10 Health Resolutions for the New Year

Happy New Year!It’s no secret that keeping New Years resolutions can be a psychological, and sometimes emotional, challenge.

So here are ten mindful tips to encourage yourself to stick to those health resolutions all year, and life, long.

  1. I eat the most wholesome of foods as Nature provides them.
  2. I eat the right amount for my body (not overeating), and eat only when I am hungry.
  3. I chew my food thoroughly and take time to eat.
  4. I avoid the junky and artificial foods as much as possible.
  5. I let go of any regular use of troublesome SNACCs—sugar, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and chemicals.
  6. I stretch my body and mind to be my most flexible.
  7. I exercise daily with enjoyable physical activities, such as walking, running, or working with weights.
  8. I open my heart to experience the greatest joy—giving and receiving love.
  9. I express my feelings to those around me in a wholesome and non-hurtful manner.
  10. I allow love and healing to pervade all levels of my life.

For more helpful, healthful tips by Dr. Elson, visit Haas Health Online.

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Natural Ways to Enhance and Sustain Your Libido

The word “libido” is from the Latin libido, which means “desire, willfulness.” It’s akin to the Latin libere, which means “to be pleasing.” Libido is defined as the instinctual energies of the unconscious nervous system (the Id, in Freudian terms), which control our sexual and innate human drives.

If you feel your libido is on the decline because of age, there are many natural and safe ways to restore it. Here are a few:

Love and Care for Yourself

Eat well and maintain regular physical activity to keep your hormones in balance and stimulate your endorphins. We need adequate protein and fats to build our hormones; cholesterol is the precursor of most hormones, so when it’s too low or too high, this can cause problems.

Treat yourself to a massage and beauty treatments, take a fresh look at your wardrobe and your overall appearance. By recognizing that there’s a beautiful person there, you will allow yourself the freedom to express your sensual side.

Communicate

The greatest downer for the libido is isolation, and keeping your emotions inside is a recipe for disaster. Reach out to your spouse or partner and share your feelings. Explaining why you have a low libido through communication is key to overcoming what may be limiting your drive. Once your partner understands not only your physical but emotional pain they can understand what you´re going through and will help you handle your feelings.

Consider Your Hormonal Profile

Since much of our libido is based in the amounts and ratios of hormones in our bodies, it’s important to understand if our hormones are out of balance. This is best done under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner, especially one who subscribes to natural approaches to hormone balancing and management, like Dr. Elson.

Take a Fresh Look at Your Lifestyle

Getting out of old ruts and reinventing yourself can go a long way to reinvigorating your libido. Change a few habits. Look at the quality and amount of food you eat. Eating balanced foods that are organic and high in proteins and vitamins will not only improve your sexual appetite and desire, but will also provide a generally healthy life.

Examine the techniques you use (or don’t use) to reduce stress, like yoga or acupuncture. Consider ways to improve your exercise and sleep life. And if you’re prone to drinking, tone down it down and see what happens. Alcohol can help you overcome nerves on a date but imbibing too much can lead to many less desirable effects, not the least of which is looking like a bumbling fool in front of your date. A couple glasses of wine can get you in the right mood but downing more than half a bottle can only lead to a muddled head and a loss of libido.

Remember, the loss of your libido doesn’t mean the end of your sex life–It’s only a temporary problem, and there are many natural solutions. Use one or several different approaches to treating your libido and it will come back even stronger.

Tips for Eating Healthy During the Holidays

As we approach the holiday season, many of us face the prospect of consuming more food and beverages and not always consuming the ones that are best for us. Here are some tips to staying healthy.

Pick 1-3 days a week when you eat vegetarian, with variety and fresh ingredients.

Add healthy meat/poultry/seafood alternatives to your diet as you see fit—Your nutritionist or local health food store will have great ideas on this.

Avoid processed, packaged, and canned foods as much as possible.

