More and more people are moving towards natural health & healing these days. It seems like we intuitively know that a healthy diet and lifestyle can go a long way in supporting our long-term wellness. So whether you’re already a fan of natural medicine, or you simply want to pay more attention to your health, read on. Let’s discuss more about how our body might have all the answers we need to live our best.
Stress Affects All Parts of Our Body
Yup. Everything from thinning hair, early fine lines & wrinkles, to high blood pressure, diabetes and digestive upset. The stress hormone, cortisol, is the main player in our body when we feel pressure, fear or overwhelm. The problem is, if we keep this hormonal signal running without long enough breaks, our body starts to wear down. Think of it as survival mode: if you’re running from a tiger you probably don’t need optimal fertility or a luscious head of hair. So why not make it part of your schedule to reset? Try 10-20 minutes of quiet breathing, stretching or yoga when you practice shutting off your mind in order to recharge your hormonal system.
Hormones Don’t Change Overnight
Speaking of hormones, what about the other hormones you may already know about? In particular: our reproductive hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) as well as our thyroid. Remember, hormones are signal molecules within the body and if they are out of balance we can’t perform at our best. The trouble is, it’s not always easy to stop a freight train in its tracks. Once our hormones are moving in a certain direction, the body needs time to course correct and make a positive shift. My point is this: be patient! Strong, quick shifts in our hormones are not always a good idea, and if you’re struggling with getting things back in balance (for fertility, weight loss, libido or other reasons), slow and steady wins the race, Aim for at least 1 month, but usually up to 3 months, before expecting hormones to change.
Know Your Numbers
I mean your blood test numbers! Do you know your sugar levels, iron or B vitamin levels? What about your thyroid or cholesterol (maybe that keto diet isn’t working for you as well as you thought). I always tell my patients that they are their best doctor, so tracking their overall health with annual blood work is key. Plus, it’s empowering to discuss these numbers with your healthcare practitioner to determine what changes, if any, need to be made to your current regime. A note of caution: make sure your blood tests go beyond the basics, work with a functional medicine or naturopathic doctor to understand which tests you should be running & what the results actually mean.
Quality vs. Quantity of Sleep
Everyone used to think that sleeping for the ideal 8 hours each night was all that was necessary to feel your best. The truth is, over the last decade, more research has come out to support that quality is just as important (if not more important), than quantity of your zzz’s. On average, most adults do best with 7-7.5 hours of sleep per night, but this should ideally be un-interrrupted and you should wake feeling rested (if you wake feeling exhausted consider checking your thyroid or ask your doc for a sleep apnea test). By ensuring quality, deep sleep we can enter the restorative phase that repairs damage, resets our metabolism and boosts our daytime energy.
You Are What You Absorb
Regardless of the diet you choose to follow (or not follow), whether you drink green juice or take expensive supplements, you only get the good stuff when your gut is healthy. Here’s a quick science lesson on digestion: when we eat or drink something it passes through our stomach and into our intestines to be absorbed. However, if our gut is inflamed or we have low stomach acid, we won’t be able to take in all of the nutrients that we consume. So the age-old saying of ‘you are what you eat’, should be modified to ‘you are what you absorb’. If you get easily bloated, gassy, have heartburn or avoid a lot of foods due to indigestion, get your gut health fixed first for optimal health & absorption!
There you have it, the top 5 things I want you to know about when it comes to living your best life. Which one surprised you the most & why? Let me know in the comments below!
About The Author
Dr. Laura has a true passion for health optimization, and guides her patients to achieve their best health possible. She has a focus on hormone balance, skin health and anti-aging medicine. She helps women get to the root cause of their health issues for lasting results.. She is also the creator of the Healthy Hormone Reset & 21 Day Whole Body Detox programs and the co-founder of Elevate Wellness Retreats for Couples.