Let your voice be heard!

You might be feeling a flood of emotions since all the protests started. Ive talked with many patients and their response ranges from feeling guilty about not going to a protest to feeling overwhelmed by all the upheaval going on in the world. For me, protesting is not something I feel safe doing right now with the current pandemic. It doesn’t mean I don’t support the peaceful protests going on all around the world. I’m more comfortable letting my voice be heard through writing, creating healing art, and voting. There are so many ways to make a difference and let your voice be heard.  The goal is to find what works for you!

Much of the suggestions below have been adapted from a great article 12 ways you can be an activist without going to a protest written in 2017.

Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

Vote:  Voting has always been a way to elect officials to fight for the values that matter most to you.

Contact Elected Officials: Calling or emailing your elected officials  is one of the most effective ways to influence your representative. Click here to find your House of Representative and Click here to find your Senator.  

Sign Petitions: Online petitions have been gaining popularity and can be a way to support causes you care about. Change.org is a popular site where you can start a petition or browse current petitions.

Educate and Read: Educating yourself is one of the most important things you can do to understand the issues in our society.  USA.gov can help you learn the facts and laws going on in the United States.  Much of the history taught in schools 20 years ago didn’t cover all the different points of view especially minorities. I recommend picking up a book focused on the history of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) instead of national or social media. 

Practice Self-Care: Take a break from the news and social media for as long as you need. Take a bath. Dance. Journal. Listen to music. Get a massage. Go for a walk. Go to bed early. Meditate. Garden. Go Camping.

Create: Creativity is a great outlet to let your voice be heard through your creation whether it be writing, song, dance, painting, crafting, or cooking. It can be cathartic and healing to funnel the thoughts and feelings you are having into a creative project.

Donate Money: Find a charity or non-profit that supports a cause you are passionate about and make a donation. 

Support Protesters: Do you have loved ones headed out to rallies and protests?  Make a care package including mobile chargers, disposable masks, water, hand sanitizer, pre-packaged non-perishable snacks, and sunscreen.

Speak Out:  Educate yourself and use your voice to support those that feel threatened by speaking out. “When you’re in a position of privilege, where your very existence doesn’t threaten your own life, you must call out inappropriate behavior.”–Felicia Fitzpatrick. This following section is directly taken from 12 ways you can be an activist without going to a protest written by Felicia Fitzpatrick a Black woman.

Pro-tips when speaking out:

  • Don’t say: “Well, ALL lives matter” Why? If all lives really did matter, we wouldn’t feel the need to exclaim that black lives matter at the top of our lungs.
  • Don’t say: “I don’t see color” Why? Okay, so you claim to not discriminate, but you’re erasing the struggles and the history of that entire group. You’re sort of saying that a person of color’s experiences don’t matter because you are blind to them. And, spoiler alert, a lot of people DO see color, so you’re dismissing a lot of racial issues that have taken place.
  • Don’t say: “I don’t care if you’re black, brown, blue, or polka-dotted” Why? Again, this is erasure of people of color AND this time with some objectification thrown in.
  • Listen to and Empathize With People of Color: Sometimes you just need to listen and not make it about you. Don’t explain a time you felt similar. Listen. Practice radical empathy. And then listen some more.

Cleaning During COVID-19: Masks, Car, Phone, Shoes

Written by Faith Christensen, ND

COVID-19 needs to enter the body through the nose, eyes, or mouth. If you keep your hands clean and don’t touch your face, you are unlikely to get COVID-19. Since the virus is invisible to the human eye, it is hard to “see” surfaces that might have a higher concentration of COVID-19. There are three areas to address when going out in public.

COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets. Those droplets go out into the air and then drop onto surfaces below. A 2007 study found large respiratory droplets can travel:

  • Breathing–3 feet
  • Coughing– 6 feet
  • Sneezing—19 feet

These have not been tested specifically for COVID-19 but more in general for respiratory droplets, the droplets COVID-19 travels on. The distance respiratory droplets travel is the reason for physical distancing. Masks are a great way of minimizing respiratory droplet spread. Respiratory droplets accumulate on surfaces 3 feet or more around a person not wearing a mask. This makes the floor and parking lots of most businesses a potential high concentration zone.

Image by Juraj Varga from Pixabay

Clean vs Dirty Mask

We are all told to wear a mask, but what are good practices? Below are a few points to keep in mind when wearing a mask. Here is what the CDC is saying about cloth mask hygiene.

