fight age-related declines in memory.
Now, get out your mat and head to the nearest studio!
You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why – this year’s favorite holiday gift will be something that will be well received, enthusiastically used and sincerely appreciated! ME!
Give the gift of health this year! Offer a healthy alternative to the piles of gifts that collect dust on your shelves or end up at the bottom of your closet after the holiday season. This year, buy your loved ones Gift Certificate for nutrition counseling or to one of my many fun, informative and life changing workshops!
My 7-week Individual Coaching Program has been a hit with many recipients of this one-on-one personal coaching in Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition! the nutritional guidance they receive over our time together is entertaining and educational! My truly personalized coaching and training tools offer unsurpassed results.
The GIFT CERTIFICATE is truly the Gift that Keeps on Giving throughout the year!
For Your Dad, Mom, Husband, Wife, Sister, Friend, Boss, other! it’s easy to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for those you love with the gift coaching from National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Stephanie Wolfe. Buy it today! Special for the Holidays: $100 OFF!!!!!!! (Reg. $725)
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Pinktober! In October we focus our attention on cancer. It is breast cancer awareness month. I decided to use my blog to provide some controversial research about this month’s tidal wave of pinkwashing propaganda. Pink newspapers are delivered to our doors, pink shoes on our football players, and yesterday I saw a pink cement truck. All to draw awareness to breast cancer, so I will do my part to draw attention to the topic (and you can thank me for not using pink lettering).
Many of you know that I am a two-time cancer survivor (last of which was breast cancer in 1999). However, you may not know that I am most definitely NOT a fan of Susan G Komen, so please do not ask me to walk, contribute, support, wear, purchase, pink-out, or post anything on my FaceBook Page.
Susan G Komen and others like it call themselves “non-profit,” continue to raise billions to “find a cure,” and propagate the conventional treatments surrounding the disease, all in spite of the great and growing body of research on cause and prevention!
The cause of cancer is no longer much of a mystery, yet prevention is still not a hot topic because it requires manufacturer ethics and personal responsibility! Manufacturers do not seem to care that they are killing us and are often only moved by their bottom line. Personal responsibility seem more a thing of the past.
Plus, evidently there is nothing sexy about raising money for prevention! I would give to that! I am a “preventionist!” Yes, that’s a thing! I made it a thing! It is my thing! This is why I spend more money than I make simply trying to educate people how not to die! My slogan: “Helping People Die of Old Age” is often laughed at, but that is my desire. I intend to die as a great-great-grandmother after having lived a full life, with a massive collection of memories, and leave a legacy of taking personal responsibility!
So as you can see, I believe in cancer prevention first and foremost, so some of my comments may seem harsh, but this research opened my eyes years ago, and I hope it will open yours today.
Disclaimer: I know there are many well-meaning folks out there who are participating in walks, raising money, and donating because they care about people who are suffering with cancer. I believe that the founder of Susan G Komen for the Cure, did it with a broken heart over the loss of her dear sister. I mean her no ill will, and I am just as broken-hearted for all cancer victims. I simply want to say a cure for cancer should not be the objective.
The Cancer Industry is fraught with corruption. I’ve assembled some of the most shocking facts about one of them: Susan G. Komen for the Cure — the world’s largest “breast cancer awareness” charity organization.
Only 21% of money that Susan G. Komen for the Cure raises goes to cancer research. Simple math tells us that 79% of all the money they raise goes elsewhere.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure has taken legal action against over 100 small non-profits for using the phrase “for the cure” in their fund-raising campaigns. How dare you sell ‘cupcakes for the cure’.
In 2011, Susan G. Komen created and sold a perfume called “Promise Me” containing 3 leading potentially cancer-causing toxic ingredients coumarin, oxybenzone, and toluene. After this news broke, they pulled it from the market.
In 2012, Komen Founder & CEO, Nancy Brinker was paid $684,717, a 64% increase from her $417,000 salary the year before and this was AFTER a big drop in donations and half their 3-Day races were canceled.
In 2012, Komen drew criticism from the medical community for using misleading statements and deceptive statistics in their ads promoting mammograms.
