Alternative to scented candles and air fresheners

posted by Ann Lee

Many candles, unless they are made of 100% natural waxes, give off noxious vapors when burned.  30% of candles have wicks that contain heavy metals.  Air fresheners contain ingredients such as phthalates that are toxic and hazardous that can irritate the respiratory system and affect the liver and kidneys.  A good alternative to using scented candles and air fresheners is using an essential oil diffuser.  Essential oils that are great for the respiratory system include rosemary, thyme, sage, and bergamot.

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How to stay healthy while traveling

posted Feb 8, 2018, 1:53 PM by Ann Lee

1) Pack an eye mask as sleeping in a dark place will help to keep your circadian rhythm and hormones in sync.  Set the temperature of the room you will be sleeping in to a cool 68 degrees or less.

2) Pack bars, easy-to-carry fruit, veggies, nuts and seeds so you don't have to look to convenience foods while on the road.  Search for the closest grocery store at your destination so you can replenish your food supply as needed.  Make a grocery list up ahead of time so you know how much food to get to last you for the rest of your trip.

3) Pack immune-boosting supplements to help fend off microbes that your immune system is not used to while traveling, either through water, food, other people, planes, etc.  Oregano capsules are great to take while eating out.  High doses of zinc are great when you start to feel something coming on.

Happy travels!  Inspired by this article

Slowing down life

posted Jan 14, 2018, 5:59 PM by Ann Lee

Life often feels like being in a hamster wheel.  There doesn’t seem to be enough time to do things that bring us the most joy.  Here are tips to get closer to your joy:
- Spend time with nature.  When you are in harmony with nature, you learn to listen to your heart.
- Enjoy silence to feel more positive and understand yourself better
- Instead of trying to get into many hobbies, focus on one and experience it fully
- Communicate face-to-face for memorable experiences
- Make relaxation a priority by adding it to your schedule
Source: Quantum Health Newsletter by Boyd Martin

Taking the edge off of holiday stress

posted Dec 18, 2017, 12:51 PM by Ann Lee

From Dr. Eliza Klearman:
"There are so many things you CAN do to make yourself stressed during this season.  The bottom line is to choose what is really making you happy.

Do what you enjoy doing.  Without thinking about what anybody else wants or needs from you.  Choose to do those things that serve you.  Think of yourself and what you love to do- not your kids who love the elf or family that needs the big fancy meal or coworkers that love your homemade fudge.  When we put others first and try to make everyone else happy, we end up making ourselves pretty miserable.

Putting yourself first is an important skill to learn.  Not only does it make you happier, but it also allows for you to free up your time for things that are much more important.  When you don't have to make homemade gifts for your loved ones, you have time to actually spend with them, and that is the most precious, memorable gift of the season."

A great perspective for the season, but could be applied to the whole year!

Happy light for seasonal issues

posted Dec 5, 2017, 7:53 AM by Ann Lee

Just saw in the Bed, Bath & Beyond flyer: the Verilux Happy Light for SAD (seasonal affective disorder), especially fatigue and loss of concentration, for a reasonable price at $39.99 (usually light therapies average around $100).  Something simple to add to your routine if you notice every year how much you miss the sunlight during this time of year.

Ideas for improving the winter blues

posted Nov 19, 2017, 6:28 PM by Ann Lee

Socializing is a great way to boost your mood, as humans weren't meant to hide away in our dens all winter.  Set aside some time each week for a buddy moment, whether it is grabbing a quick lunch, or meeting friends for an exercise class.  Take the time to schedule something once a week, otherwise it may never happen.  And don't hesitate to take the initiative versus waiting to get invited to things.

Appreciate winter's pleasures.  "When you enjoy rather than dread what's around you, your optimistic thoughts will start trumping your negative ones," says Lyubomirsky.

Schedule a trip to a warm area.  Planning a trip, or even just thinking about one in the future, can make you happier, according to a study in the Journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.  It also gives you an opportunity to replenish vitamin D levels from less sunlight.


Steps to making a habit

posted Oct 14, 2017, 8:42 PM by Ann Lee

1. Make sure it is a new habit that you feel good about versus feeling like it is a chore.
2. It is ok to take time to prepare versus starting right away.  Figure out all the little things that need to be put into place, and add each step to your calendar to get it done.  For example, this weekend order gym clothes, next weekend visit different gyms to find your perfect one.  Even if it takes a month to get ready, set yourself up for success versus finding excuses to never start.
3. Take baby steps.  If your goal is to exercise for 30 minutes, start with 5 minutes, and each week increase by 5 minutes.  That way it feels like it is doable and fits into your lifestyle gradually.  It helps to make your habit sustainable versus easy to fall off the horse.
4. Time your new habit with an old habit.  Do your habit along with something you already do regularly, such as brushing your teeth, getting the mail, taking a walk, etc.  That way it starts to become automatic versus a chore.
5. Find a reliable person to hold you accountable or partner to start the new habit together.

Don't get discouraged if you fall off the horse, just get back on!

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Body mechanics

posted Sep 23, 2017, 5:19 PM by Ann Lee

Many of us deal with back pain, sciatica, piriformis syndrome, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, after years of poor body mechanics.  I have been working on retraining my body to do daily activities without overly straining the back.  Some tips include using the legs versus the back to bend- basically squatting all day long when doing activities, and following your belly button versus twisting the body to reach or bend over.

Affording alternative medicine

posted Aug 19, 2017, 4:13 PM by Ann Lee

Just because a treatment is not covered by your insurance policy does not necessarily mean it is off the table.  Document your alternative care and file a claim for reimbursement with your insurance provider.  This article includes information to send to your insurance provider.  Thorough documentation can help make the case for reimbursement.  It also contains more info on the pros and cons of health care savings accounts and health care financing:

Ibuprofen affecting kidney function in endurance runners

posted Jul 30, 2017, 4:07 PM by Ann Lee

A recent study conducted through Stanford University School of Medicine on 89 endurance runners, showed kidney function was affected 18% higher in the group taking 400mg of ibuprofen during a 50-mile section of 1-4 different 7-day ultra-marathons.  The study recommends these athletes to avoid using ibuprofen for pain management.  Ibuprofen decreases blood flow to the kidneys, which can be aggravated in ultra-endurance athletes who are pushing their renal system beyond normal.  Acetaminophen may be a safer option for endurance runners.

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