 Wash your hands before putting on a mask

 Make sure you are using a clean mask

  • N95 masks are not rated to be used over 8 hrs and for no more than an hour before taking a break. These are still not recommended for the general public. Cleaning them with sanitizer breaks down the fibers. As the fiber degrades more particles can enter through the mask. Baking the N95 mask breaks down the elastic decreasing the tight fit and causing it to be less effective.
  • Cloth Masks: Cloth masks are generally worn to protect other people. However, The type of fabric used for the mask (cotton, flannel, silk) can block viral particles by 25-95% with a tight-fitting cloth mask. (Read more)Cotton/flannel, cotton/chiffon, cotton/silk all showed over 95% effective in filtering particles under 3 microns (the size of the COVID-19 virus) if the mask is not gapping. If the mask gaps the effectiveness goes to 30%-50%.(Link to article) Cloth masks should be worn one time and then washed.  
  • Disposable medical masks: These masks are designed to be single-use. Blue or green side goes toward the outside. Do not use them more than once.

Put it on and don’t touch it again. Part of the benefit of the mask is to prevent you from touching your nose or mouth with hands that may not be clean. Once you’ve put on your mask with clean hands make sure it is fitting tightly and comfortably. Don’t touch it again until you are ready to take it off. As you breathe through a mask, the outside surface of the mask is collecting particles floating in the air. So think of the outside of the mask, the part other people see and you would touch with your hands as contaminated. Another reason to not touch your mask once you’ve been wearing it for a while.

Wash your hands before taking off your mask. Make sure your hands are clean before taking off your mask. It is easy to touch your face as you take off the mask, so make sure your hands are clean. Do not touch the inside of the mask (the part over nose and mouth). It may be contaminated from your breathing, coughing, or sneezing.

Throw away disposable masks and place cloth masks immediately in the washing mashing after each outing.

Wash your hands again since you were touching a dirty mask.

Do masks cause health problems?

There has been some argument about masks causing disease. This applies only to masks being worn repeatedly without proper cleaning or for long periods. There are also social media posts claiming that wearing a mask can cause a decrease in oxygen getting into the body and an increase in breathing carbon dioxide. The only concern for both of these conditions is when people wear a tight-fitting N95 respirator mask for an extended period usually over 1 hr without a break. Surgical and cloth masks do not fit tight enough to decrease oxygen or increase carbon dioxide.  

The CDC recommends the following exceptions for wearing a mask: “Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.”

Removing shoes before entering the house

Since respiratory droplets fall to the ground, the floor in most stores is going to potentially have the highest concentration of viral particles. Make sure to take your shoes off before you enter your house or wipe the bottom of your shoes with disinfecting wipes.

Also, research shows one of the main exposures to outside pollution both man made and seasonal allergies inside the house is brought in by wearing your shoes around the house. It makes sense during the pandemic and in general to leave any outside pollution or possible viruses outside of your house. Not a fan of walking around barefoot in your house? Designate house shoes to wear only in the house.

Car exposure

The car is another area where cleanliness is important during a pandemic. Make sure to have hand sanitizer in the car to clean your hands after going into the store. Wipe down frequently touched surfaces like the steering wheel, door handle, stick shift, radio and fan knobs, and seat belts. Make sure what you are using is made for those surfaces to avoid damage to your car interior.

Building on the idea that respiratory droplets fall toward the ground and accumulate on the ground. The floor of the car will potentially have more exposure due to your shoes as discussed above. If something like your phone or keys fall on the floor, wipe them down with a disinfecting wipe before using it.

If you are taking your mask off and on between stores, be sure to sanitize your hands before and after you take it off and before you put it back on. 

Wherever you are laying the mask when you have it off in the car, make sure to have the outside surface resting on the seat of the car to keep the part of the mask that will be closest to your face clean. Also, remember the mask is filtering particles and the outside of the mask will have a higher concentration of whatever is in the air on the surface. Make sure to wipe down the seating area where you have laid your mask. Some people just find it easier to consider the car an un-clean environment and to keep the mask on during the entirety of running errands and only take the mask off once they return home. This will work for short trips but for longer trips over 5 hrs, you need a break. 

