As my mom always told me “life is a series of choices”.
Every meal choice, the people we spend our time with, setting the alarm early enough to get that morning workout in – these are all choices that impact more than just that moment in time.
I see patients everyday who are already on so many medications and supplements and then ask what more they can add to their list.
Supplements should be just that- a SUPPLEMENT to a healthy lifestyle.
Take 50 year old ‘Susan’, who came to me to help her with fatigue; she knew that she was too young to feel so lousy.
Susan assumed it must be hormonal or an underlying infection, potentially even an auto-immune disease. She wanted to know what supplements were missing.
During our first appointment, I came to learn that her diet was largely ‘diet’ foods that she kept low in calories to try and lose weight. Like many of us, she stared at screens from sunup until sundown, even fell asleep watching TV nightly. She felt so tired all the time that she relied on sugary coffee mixes and energy drinks to give her a boost to get her through her stressful workday.
I knew immediately that I could help Susan feel better before we even got lab results.
I sent her home that day with a list of these simple daily changes that would improve her energy in the moment and for the long haul.
Before you assume something is wrong with your body, I encourage you to go through this list and see how your choices add up.
- Don’t let phone scrolling be your first morning activity. Yes, probably 90% of adults in the workforce wake up to an alarm from their cell phone. That doesn’t mean that you need to shut it off and immediately open your emails or social media feed. Turn it off, put the phone down and just allow yourself to wake up. Did you have dreams? What could they be telling you? Do you have something important to do today? What are you grateful for? What goals can you set for yourself today?
- Don’t skimp on nutrition if weight loss is your goal. Diet foods, like those that Susan was eating (35 calorie bread, processed deli turkey, meal replacement bars etc.) provide few calories and little nutrients. Your body feels hungry because it needs nutrients for energy. A 200 calorie meal replacement bar can be highly processed, full of sugar alcohols, and other chemical ingredients that your body is certainly NOT craving. You’d be much better off with a real food item for that same calorie content. For example; 2 boiled eggs or 2 scoops of Daily Defense would provide the same caloric content with far more nutritional value to fuel your body.
- Don’t just use your watch (or phone) to know what time it is. Our ancestors could tell time from the location of the sun in the sky. GET OUTSIDE. Morning sun exposure provides bright sunlight with blue hues. Afternoon sun gives us that nice golden orange. Our phone, TV and computer screens give blue light all day. In the afternoon put on some blue light blocking glasses and/or go for a short walk to give your brain access to the orange light which will actually improve cognitive function and alertness. When the sun goes down, dim the lights to enhance natural melatonin production. If you don’t have access to sunshine like we do here in Arizona, check out this sunlight lamp.
- Drink water- and not from a plastic bottle. If you’re reading a health blog, you likely already know that about 70% of your body is made up of water. Everyday activities burn through this water and it must be replenished. The best water has a solid mineral content and no additives or harmful chemicals found in most city tap water. We love Pellegrino mineral water or a home filtration system like this one, so that you can fill into glass and never have to rely on flimsy chemical laden plastic bottles again.
If you already do these, and still don’t feel your best, let’s talk. You can find me at NHD!