The holiday season can be a busy and stressful time. Some of the stress is good for us—like spending time with family and friends—but much of it is unpleasant and unavoidable—like jet lag and unexpected travel delays. We can’t avoid holiday stress completely but we can minimize its effects by maintaining healthy habits all year long. After all, what we do on a regular basis has a greater impact on our overall wellbeing than what we do once in awhile. Follow these five guidelines to make this your healthiest holiday season yet.
Nature is good for us! Studies show that forest environments promote lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol, lower blood pressure, and better balance in the nervous system. Spending time outside can improve markers of immune function, boost levels of vitamin D, and expose us to fresh air. It also exposes us to a lot of bugs, and some are friendlier than others. Don’t let bug bites stop you from enjoying the great outdoors. Read on to learn how to prevent bug bites, how to treat them naturally, and when to see your doctor.
Is collagen really the new fountain of youth? It may not be far off, considering that collagen is the primary structural protein in the body and as we age—starting in our mid-20s—the body’s natural production of collagen begins to decline. Supplementing collagen in capsule or powder form is one way to increase collagen stores in the body and studies continue to show benefits across the board, from wrinkles and cellulite to arthritis, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Collagen is actually an ancient remedy and you can make it yourself at home. There are even options for vegans who want to maintain healthy collagen stores without any animal products. And everyone can adopt healthy lifestyle habits that help prevent collagen loss. Read on for my top six tips.
Spring is a season of renewal. Over the winter, as our bodies have stored energy, they’ve also stored environmental toxins. Now is the time to eliminate them. True detoxification involves several enzymes, hormones, and organs, including the liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, skin, lungs, adipose tissue, and lymphatic system. Comprehensive detox programs like the one I wrote about in my book, The Prediabetes Detox, and the ones I put together for my patients, can be a big commitment. They usually involve diet changes, supplements, exercise, hydrotherapy, saunas, relaxation, and extra sleep. Not everyone can do all of this. But we all can do some of this, and diet is a great place to start. Here are my top five diet changes for a fresh start this spring.
We don’t like to admit it, but even doctors get sick. And many of us are terrible patients, so we often elect to treat ourselves. It’s not a good idea in cases of serious illness, but it’s often appropriate during colds and flu, when the best thing to do is stay home. Colds and flu are upper respiratory infections caused by viruses, not bacteria, so antibiotics aren’t effective. Instead I use home remedies and natural interventions to treat symptoms, speed recovery, and minimize discomfort. This is how I care for myself and my family during colds and flu.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be “more seriously polluted” than outdoor air, even in the largest and most industrialized cities. We may never be able to escape all of the toxins in our environment, but there are steps we can take to minimize our exposure.