Phone Cleanliness

Phones can do so much these days, it is easy to pull them out and use them in the grocery store, in the car (not while driving) or when you are out of the house. Studies have shown smart phones are one of the dirtiest items in your house. During the pandemic, sanitize your phone after any use when you are out of your house and you haven’t washed your hands before picking it up. I’ve started leaving my phone in the car when I go to the grocery store to keep it clean and then I don’t have to think about when I last touched my phone. Bring in your list on paper—old school. 

 Cleaning your phone is easy:

  • Click here for a short video about phone cleaning with soap and water.
  • Use a 70% alcohol solution (vodka is about 70%) or isopropyl alcohol wipes. 
  • Wipe down all the surfaces and let it sit for 10 seconds as the alcohol dries out any viral particles. Think of it as a hand sanitizer for your phone. Using hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes can affect the phone cover and is not recommended for use on electronics. The 70% alcohol solution doesn’t damage your phone according to studies.
  • Remember if you use your phone while wearing a mask and it touches your mask, you need to wipe down your phone.
  • At home, it is a good idea to clean your phone once a day

All of this leaving you a bit overwhelmed?

Focus on areas where you think your potential for exposure is higher. Getting into the habit of removing your shoes before entering your house, is helpful for lots of reasons. Wearing a clean mask helps you and those around you.

Remember the only way we know right now to get COVID-19 is the virus entering the eyes, nose, or mouth. Paying attention to what your hands have touched and clean them often by washing for 20 seconds with soapy water or using hand sanitizer when you can’t wash them is the best form of prevention. Make it a habit of washing your hands before you eat, apply makeup, rub your eyes, or need to scratch that itch on your face.

Dry Skin Brushing-Secret to Youthful Clear Skin by Dr Faith Christensen

Dry Skin Brushing-Secret to Youthful Clear Skin

Dry Skin brushing has been practiced in many cultures over many years, as part of their daily hygiene routine. The powerful benefits of Dry Skin Brushing encourage healthy, clear, toned skin and decreases cellulite, swelling and varicose veins. Because the skin is one of the major organs of elimination in the body the benefits go beyond the look and feel of the skin. Supporting lymphatic flow and toxin elimination supports health in the whole body. Use your vanity to fuel your motivation to add this 5 minute health routine into your morning.

Benefits of Skin Brushing

  • Assists skin exfoliation and removal of waste:  Removal of dead skin cells opens skin pores, allowing for efficient removal of waste products that in turn allow for healthier new skin cells to grow. Accumulation of toxins in the skin contributes to cellulite, acne and dark spots.
  • Decreases the quantity of bacteria on the skin surface:  Bacteria are normally present on the skin surface. Layers of dead skin provide a habitat for them to flourish, resulting in a toxic load of bacterial debris that the body needs to handle and increases acne breakout.
  • Enhanced lymphatic drainage:  The lymph system removes waste fluids and is an important component in the circulatory system.  Skin brushing invigorates the lymphatic drainage and its effectiveness in eliminating waste thus decreasing swelling and improving skin tone.
  • Enhances and supports venous system:  By helping the veins move blood from the extremities back to the heart, Dry Skin brushing helps improve vein tone and helps prevent varicose veins.
  • Improves the movement of nutrients and oxygen into the skin:  By enhancing the lymphatic and venous drainage, skin brushing improves the movement of nutrients and oxygenated blood into the skin promoting healthy clear radiant skin.
  • Improves skin tone, especially in aging skin:  By removing dead skin cells, stimulating the surface oil and sweat glands and enhancing circulation, the tone and suppleness of aging skin is enhanced.

Procedure

The best skin brushes are natural vegetable bristle brushes, although a loofa brush or a baby’s hairbrush can also be used. You can find these brushes in most health food stores. Skin brushing is best done on dry skin, prior to your shower or bath. Brushing should be gentle and can be done in short strokes.

  1. Start by brushing on your legs. Brush from your toes towards the center of your body, as this is the direction of venous and lymph flow toward your heart. When finished, your skin will tingle and might be a little red, but do not brush so hard that your skin is bright red.
  2. Next, brush lightly up your stomach and lower back making sure to include your buttocks.
  3. Move to your arms and brush from your fingers to your shoulders in short strokes toward the center of your body.
  4. Finally, lightly brush your shoulders and upper back toward the center of you body.
  5. Do not brush your face, as this skin is very delicate. However, you can lightly brush the back of your neck.

Some of these areas may be more easily reached with a long-handled skin brush.  If you are unable to reach all these areas, just brush what is most comfortable for you to brush.