Komen uses donation money to provide mammograms to women who can’t afford them, which seems good, until you learn that a 25-year study of 90,000 women proved that mammograms don’t save lives, and that what early detection campaigns are actually doing is overdiagnosing and funneling women into an industry of harmful over-treatment, resulting in unnecessary surgery, chemo, radiation and hormone therapies.
There’s plenty of damning information out there that can, and ultimately will, be used to call for a congressional hearing on the mammography cover-up. As far back as 1974, Professor Malcolm C. Pike at the University of Southern California School of Medicine warned the National Cancer Institute that a number of specialists had concluded that “giving a woman under age 50 a mammogram on a routine basis is close to unethical.”
In the 1990’s, Dr. Samuel Epstein warned about the dangers of mammography, stating: “The premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, each 1 rad exposure increases breast cancer risk by about 1 percent, with a cumulative 10 percent increased risk for each breast over a decade of screening.
The high sensitivity of the breast, especially in young women, to radiation-induced cancer was known by 1970. Nevertheless, the establishment then screened some 300,000 women with X-ray dosages so high as to increase breast cancer risk by up to 20 percent in women aged 40 to 50 who were mammogramed annually.”
Yet despite all the evidence against the routine use of it, mammography has remained the number one recommended “prevention” strategy for nearly 40 years and is only now being reformed!
In 2014, Komen partnered with Baker Hughes who produced 1,000 pink drill bits to be used in their fracking operations with the cutesy slogan “Doing their bit for the cure”. Fracking involves the use of 700 different chemicals, like benzene and formaldehyde – which are linked to cancer.
As a result of some of these shenanigans, in 2014, The Charity Navigatordowngraded Susan G. Komen for the Cure to 2 stars (out of 4).
Since that public embarrassment, Komen has been working to improve their rating. Nancy Brinker stepped down and was replaced with a much lower paid CEO. Their overall rating has come back up to 3 stars, but their financial rating is still 2 stars.
Another organization that Susan G. Komen for the Curefunnels money to – that has nothing to do with curing cancer – is Planned Parenthood, which was founded by a woman known as a racist, and a proponent of controlled breeding and sterilization – Margaret Sanger. Google her and the sordid history of Planned Parenthood which is the single largest provider of abortions in the United States. Multiple peer-reviewed studies suggest that abortion significantly increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
Donating to cancer research is essentially giving your hard-earned dollars to drug companies who make billions in profit every year,don’t need your money, and are onlyinterested in research that can lead to patentable, highly profitable drugs that they can sell back to you!
These are only a few of the reasons I have taken such a firm position against Susan G Komen for the Cure and the pinkwashing done at this time of year!
If Komen changes their ways, my opinion of them could change as well, but their history is not a good one.
Even more importantly, onceSusan G. Komen and other organizations like it – begin to acknowledge and spread the proven information about the cause and prevention of cancer – money for a cure will be less important.
Some final thoughts for your consideration:
Donating to cancer research is essentially giving your hard-earned dollars to drug companies who make billions in profit every year,don’t need your money, and are onlyinterested in research that can lead to patentable, highly profitable drugs that they can sell back to you.
Investigate all non-profits for the disbursement of funds, the philosophy behind the organization, and its leaders BEFORE you help raise money or donate to it.
Any cancer patient in treatment can attend any of my health and nutrition workshops for free. It is my most valuable way of giving – since the savings and the information – is vital to them. But THE BEST way to help cancer patients is to put CA$H MONEY in their hands to help with groceries, gas, medical bills, treatment, supplements, rent, utilities, child care, etc. NOT by donating to “cancer research” or helping raise money to “find a cure.”
When we’re dragging, feeling tired, and experiencing low-energy, most people run to their magic blend – an extra cup (or two or three) of black coffee or what I call “loaded coffee” from your favorite coffee shop (which is worse). Coffee gives your body and brain a jolt, but it doesn’t help where help is needed most: in our cells. What is happening when we feel tired and have no energy?
