Monday, November 26, 2018

My Secret to Staying Healthy

My Secret to Staying Healthy

Staying healthy is not a goal of mine but a goal that has been reached and is now a lifestyle.  Of course my lifestyle includes eating well and taking whole food supplements but it also includes other daily habits that I feel are part of my healthy foundation.  These 3 habits are not individualized like the supplements and eating programs that I develop for patients.  They will, across the board, help anyone that is looking to get healthy and stay healthy.  I think life has it's course and if we don't enforce the basics on ourselves bad habits slowly creep in.  So start with these good habits and see how it feels to go back to the basics. Start incorporating all the habits at once or just start with one and then once that one becomes a habit incorporate another. 

10 hours before bed — stop drinking caffeine.

Now, when it comes to beverages, if you test well for it, caffeine can be healthy for you as long as you don’t fill it with stuff that’s bad for you, like sugar, sweeteners, or dairy.  I can do one small cup of coffee a day but I make sure I have it only in the morning.  If I don't have it with breakfast then I won't have it at all.  So I encourage you to put a hard stop on caffeine 10 hours before bed. For some of you this could include chocolate.  Even the caffeine in chocolate is enough of a strong stimulant, which can last well into the night before it finally wears off. And when that happens, you can kiss the quality of your sleep goodbye — which causes you to feel groggy the next day. So, it's important to give your body enough time to rid itself of caffeine.

At least 3 hours before bed — stop eating food.

I used to be guilty of this one myself. But the “midnight munchies” can often lead to weight gain, acid reflux… and let’s not forget, it’s a huge energy drain on your body! You see, when you snack before bed your body is forced to digest all of the nutrients in your food which puts a dent in your energy reserves. Instead of relaxing, your body is hard at work digesting. So, to enjoy more energy: I recommend you finish eating at least 3 hours before bed. This will give your body the time it needs to digest your food the way nature intended and allows you to wake up the next day feeling refreshed and full of life. 

1 hour before bed — no more “screen time.”

Electronic screens emit rays of “blue light,” which can throw your sleep cycle out of whack. Thankfully, during the daytime, these rays aren’t so bad. In fact, “blue light” can even help to boost your attention, reaction times, and mood. But, at night too much exposure to “blue light” can confuse your hormones into thinking it’s still daytime which wreaks havoc on your “internal clock” and robs you of energy.

So, as a general rule: I recommend you put the electronic devices away 1 hour before bed. (That means no TVs, cell phones, laptops, etc.) Personally, I love to read a good book before bed but now I'm busy enjoying the baby. 

I’m sure you’ll agree, energy is one of the greatest gifts we can have in life and these good habits will help you have more of it. As you can tell , if you are going to incorporate these healthy habits you need to know what time you are going to bed.  So for some of you, actually having a bedtime will be a new habit.  So if you don't actually go to bed around a specific time I suggest you start with that first.  

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