Areas that should be avoided:

  1. Open wounds
  2. Your face
  3. Areas of skin that are easily damaged
  4. Areas of known skin malignancies or lymphatic malignancies
  5. Open and weeping rashes

Sunscreen Safety: More Harm Than Good by Dr Karly Powell

Sunscreen Safety: More Harm Than Good? 

Protecting our skin from the sun’s damaging rays is important, especially in the summer months. In addition to increasing the risk of skin cancers and premature aging, excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays can cause eye damage (including cataracts) and suppress the immune system. The typical chemically-based sunscreen may, however, be doing more harm than good for your skin health.

Understanding UV rays and cancer risk

Both ultraviolet (UV) A and UVB rays can cause cancer. UVA penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin and is responsible for the tanning effect after sun exposure. Although UVA rays are less intense than UVB’s, UVA rays are 30-50 times more prevalent and are present in equal intensity during all daylight hours and throughout the year. UVB rays are primarily responsible for sunburns, so most sunscreens protect only against UVB.  Similarly, glass blocks out UVB but not UVA; for these reasons, you may still suffer the damaging effects of UVA even in the absence of sunburn.

Sunscreen safety

While we’ve all been taught the importance of wearing sunscreen to protect against burns, many of us our just swapping one damaging agent for another.  A recent analysis by the Environmental Working Group showed that 80% of available sunscreens either do not provide adequate sun protection or contain harmful ingredients. These guidelines will help you maximize the benefits of your skin care products while avoiding toxins:

  1. Avoid harmful ingredients:  The biggest offenders to watch out for are oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate, which were found in more than have of conventional sunscreens.

Oxybenzone is an active ingredient in many sunscreens that is readily absorbed through the skin and can accumulate in the body.  A hormone disruptor, this estrogen-like chemical has been linked to endometriosis and other reproductive diseases in women, as well as severe allergic skin reactions and heart disease.

Retinyl palmitate is a form of Vitamin A that has been linked to skin cancer – yes, the exact thing sunscreen is used to prevent!  While generally thought to be safe for topical use, retinyl palmitate can actually accelerate skin damage and cancer formation on sun-exposed skin. It is also a strong reproductive toxin in large doses, and it is unknown whether a toxic dose could potentially be achieved by topical use only. Because of these risks, this substance has been banned from use in cosmetics in several countries.

Check out this helpful smart phone App from the Environmental Working Group.  It allows you to scan barcodes of skincare products to learn about hidden carcinogens and chemicals and product safety ratings. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/app/

  1. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen: These products will product from both UVA and UVB rays.  This will ensure you are protected from sunburn as well as the hidden damage that can lead to skin aging and cancer.
  1. Avoid SPF greater than 50: Studies suggest that beyond SPF 50, higher SPF ratings do not confer a greater level of protection from damaging UV rays.  In fact, people who use these high SPF sunscreens are likely to experience a false sense of protection, spend excessive time in the sun, and end up with greater skin damage compared to those who moderate their sun exposure.

Your sunscreen should, however, be at least SPF 15 to protect you from damaging rays; SPF 2-14 has not been shown to provide significant protection from skin damage during sun exposure.

Sunscreen alternatives 

The best way to protect your skin is to moderate sun exposure, especially from 10am-2pm when UVB rays are at their peak.  If you are going to be in direct sun for longer than a 15-20 minute period, consider covering with tight-knit clothing, or look for an SPF rating on thinner athletic wear.  For topical sunscreens, look for a zinc oxide base without nanoparticles (“non-nano”).  My favorite products are the Badger brand sunscreens (available locally at Natural Grocers) or DeVita Solar Body Moisturizer.

Bottom line:  Moderate sun exposure is the best option to gain benefits (like adequate Vitamin D production) while reducing your risk.  For extended exposure, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF rating between 15-50.

Contact us today for more advice on safe skin care products and prevention and treatment of skin diseases.

Sugar, Stevia, Agave – Oh My! The Truth Behind Your Sweeteners Free Lecture

Sugar, Stevia, Agave – Oh My! The Truth Behind Your Sweeteners

Free Lecture

With the multitude of sugar substitutes available, it can be challenging to know which to reach for in your sweet treats and which to avoid.  This informative lecture will explore the health effects of a wide range of natural and artificial sweeteners and debunk some common myths about “healthy” choices that just may surprise you!