What we call “energy” is actually a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), produced by tiny cellular structures called mitochondria. ATP’s job is to store energy and then deliver that energy to cells in other parts of the body. However, (sadly) as we grow older, our body has fewer mitochondria. (I just turned 60, so I have an excuse and I’m sticking to it!) But in all seriousness, if you feel you don’t have enough energy, it may be because your body has problems producing enough ATP and thus providing cells with enough energy. We may not be able to overcome all aspects of age-related energy loss, but there are ways to help our body produce more ATP and replenish dwindling energy levels. The most common strategies revolve around three basic concepts: diet, exercise, and sleep.
We must not underestimate the power of vegetables in boosting our body’s mitochondrial function and protect it from damage as we age. Boost your ATP with fatty acids and protein from lean protein like fatty fish (wild-caught salmon is best), nuts, chicken and turkey. While eating large amounts can feed our body more material for ATP, it also increases our risk for weight gain, which can lower energy levels. The excess pounds mean our body has to work harder to move, so we use up more ATP. It’s better to eat small meals and snacks every few hours than three large meals a day, just like I have taught my clients to do! Our brain has very few energy reserves of its own and needs a steady supply of nutrients. Remember our lesson on grazing? Large meals cause insulin levels to spike, which then drops blood sugar rapidly, causing the sensation of fatigue. That’s why after eating heavy, we feel like we need a nap!
Drink enough water.
If our body is short on fluids, one of the first signs is a feeling of fatigue. Although individual needs vary, the Institute of Medicine recommends men should aim for about 15 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids per day, and women about 12 cups (2.7 liters). You can get some fluids from liquid-heavy fruits and vegetables that are up to 90% water, such as cucumbers, zucchini, squash, strawberries, citrus fruit, and melons.
Stick to an exercise routine.
Exercise can boost energy levels by raising energy-promoting neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which is why we feel so good after a workout. Exercise also makes muscles stronger and more efficient, so they need less energy, and therefore conserve ATP. It doesn’t really matter what kind of exercise we do, but consistency is key. Some research has suggested that as little as 20 minutes of low-to-moderate aerobic activity, three days a week, can help sedentary people feel more energized. However, I believe 30 minutes 5 days a week should be our minimum. It has many benefits to every system in our bodies.
Get plenty of sleep.
Research suggests that healthy sleep can increase ATP levels. ATP levels surge in the initial hours of sleep, especially in key brain regions that are active during waking hours.
RX: Eat real food, drink clean water, exercise and get plenty of sleep.
If you know me or my wellness philosophy at all, then you would know that I am not a fan of prescriptions in the form of pills, patches, potions, lotions, or anything chemical, synthetic, or chemistry-lab created. I avoid it at all costs. I know there are, of course times when prescription drugs are necessary, I have had surgery and I sure appreciated not feeling any part of it. However, IF we knew the power of prevention we may make better decisions for our personal healthcare, so that the doc whose first stop is to grab a pad to write a prescription for you. I don’t have a pill, patch, or potion but here is my prescription for living long and strong.
ASK “Doc, what can I DO”, instead of “Doc, what can I take!”
During a discussion on this very topic, I asked my physician friend here in Atlanta, “Why is the prescription pad the first thing you do?” Her statement changed my dis-affection for MDs to an affectionate level when she said, “Because that’s what we know they’ll do! They (the patient) will take a pill.” Wow, I get it. It is the patient that drives the train on the power of the pad. The average patient wants a quick fix, immediate relief, or magic bullet. No work required. Like sleep-away – the diet drug that touted weight loss while you sleep! Do nothing and look like a top model. Yeah, right. Sorry, I am a bit critical of those who make these people rich buy the lies and the products that go with them. Do not rely on pills – where skills are more beneficial! Learn what you need to learn and then make small changes that matter. If you don’t, there may be a day when you will wish you did. Stay tuned for the following blogs I am calling “My Prescription for Living Long and Strong”. Be aware, that it will focus your willingness to DO something, instead of TAKE something.
Physical, Mental, and Emotional HEALTH are profoundly influenced by diet and lifestyle.
Science supports a host of “therapeutic lifestyle changes” – TLC for short – that can improve your mood and lower your risk of depression. Here’s the complete list based on my most recent scientific review. (Please note these strategies are in no specific order.
Be physically active / exercise daily. Any activity counts, but formal exercise and participation in regular sports are among the best. Also, the more vigorous the activity the better, and resistance-type strength training for building, maintaining and protecting muscle mass. Muscle burns 3x as many calories and fat (even when sleeping).
