Dr Southard’s Top 10 Ways to Feel Better and Be Healthier
All medical advice should come from your personal doctor and any drastic changes in your routines should be consulted first.
None of the following information is intended as medical advice.
- Give up soda…… soda is full of empty calories, sugar, acidity that your body just doesn’t need. Sugar feeds bacteria that can lead to cavities in your teeth and the acid further erodes tooth structure.Diet soda is NOT healthy. Many common artificial sweetners can still disrupt hormones including insulin. (Don’t want to give up cold turkey? Reduction and replacement is key… find healthier alternatives like Zevia with Stevia. Also at-home pop machines give you control over quantity of syrups and other natural ingredients.)
- Don’t buy cheap vitamins at just any store. Carefully consider and research what supplements your taking. We often read consumerlabs.com for high quality, researched information on supplements.Some common supplements I take are: CoEnzyme Q10, Vitamin C, Vitamin K2, Vitamin D3, Chlorella, Omega 3 fish oil, milk thistle, proline/lysine, B complex, antioxidants, and natural anti-inflammatories like tumeric.Most of our supplements are purchased online at Vitacost.com They usually are easily digestible capsules. Making drastic changes with supplements is not always a good idea, so add one thing at a time to ensure your body doesn’t have a rare reaction.
- Spend Time in an Infrared Sauna…. Dr. Mercola at Mercola.com has many articles archived on the healing properties of light. From lasers to sunshine, light’s little packets of energy known as photons have powerful abilities to heal.You may think of saunas as hot and steamy, but infrared is a healing invisible light that penetrates deep beyond the skin to detoxify our bodies.We have a two person sauna in our garage that we found for free on Craigslist. If you look hard enough sometimes you can get lucky to find equipment cheaply from a business or an individual that’s upgrading.
- Don’t Use Too Much Sunscreen. Most sunscreens are NOT all that healthy for the skin or the body. Some research even suggest that it can lead to skin cancer.Look for healthier, more natural sunscreens if you must use them, but the best prevention is SPF rated swim wear, hats, and shade.Lessen your time in the sun using these methods. 15 minutes of sun is great for creating natural vitamin D, but anymore than this can cause your skin to age faster, wrinkle, and of course can burn and damage skin. We wear hats, long sleeve swim wear, and use cover when we are on a boat in the lake.
- Consume Probiotics…. probiotics are the “healthy” type of bacteria that reside in our digestive system, but also reside in other areas. There are more bacteria cells in the body than human cells.There is research that suggest a strong connection between the gut and the mind. Entire books have been written on the subject. The best source of probiotics are those found in fermented foods, such as kimchi, keifer and keifer cheese, greek yogurt, naturally made sauerkraut, kombucha, and even homemade beer. Alternatives are found in health food stores in dry, shelf stable products or refrigerated liquids.Not every healthy probiotic is right for every person. So pay attention to how they make you feel and do your research online to learn more. Look up the word prebiotic as well.
- Limit Fast Food…. the best thing you can do is limit fast food to zero. Even “healthy” food like chicken often will be full of artificial ingredients. Eat at home, pre-cook meals and pack more meals to go.This is probably one of the best ways to not only feel better, get better tasting food, but save tons of money. At our house we pre-cook a protein, like grass fed beef or chicken and pack lunches and eat dinners centered on this pre-prepared food for days.
- Unwind and Shed the Stress…….. even if you only get 30 minutes a day to read a book, play a video game, work a puzzle or research something like the best fishing lure for the season.It’s great to have distractions and that’s really all a hobby needs to do is distract you from the stress of everyday life. I reset my brain by watching a show between patients, writing this blog, or researching something I’m interested in.People that know me well, know that I’m always learning about a new interest. It still amazes me that my children will tell me they are bored. At any given time, I can think of 50 things to do.
- Reduce Sugar Consumption, Eat Fat! …… you might think this sounds a lot like #10, but many foods have hidden sugar. Sugar comes by many names and this most common one is corn syrup. It’s cheap and abundant.Sugar causes inflammation. Inflammation is the one of the leading causes of all disease! Sugar also causes a spike in the hormone insulin (the fat hormone) which can lead to Type II diabetes and obesity.The body needs a well-balanced diet of natural whole foods. The whole “low fat” movement often meant more sugar, carbohydrates, corn syrup was added to enhance flavor.The body needs healthy fats for all sorts of essential processes in the body. Fat doesn’t cause an insulin spike. Our favorite fats are extra virgin olive oil for raw consumption, coconut oil or advocado oil for cooking. The cooking oil aisle is full of dangerous fats, so stick with these other oils the best you can.
- Sleep… this is the brains best way to take out the trash. All sorts of biological debris build up in the brain during the waking hours. If the brain doesn’t work at optimal efficiency than you don’t either.I usually go to bed every night between 9:45-10:15pm and wake up around7:15am. I know everyone has different patterns and times they have to be awake, but it’s critical that even if it takes a nap, you must get 7-9 hours of sleep.
- Move… if you don’t use it you lose it. Whether it’s little weight lifting or a brisk walk. We can’t sit all day and expect to feel good and age gracefully. It’s important not to overdo it and put massive stress and pressure on your body.
Everyone has their likes and dislikes, but you better figure out what they for you.
Sometimes I’ll walk slowly on a treadmill in front of a TV or computer. Take a couple mile bike ride, row in a kayak, or just go walk around the house picking up trash.
I personally can’t mindlessly walk at the gym and I don’t like jogging and running because it hurts my joints, but even if you have to get creative we all need to think of more ways to get us moving on a daily basis.
My wife, Barbara, is a huge inspiration to me. She is always moving, always challenging me to do more. Sometimes we need those people in our lives to make us better people. Figure out who that is in your life and listen to them.