Have You Heard of Adaptogens, Hormesis or Sleep Chronotypes?
In Part 1 of the series, we looked at five of the top ten 2023 health trends. They included acknowledging the 1) connection between mental, emotional, and physical health, 2) savoring small moments of joy in your day, 3) recognizing toxic relationships by creating more emotional boundaries, 4) eliminating toxins from your beauty routine and 5) fitting in two 15-minute exercise “snacks” (short periods) each day. Today in Part 2, I will complete the list. I am a certified health coach and functional nutrition coach, so while these are latest trends, they are not new to me. I have already implemented many of them and have been sharing with my clients lately.
- Focusing more on lifestyle changes and less on rules and calories. Based upon my training and personal experience, I can tell you that there is no one right way to eat for everyone. There are many wrong ways to eat which include too much processed foods, too much sugar, poor quality of food and eating too much at the wrong time. But the magic bullet diet is not vegan, paleo, keto or whatever you are sticking to religiously for years in order to age vibrantly, nutritionally speaking. Why? Because limiting yourself to only one eating plan for long periods of time can often lead to nutritional deficiencies, stomach issues as well as psychological problems like shame and blame. A better approach is to eat mindfully, vary your diet as needed and continuously experiment with foods with a curious attitude in order to make the necessary changes over time to meet your current needs. If you can afford it, testing is helpful too. For instance, there are now tracking devices that monitor your blood sugar before and after every meal. I have been researching these devices because maintaining blood sugars in the optimal range can prevent a host of metabolic disorders, including diabetes, heart disease and cognitive decline. The bottom line when it comes to nutrition is to eat real foods that are as clean and nutrient-dense as possible. Remember the term “diet” in the animal kingdom is defined as foods that animals eat to survive. Isn’t it time we use this term in a way that does not mean deprivation and losing weight but an optimal way of eating for thriving?
Consider Adding In Adaptagens
- Adaptogens:Speaking of healing through foods, try adding adaptogens to your daily eating habits. Adaptogens are active ingredients in plants and mushrooms that help your body deal with stress, anxiety and fatigue. For instance, if you need more energy, the herbs help energize you. If you need to calm down, they assist in that process as well. Adaptogens have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic Medicine (the sister science to yoga) for years. They have recently become more mainstream. I use rhodiola, holy basil, licorice root* and various forms of ginseng. Also popular is ashwagandha. My body does not tolerate ashwagandha, which is in the nightshade family. You can get adaptogens in a supplement form or a tincture or in herbal teas. Quality matters a great deal when you are using herbs. In other words, don’t pick a supplement that is labeled ashwagandha, but lists sugar as its first ingredient. Reach out to me if you need assistance in choosing supplements and herbs by clicking here. (Note: Be careful with licorice root if you have high blood pressure)
Look Inside Your Body to Discover How to Heal!
- Cellular Health: a few years ago, it was all the rage to talk about gut healing when it comes to your health. I still believe healing the gut should be included in any effort to get well. Recently, I learned a great deal about the nervous system’s role in healing. In fact, you can sign up today to attend a FREE three-day event where many professionals including myself are presenting the latest information for FREE during The Modern Wellness Summit 2: The Nervous System Reset. Click on the link for more information and to register.
In 2023, the role of your cells and the mitochondria inside your cells is taking center stage. According to Ari Whitten, Author of The Energy Blueprint, mitochondria, (cellular engines) “are the crux of health, energy and longevity.” Cellular dysfunction can lead to a variety of conditions and disease ranging from obesity to diabetes to cancer to cardiovascular disease, and to age-related brain decline. I have been checking out some of his simple suggestions and adding them into my daily routine. They include “fasting, Intermittent nutrient cycling, cold exposure, heat exposure, red and near infrared light, oxygen bankruptcy*, UV light, and dietary phytochemicals”. In a four part webinar I watched last week, he explained a term called hormesis which adds small but concentrated amounts of stress to rewire “your body at the cellular level to be a bigger and stronger (engine) which help with disease prevention, longevity and energy.” *(Click here for a short audio desciption of how to do oxygen bankruptcy according to Whitten.)
My Word for 2023 is PAUSE
- Sleep and rest: If you are like me, you might not have prioritized rest. In fact, I used to think of rest as something I did when I got sick. If I was not go, go, going all the time, then I must be ill. However, the science for resting and sleeping well to keep from getting sick is growing. Pausing to rest with small mindful moments throughout the day will help you get better sleep at night. This is known as “sleep hygiene” and it does not start when the sun goes down. Throughout the day, your circadian rhythm is set. Science shows the first thirty minutes right after waking is very important for creating the nighttime dose of melatonin, a hormone. Whitten also suggests you learn about and work with your sleep chronotype. There are 4 sleep chronotypes – bear, lion, wolf and dolphin. if you are curious to learn about yours, check out this informational article.
Changing Habits is Not Easy
- The last trend I saw in my research could appear to be self-serving but it was in a Cleveland Clinic article on health trends. Working with a health coach can be very beneficial, according to the Cleveland Clinic, which interviewed exercise physiologist Katie Lawton, M.Ed. “Living healthier is a pretty common goal but getting there can be a struggle. Maybe you just need your own personal health coach to serve as a guide on your wellness journey.” According to Lawton, in 2023 she would like to see more people tap into the expertise and energy that health coaches offer. “It’s not a new service,” Lawton notes, “but it’s one that deserves to be used more…If your goal is to improve your overall health, then a health coach is great,” Lawton encourages. “They can help you get moving in the right direction.” The article adds that accountability can be extremely helpful for reaching your goals. So, if you need a health coach, who walks the walk not just talks the talk, please reach out. for a 20 minute FREE consult.