Natural Grocers – Academy

7690 N. Academy Blvd

Colorado Springs, Co

Meeting room in back SW corner of store

Presented by 

Dr. Karly Powell 

Tuesday, May 5th
3:00pm – 4:00pm

 

 

 

Exercise Nutrition for Optimal Performance by Karly Powell, ND

Exercise Nutrition for Optimal Performance

As the warm, sunny days come upon us, more of us will be getting out to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.  Whether you’re a competitive athlete, an outdoor enthusiast, or a weekend warrior, what you eat during your adventures can have significant impact on your performance, your recovery, and your overall health.  Unfortunately, many of the recommended sports nutrition products are unnatural, over-processed, and lacking in high-quality nutrition and are better off avoided.  Let’s review what should be included instead.

First, the foundation of any healthy diet is plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, organic meats, and healthy fats; athletes are no exception to this rule.  The foods that you eat everyday are going to have a far greater impact on your performance and recovery than what you eat in the moments immediately surrounding your workouts. However, when it comes to optimizing performance, there are specific nutrients that can help your body reach its peak performance.

Electrolytes

The media has us far too concerned about electrolytes during exercise.  Yes, these minerals are essential to physical activity and regulation of body fluids; however, unless you’re working out vigorously for more than 60 minutes or in high temperatures or humidity, you are mostly losing water and should be able to maintain your electrolyte stores through your diet and adequate hydration.  I recommend replacing the sugary, electrolyte drinks with an extra serving of vegetables (especially leafy greens) and some high-quality mineral salt that day.  Avoid coffee, caffeinated teas, and sodas around your workouts, as these can rapidly deplete mineral and electrolyte stores in the body.

For those extra hot days or long workouts when electrolyte replacement is necessary, reach for coconut water or Knudson’s Recharge; I prefer these to the added chemicals and artificial colors found in the standard electrolyte drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc). Or consider making your own! (see my recipe below)

Carbohydrates/Sugars 

Carbohydrates are absolutely important to maintain energy levels during exercise. During lower intensity exercise your body can use fat as well as carbohydrates for energy, but at higher intensities you are using only carbohydrates.  Your muscles can store sugars (called glycogen) to use during exercise, but that is a limited reserve; most of us have enough sugar stores to sustain about 1:45-2 hours of exercise with optimal glycogen utilization.  Beyond 2 hours, your muscles will begin to breakdown muscle proteins for energy if you are not ingesting carbohydrates for replacement.

Similar to electrolyte drinks, many of the standard calorie replacements designed for athletes are loaded with artificial ingredients, dyes, and flavoring.  Consider fresh fruit, honey sticks, peanut butter sandwiches, or more natural replacement products such as Hammer Heed or Honey Stingers.  Aim for 150-250 calories (about 40-60g of sugar) per hour during exercise; you may see higher intake recommended, but your body can’t really absorb more that than during intense exercise.  If you are exercising beyond 3 hours, consider adding in small amounts of protein and fat; nuts and nut butters work great for this. Many companies make individually-packaged servings, which are great to stick in your pocket on the go.

Add Protein for Recovery

Replenishing carbohydrates and protein after exercise, ideally within 30-60 minutes, will help minimize your recovery time and prepare you for the next activity.  Many athletes tend to put too much emphasis on the protein here; studies show that the ideal recovery meal is a 4-5:1 ratio of carbohydrates to proteins.  This means you should have 160-200 calories (40-50g) for every 40 calories (10g) of protein.  Quinoa or rice with root vegetables, greens, and organic meat is one of my go-to recovery meals for adequate carbohydrates, protein, fats, and electrolytes.

Dr. Karly works with athletes and adventures of all abilities to determine a nutrition plan that is right for your level of activity.  She also uses herbs and supplements to maximize athletic performance, elevation acclimation, and injury recovery. Set up a free 15-minute consult to see how she can help you reach your athletic goals. 

Dr. Karly’s Exercise Elixir:

Combining my love of herbs and outdoor excursions of all types, this herbal electrolyte and calorie replacement drink is one of my go-to’s for long bike rides or days on the trail.  It’s also great to bring along on backpacking trips, as the herbs add little weight to your pack and can be brewed using the heat of the sun in a glass or metal water bottle.

