Staying Healthy Through the Holidays
It starts with Halloween. Halloween, our gateway to the holiday season seems to usher in the official start of cold-and-flu season. Between the sugar overload and non-stop festivities, Halloween can begin a series of harrowing illnesses for the whole family. Preparing for upcoming festivities with cold-and-flu prevention in mind can help start the season on the right note. Here are 10 living healthy naturally tricks and treats for a healthy holiday.
1. Create a sugar budget. We have talked about the importance of budgeting sugar in past articles, but this is extremely important during the holiday season. Sugar weakens the immune system, making us all more vulnerable to colds and other viral infections. (1) Children and adults should keep total sugar under 6 teaspoons per day, or 40 grams. Remember that is the amount of sugar in half a can of coke or in a quarter of a cupcake.
Help your children decide where their sugar budget will be spent. We use the concept of “sugar dollars” to help maintain our sugar budget. After trick or treating or a holiday party put candy away and limit amount consumed per day. Creative ideas include trading candy in for money, giving candy away to those less fortunate and creating a neighborhood “candy bank” that can be used for specific gatherings.
2. Eat before trick-or-treating or parties. Attending the festivities on a full stomach can prevent overindulgence during trick or treating or holiday festivities. Getting plenty of protein, water and fiber before leaving the house will help control cravings for high sugar foods.
3. Walk through the neighborhood. Daily exercise through the holiday season, will prevent excessive weight gain, while boosting immune function. (2) This is true for children and adults.
4. Buy treats other than candy. Giving out and serving a variety of treats, including toys, crayons, gift certificates and candy will help to minimize everyone’s exposure to sugar. Try to pick candy with fewer dyes or artificial sweeteners, since some children may have reactions.
5. Start your cold-and-flu prevention strategy now.
There are many natural herbs and supplements that build immunity and decrease our chances of catching viral infections. My favorite is astragalus, a Chinese herb that acts as an antiviral and antibacterial. I recommend taking this every day, but increasing to three times per day at the onset of cold symptoms. The average starting dose is 500 milligrams for adults and 250 milligrams for children. Increasing vitamin D3 supplementation may also help. Most adults benefit from daily supplementation between October and March with 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day, while children should be supplemented with 1,000 IU per day.
6. Begin juicing. Juicing is another great trick and treat to boost immunity and energy. Juicing increases the concentration of antioxidants in the body, resulting in a higher oxygen state. When juicing, I often advise my patients to have fun: mix colors and different types of fruits and vegetables, but always pair any bitter with a sweet fruit or vegetable. My favorites are apple, pineapple and honey or apple, carrot and ginger. I recommend juicing at least four times per week.
7. Prepare your spice cabinet for cold-and-flu season.
So many great herbs and spices keep our immune system balanced and have antiviral properties. Garlic and onions are powerful antivirals, found also in a homeopathic remedy, allium cepa. Soups with garlic and onions often seem to help colds by increasing antiviral activity. Turmeric and cayenne pepper are anti inflammatories and can help thin nasal secretions. Keep these stocked in your kitchen and add in your favorite recipes.
8. Create a stress-management plan.
With holidays, stress often increases and many of us will neglect our self-care rituals. Finding 15 minutes per day to “zone out” or relax can help boost immune function. Regular acupuncture, massage and yoga provide immune support by lowering cortisol, our stress hormone.
9. Sleep. Sleep, finally, is the ultimate protector of the immune system. Both children and adults should maintain consistent sleep schedules through the holidays. Most adults need at least 8 hours of sleep, while most children need 10 hours. “Sleeping in” does not compensate for an irregular sleep cycle through the week.
From Rabia: Kick the Habit
Everyone knows that smoking is harmful to your health. Unfortunately, stopping smoking is tough, so if you are ready to quit follow an integrated approach to give yourself the best chance for success.
Create a plan:
List your reasons for quitting. Analyze your smoking triggers and then find alternatives (ie: chewing gum, exercising). Set a “quit” date and stick to it. Tell your friends and family about your plan to quit. Even if you relapse, keep quitting!
Fruits and vegetables have been found to make cigarettes taste less appealing so loading up on plant based foods before your quit date can be helpful. Avoid meats, coffee, and alcohol.
Moderate to vigorous exercise can help prevent smoking relapses, cravings, and moodiness in those trying to kick the habit.
Consider an acupuncture treatment the day you quit or within the first 72 hours to support serotonin production which can become depleted during smoking cessation.
Stop-it Smoking is a combination homeopathic smoking cessation remedy designed to reduce tobacco cravings, nervous tension, and irritability related to nicotine withdrawal.
Spending 20 minutes upon waking and before bed meditating has shown to help smokers quit. Tai chi can also be a helpful practice.
Download an app:
There are many different apps that can be downloaded to help you structure your cessation efforts. Examples include Smoke Out, Quitter, and Livestrong MyQuit Coach.
Chinese Medicine and Diabetes: Jessica Gross La.C, Dipl.OM
In Chinese medicine, the pathology of Diabetes can originate from a constitutional deficiency, life style or a combination of both. Treatment of Diabetes with Chinese medicine generally consists of the use of Acupuncture and Chinese herbs in conjunction with regular exercise and appropriate diet changes. Acupuncture and herbs are used to assist with blood sugar stabilization by strengthen the digestion. By improving the digestive function, food is efficiently converted into useful energy.
While maintenance treatments are recommended, Acupuncture may also be used to treat accompanying symptoms and reduce the risk of complications such as
- Frequent Urination
- Excessive Thirst
- Excessive Appetite
- Poor circulation
- Peripheral Neuropathy
Ayurveda and the Time Change: Gedalia Genin
Do you crave sweets, caffeine, chips, bread or a nap in the afternoon? Do you finish your day feeling like you were bulldozed by a car, or even a bus? Are you stressed at the end of a work day where you feel that alcohol is the only answer? Do you wake up tired without the motivation to get up and go?
While there may be many reasons for these concerns, one very simple solution may be that you are living out of sync with the natural cycles.
Health is a harmonious relationship of mind, body and spirit with our extended body; our environment. Rhythms of nature, music of nature and dance of nature are all reflected within our body. When our internal rhythms are in synchrony with those of the environment we experience wellbeing. These same patterns of rest and activity can be found within the cycles of nature: the sun rises, shines brightly and sets; the seasons flow one in to another and the tides rise and fall in response to the moon’s influence.
According to researcher Frank Scheer from Harvard Medical School, every cell of the body has an internal clock that regulates the body’s metabolism. According to Ayurveda, these internal clocks are linked to the rhythms of nature.
It is really quite simple. Connect your cellular clocks with the natural ebb and flow of nature’s cycles, and you live a life of balance and vitality. When we ignore these cycles of nature, we disturb our inner clocks, and thus life becomes a struggle.
Personalize your wellness approach with Gedalia’s Ayurvedic Sampler Package- Three 50 minute sessions learning to balance your unique energy type- including Marma.
New patient Special now through December $250
NEW SERVICES AT ACHIM:
Cancer Prevention, Adjunctive Treatment Plan, and Support Program Unveiled at ACHIM
We are pleased to announce enhanced cancer care programs for our patients. We have established partnerships with multiple cancer treatment facilities around the world to assist patients in this difficult journey.
Dr. Taz MD Wellness Solutions introduces Natural Boost
A B-multi vitamin for hormone balance, mood, and memory support. You can pick yours up today at our office for $35.