Are you feeling the Winter Blues?
The holiday cheer is wearing off and the winter blues might be setting in, but don’t feel overwhelmed or discouraged. This is a perfect time of year to slow down, reset and get a good start on your new year’s resolutions. Here are my top 5 high-return naturopathic secrets that will have the greatest impact on your health in 2017.
Start these easy practices today and establish a strong foundation for your goals to feeling energetic, happy and healthy this year.
- Green Tea: Drink 6-8 cups of green tea daily. High quality green tea is rich in antioxidants, which are anti-cancer and anti-aging. It will also help you burn fat by improving your metabolism, balancing your blood sugar and boosting your energy levels. Unlike coffee, the caffeine in green tea is mild and helps you stay focused because it is coupled with theanine, a compound that has calming effects on our nervous system.
- Intermittent Fasting: If you’re not a fan of breakfast you’re already on the right track! Narrowing your feeding window, or the time of day in which you consume your meals, has been shown to effectively assist weight loss. By leaving around 15 hours between your last meal at night and the first meal the following morning, you are stimulating your detoxification functions, metabolism and fat breakdown. This is a great time to stay hydrated with green tea in the morning, break a sweat for 15 minutes and give your digestive system a chance to recover.
- Exercise: Engaging in physical activity 3-5 times per week is important for achieving your weight loss goals, preventing cardiovascular disease and stress relief. Regular physical activity is the best lifestyle modification to prevent a wide range of conditions like heart disease, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, osteoporosis, diabetes, depression, anxiety and cancer. It’s important to find a fitness routine that’s suitable for you, try swimming, walking and yoga if you’re just starting out. Consistency is key, and even 15-30 minutes daily of sweat inducing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) keeps our patients on track with their weight loss.
- Sleep: We all know the grumpy, lethargic and ineffective day you can have after a few nights of disrupted sleep. This is because your body always works the night shift! All the restorative processes in your neurological, digestive, hormonal and metabolic systems go into over-drive at night. This is why it’s especially important to get around 8 hours of sleep in a cool, quiet and dark room. If you’re having trouble fallings asleep, staying asleep, or waking rested you may need to switch to caffeine-free beverages in the evening and start a nutritional supplement such as GABA, magnesium, melatonin or an adaptogenic formula.
- Vitamin D: The winter blues are real! While 20% of Canadians can experience symptoms of depression at any time in the year, the darker and colder days take another toll on our mental health. During the winter, this is commonly known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It’s amazing how low blood levels of vitamin D are in many of our patients, even when supplementing. Be sure to test your blood levels, supplement at the appropriate dose (many people need higher than the recommended 1000IU), and optimize absorption in your digestive tract. Vitamin D is not only essential for healthy mood, this hormone is important for bone and immune health as well.
These are the easiest and most effective tips to incorporate into your busy routine. If you’re already on top of it all and looking for more, join us for a Sanas Cleanse and learn more about fast tracking your weight loss and energy goals.