Instructions:

  1. Combine in equal parts (by weight) nettles, hibiscus, alfalfa, oatstraw, red clover loose leaf tea
    1. Add 4 oz tea to 3 cups of boiling water; turn of heat and let stand 15-20 minutes before straining. For cold infusions, add herbs to cold water and let stand in sun for 2-4 hours.  Once your tea is strained and ready to drink, add in the rest of the ingredients
  2. 1 cup 100% cranberry juice (not from concentrate, no sugar added)
  3. 1 scoop Calcium/Magnesium powder (approx. 200/100 mg respectively)
  4. Pinch of mineral or sea salt
  5. 1 Tbls raw, local honey

This will make (2) 16 oz. servings, each providing a broad mineral replacement and 100 calories.  Consume 16 oz per hour during exercise.  If higher calorie intake is needed for high-intensity exercise, consider adding 15-20 grams D-ribose (a sugar that directly supports energy production in the mitochondria of muscle cells) powder and additional honey as needed to meet calorie demands.

Is joint pain holding you back from doing the things you love?

Attend a FREE lecture with Dr. Karly Powell to learn about the many underlying causes of arthritis and how you can use everyday foods and habits to reduce pain, improve function, and get your life back.

Healing Arthritis with Whole Foods

Natural Grocers

7690 N. Academy Blvd

Colorado Springs, CO 80920

March 21st

1:00 – 2:00pm

Forget New Year Resolutions, it’s time for REVOLUTION by Dr Karly Powell

Forget New Year Resolutions, it’s time for REVOLUTION

Dr. Karly Powell 

February is here, which means we’re one month into our transition into 2015 and all the New Years resolutions that come with it.  Have you kept all the promises you made to yourself?  If not, what’s holding you back from becoming a better you?

According to a 2010 poll conducted by the American Psychiatric Association, only 16% of adults report being “very successful” at making health-related improvements such as losing weight (20% success), starting a regular exercise program (15%), eating a healthier diet (10%), and reducing stress (7%).  Those numbers are pretty discouraging.

Fortunately, we know that there are certain characteristics and activities that help that 16% reach their goals; the following steps will set you up for success to not only reach your health and wellness goals, but sustain them long term.

1.  Set clear goals and write them down

Repeated studies have shown that people who set goals are far more likely to reach them.  And it’s not enough just to think about them, you need to write them down; putting something on paper that you can come back to later means making a genuine commitment that you can’t talk yourself out of.   Make your goals as specific as possible (including numbers, timelines, etc.) and ideally write down several goals, both short and long term, both easy and more difficult.  Don’t be afraid to write down one or two that seem beyond your reach; aim high so you have the opportunity to really challenge yourself!  Finally, consider including your underlying motivation that is driving this behavior change, like “I’m committing to a healthier diet to set a good example for my kids.”  Recording why this change is worth it will give you a much-needed motivational boost during the tough days.

2.  Start small

If you want to run a marathon, you don’t start off with the whole 26.2 miles. Start with a very achievable goal (run/walk ½ a mile), and build from there.  If you push for huge changes very quickly, you set yourself up for discouragement, frustration, and overwhelm that leads to backslides or just quitting.   Remember that in order to really impact your health, these changes need to last months, years, or a lifetime.  Pushing yourself hard for 3 weeks isn’t going to mean much if it doesn’t last.

Long-term change is the only path to long-term wellness. Why not get started today? 719-651-4383 or info@springsnaturalmedicine.com

3.  Understand your barriers

What challenges stand in the way of you meeting your goals? Tempting sugary treats in the break room at work?  Not enough time in your day?  Hormone imbalances or other health issues?  Take time to consider what obstacles you might face along your journey and how you plan to tackle them.   When these actually arise along the way, you’ll already have a plan in place to avoid temptation.

4.  Allow yourself some cheat days 

None of us are perfect, and slip-ups are likely to occur.  It’s important that you listen to the needs of your body and mind, and allow yourself some rest when needed. Don’t get discouraged by every small stray in the master plan; instead, revisit your goals, and recommit to doing better tomorrow. If these are happening frequently, it may be time to re-examine your approach and try something new.

5.  Ask for help 

Success is much more likely when we have support.  Find someone to talk to about your process or maybe even join you in the change!   Friends, family, or your naturopathic doctor make great supporters and can mean the difference between meeting your goals and falling short.  Repeated studies show that successful behavioral change involves development of a particular skillset (and willpower is just one small part of this); this skillset is a learned behavior, not inherent. “Psychologists with APA report that, with the right support, individuals can learn how to make lasting lifestyle and behavior changes, regardless of the importance they place on willpower or the influence of stress. With the right guidance, people can build and strengthen the skills they need to make even the toughest lifestyle changes.”