Become friends with legumes—peas and beans. They are high in fiber, carbs, and proteins, and are generally feel-good foods for satiety, balancing blood sugar, maintaining weight, and energy. They’re also delicious and easy to cook—They’re great in soups, or chilled in salads (such as greens, avocado, tomatoes). Sprouting legumes are the healthiest way to eat them—easier to digest with less starch and more protein.

Season your veggies to make them even more interesting, using fresh herbs and citrus you either grew yourself or purchase at a local farmer’s market. Basil, mint, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, and lemons are some of my favorites, finely chopped and mixed with olive or walnut oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.

If you eat seafood, select it wisely. In spite of the numerous benefits of seafood—including protein and omega-3 fatty acids—the supplies of many wild seafood species can’t keep up with demand, and many products are farmed. Our waters have mercury and other toxins, so that’s an issue too for consuming fish as a main part of our diet. Larger fish such as tuna and swordfish are higher in mercury, and should be minimized or avoided. Smaller fish like sardines and anchovies may be better choices. They make a nice addition to fresh salads and other vegetable dishes. Ideally, we want to encourage less pollution to protect the ocean itself, all sea life, and to support human health.

Support the Fight against Childhood Obesity

Let’s support First Lady Michelle Obama in her effort to reduce the alarming rise in childhood obesity in our county, and the rise of both short- and long-term health problems that obesity causes through her program, Let’s Move!. Childhood obesity is arguably the greatest health crisis we face in our country.

In her September 2012 Parade interview, First Lady Obama boldly stated, “While we’ve seen some very profound cultural shifts, we still have communities that don’t have access to affordable and healthy foods… We need to impact the nature of food in grocery stores, especially in terms of sugar, fat, and salt… The program seeks to provide families with the simple tools needed to help kids be more active, eat better, and become healthier.”

Obesity rates in children ages 12-19
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, part of the CDC

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of overweight and obese children in the U.S. has tripled in the past 30 years. These statistics are alarming and disturbing to me, since we have learned childhood obesity sets the stage for a large spectrum of potential health problems, including cardiovascular issues, diabetes, joint problems, some cancers and, of course, an increased likelihood of being obese as an adult.

Donna Ryan, president of the Obesity Society, a group of weight-management researchers and professionals, was quoted as saying, “It’s crucial to address the problem early.  If you can get kids into healthier eating habits when they are younger, their weight may self-correct. But once they become obese adults, it’s difficult to reverse.”

I couldn’t agree more. Learning the right habits for health from the get-go is true preventive medicine.

I am honored to be involved through my blogs, websites, and the books I’ve written on the subjects of children’s nutrition and health. I am also honored that my clinic, Preventive Medical Center of Marin, has a number of programs and practitioners specializing in areas of children’s health and weight management, including a family weight loss and management program that involves parents and children with a plan together. To find out more, just email us at julie@pmcmarin.com.

July 19th: Free Workshop on Hormonal Health

In two weeks, the Preventive Medical Center of Marin staff is hosting a FREE workshop on hormonal health concerns and remedies so you can fully enjoy life and all it has to offer.

According to a recent article on Medline Plus, a trusted health information website, hormones are your body’s chemical messengers. They travel in your bloodstream to tissues or organs. Over time, they work slowly and affect many different processes, including growth and development, metabolism, sexual function and reproduction, and mood.

Attend this workshop to learn:

  • New approaches in managing symptoms caused by hormonal imbalances
  • The truth about some commonly held myths
  • New tools to help improve your condition

Social time with healthy snacks will be provided.

Speakers and topics include: 

  • Elson M. Haas, MD — Overview of Hormonal Health
  • Judy Lane, NP — Menopause & Bio-Identical Hormones
  • Richard Shames, MD — Thyroid & Adrenal Balance
  • Georjana Shames, LAc — Acupuncture for Hormone Balancing
Learn more about each practitioner’s background on PMCM’s website.
Details:

Thursday, July 19th, 2012
5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Preventive Medical Center of Marin
25 Mitchell Blvd., Suite 8, San Rafael, CA 94903

Space is limited, so RSVP today!