Minimize processed and fast foods. Consume mostly whole “nature-made” foods, particularly plant-based foods. Those that are grown-not manufactured, very colorful (like the colors of the rainbow), and can be eaten raw (not that they must be eaten raw, but that they can be eaten raw).
Consume omega 3 rich foods These include: oily fish (salmon, sardines, lake trout, herring, cod), omega 3 eggs, walnuts, whole soy foods, hemp/chia/flax seeds, canola oil, and small leafy greens. Fish oil supplements are also an option for getting in optimal amounts of omega fats, but eating oily fish regularly is likely the very best way.
Keep your weight in a healthy range. Do not rely solely on the scale numbers for this measurement. Your waist circumference is the best tool for this.
Eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Those with the most anti-inflammatory benefit are likely the best and include: red onions, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, red/orange/yellow bell peppers, dark leafy greens, apples, red grapes, berries, cherries, oranges, and plums. Excess inflammation in the body has been linked to depression.
Maintain optimal blood levels of vitamin D via safe sun exposure, consuming vitamin D-rich foods (oily fish, fortified dairy products, mushrooms, eggs) and appropriate use of high quality vitamin D supplements in some cases.
Include magnesium-rich foods in your diet regularly – green vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, and wheat germ.
Increase your intake of tryptophan-rich foods. Foods high in tryptophan include: turkey, whole soy foods, lean meats, and lots of grilled/baked fish.
Increase your consumption of water. Your body needs half your body weight in water each and every day.
Include folate-rich foods in your diet regularly. Green vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, wheat germ, any form of tomato product, oranges, nuts, seeds, whole soy foods, parsley, and beets are excellent sources.
Include vitamin B-12 rich foods in your diet regularly. The healthiest sources would be dairy products, fish, and shellfish (though I do not eat any shellfish). If you are older than 50, get your level checked periodically. Supplementation is an option but be very careful with this.
Avoid sugary beverages and artificially sweetened (diet) sodas. Too many benefits to list here in this space. You know they are all bad, bad, bad and you know the reasons why. Just stop it.
Use anti-inflammatory herbs and spices regularly in your foods – turmeric, curry, ginger, and rosemary are especially potent. Eat an abundant amount of anti-inflammatory foods and avoid pro-inflammatory (processed) foods.
Cultivate and nurture relationship with the outdoors. Water, wind, soil, trees, paths. Spend time in nature regularly. Daily is best. A walk. Sit on the porch. Eat on the deck. Just step outside and take a deep breath.
Maintain positive relationships with family and friends. Get out with friends. Go see, go do!
Engage in relaxation/mindfulness practices regularly – deep breathing, yoga, meditation, etc.
Volunteer your time and talents. Give of yourself and your money to help those in need. It feels good.
Don’t dwell on negatives. “Look down, go down.” I learned that from an instructor, while taking my motorcycle drivers license training. It works with bikes, motorcycles and in life.
Science tell us that Nature offers powerful, broad-spectrum health protection.
That was the resounding conclusion from the largest and most comprehensive evaluation to date. For this landmark report, researchers combined data from over 140 studies involving over 290 million people living in 20 different countries, including the US, Europe, Australia, and Japan. They uncovered that people with the most green space exposure enjoyed significantly superior protection from the following list of maladies: type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, preterm birth, premature death, stress and high blood pressure.
For this report, green space was defined as undeveloped natural landscapes as well as urban green spaces (city parks, street greenery, etc.) Regarding Nature’s potential “active ingredients” responsible for these amazing findings, the list is remarkable. They include: volatile organic compounds released by trees, vitamin D/sunlight, fractal visual patterns, melodic bird sounds, beneficial soil bacteria, cleaner air, and negative air ions, amongst others. I sell Tower Gardens and some of my most appreciative customers are those whose surroundings do not allow them to garden – apartments, townhomes, assisted living or senior living, and they can now enjoy their own produce from their own hands – green thumb or not!
Based on personal experience, as well as an impressive body of published science, I am convinced that Creation or Mother Nature is our best kept secret to the best health. Strive to get more “green” in your life!