The new year is a great time to recommit to your health. But this year, let’s do things differently.  Let’s say goodbye to the fad diets, to rapid weight loss, to one month of “being good” until you go back to your old habits.  Instead, let’s revolutionize your health, and let’s make it last. If you’re ready to make a change for better health, I can help you create an individualized wellness program that works for your life; I can suggest safe changes that are most likely to bring you successfully to your goals and identify any potential medical barriers that are standing in your way. You won’t believe how easy the change can become when you start to feel better and see yourself getting steadily closer to your goal!

Long-term change is the only path to long-term wellness. Why not get started today? 719-651-4383 or info@springsnaturalmedicine.com

 

A Healthy New Year by Dr Brita Mutti

Reconsidering How to Heal Yourself in the New Year

By Dr. Brita Mutti ND, FABNO

As the old year ends and a new one approaches, now is a good time to think about your new year’s resolutions and ways to improve your health and your life. When we think about “being healthy” we usually consider our diet, exercising, good sleep habits, taking the vitamins, supplements and prescriptions that we’re told to, and avoiding certain bad habits in our life. And these all are undoubtedly important for good health.

But sometimes, even doing all of these things “right” still can leave us feeling depressed or anxious or stressed. We still may have trouble sleeping. We still may have digestive problems that won’t go away. We still may have a mysterious, persistent rash or bad skin.

Changing the way you eat or how often you exercise or how much sleep you get are not the only things to consider. Are you in a bad relationship? Do you get along with your family? Do you hate your job? Are you pursuing your dreams or have you given up on them? Is your life fulfilling and satisfying?

We don’t usually think of resolving these sorts of issues as a part of being healthy. They can seem too complicated or painful to address, and too distantly related to our health. There are often physical answers for the ailments we all have, but addressing health problems on a deeper level falls to you. The question we all must ask – and answer for – ourselves is, “What does my body need to heal?” Or to put it more specifically, “On what level do I need to heal? Physical? Mental? Emotional? Are there mental or emotional barriers that are preventing physical healing?”

When thinking about optimizing your body’s ability to heal, identifying what contributes to stress in your life is key. Ask yourself questions like:

Am I able to identify when I am stressed? What causes my stress? What does it feel like? Can I identify specific behaviors or physical feelings that I have when I feel stress? What are my red flags? From that awareness, you will be able to begin changing the responses you have to stress.

Beyond specifically thinking about and addressing stress in your life, you may ask yourself other questions to help focus your efforts to change your actions, feelings, and responses to situations. Your list may include questions such as:

  • If I could change one thing in my life, what would it be?
  • If I could let go of one thing, what would it be?
  • If I could forgive myself for one thing, what would it be?
  • Am I bearing someone else’s burden?
  • Am I living someone else’s dream?
  • Do I need to set better personal boundaries?
  • Can I identify the lens thru which I view situations?

Even if you can’t make immediate changes regarding major stressors in your life, being able to identify what is adding stress, anxiety, unhappiness, or feelings of depression to your life is a good first step. You may not be able to remove those causes, but it is important to start developing ways to process and release the bad feelings you have associated with them. Additionally, create a list of things you can do for self-care (such as meditation, self-affirmation, breathing exercises, talking to a friend, going for a walk). Take the time everyday to do at least one thing on your list, even if you are having a good day!

A naturopath can help you address your health concerns, and can assist in developing strategies for making mental and emotional changes to your life that will improve your overall well-being.

Hold the Grains: Eating Paleo to Reverse Inflammation and Disease

Interested in the Paleo diet? Attend Dr. Karly Powell’s FREE nutrition lecture at Natural Grocers. 

Hold the Grains: Eating Paleo to Reverse Inflammation and Disease 

This informative lecture will explore the hormonal and immune mechanisms by which diets of grains, sugars, and processed foods contribute to modern diseases like obesity, depression, aging, and pain. You will learn how to evaluate food quality and practical tips to ditch the grains, lose the weight, and feel your best.

January 10, 2015

1:00 – 2:30pm

No reservations – First come, first seated

Location:

Natural Grocers

7690 N. Academy Blvd

Colorado Springs, CO 80920