Healthy Concepts

Kaldas Center for Fertility, Surgery, and Pregnancy, SC is a group of dedicated souls who desire to help clients meet their goals at any stage in their life. Our goal is to make a difference and improve the quality of life in areas that others may not specialize in, filling a niche. We need to understand the problem and how it impacts the client’s life to develop the best plan of care. We’re committed to a patient’s happiness and success of their desired goals. We pride ourselves in delivering all the usual OB-GYN services while specializing in treatment of endometriosis, fertility challenges and surgical repair when our bodies have failed us.

With world-renowned education and years of experience, Dr Kaldas and his partners are the leading experts in excising endometriosis, allowing patients to return to a pain-free life. Excision has proven to be the most effective treatment of endometriosis and the Kaldas Center leads the state in years of training and thousands of success stories.

Special training and a certified fertility team allows the Kaldas Center team to provide cost-effective fertility options that are often not offered before referring a woman to IVF. We believe a basic, focused analysis and a personalized plan based on the results offers the best opportunity to achieve pregnancy. We also offer surgical treatments that may be impacting fertility. The range of surgical services includes addressing vaginal or uterine abnormalities.

Sometimes bodies give a little as life progresses and issues of leaking or things falling out of place impact a woman’s life. Skilled treatments of those situations support the return to a desired quality of life. Our team of doctors is the only group in the Fox Valley that has successfully completed those treatments.

“We would not do what we do if we did not love life, love our patients and love to make their dreams a reality. It is not a job we are doing. It is a calling.” —Rami Kaldas, Founder

The Kaldas Center is located near the Appleton International Airport and just south of Fox River Mall, conveniently between College Ave and Prospect at 701 S Nicolet Road, Appleton. The ideal location offers easy access for our clients traveling from in and out of state while the newly constructed building offers comfort and privacy in a quiet setting so we can focus on the client.

You may learn more at www.kaldascenter.com or call us at 920-886-2299. We’d be happy to talk through your experiences and where you want to be in your life. 

Kaldas Center

701 S Nicolet Road, Appleton

920-886-2299

www.kaldascenter.com

 

Overall well-being is a relative term that means different things to different people. Well-being is driven by a person’s self-efficacy, or a person’s own belief in their success. The more facets of life that people feel good about, the greater their sense of well-being.

One avenue to explore when looking at well-being is participation in the arts. Art takes on many forms including dance, digital arts, drama, literature, music and visual arts. The arts enhance well-being through the promotion of self-expression, personal achievement, character and relationship building, and increased senses of inspiration, belonging and meaning. Expression through art is encouraged during childhood. We teach our children to color, paint, dance, sing and even play instruments.

Art programs support a successful transition into adulthood. Youth are learning skills such as problem solving, taking responsibility for their own actions, learning to be flexible, applying creative skills, thinking critically and engaging in civic issues. Creative development not only promotes excellence in the arts, but equally as important, excellence as individuals. Engaging individuals in their own learning helps them cultivate a strong sense of self.

Expression through art is not only for young people. As we get older, it is important that we have an outlet to express our feelings and ease our stress. Art increases a person’s self-efficacy by boosting self-confidence and pride in self-expression and personal identity. According to Linda Frye Burnham, it provides both “intellectual nourishment and social benefit” to communities and fosters “human interaction and exchange-the sharing of stories, memories, expressions, needs, strategies and beliefs.” It offers a way for adults to take time for themselves, which we know plays an important role in living a happier life.

In addition to its personal benefits, art serves as a catalyst for community engagement and success. According to a growing body of research, the arts foster community involvement. Consider this: every year, millions of Americans participate in their communities through their involvement in and support for different art forms. According to the 2014 National Arts Index, over six million Americans report that their primary volunteering activities involve arts activities, such as playing music or teaching dance. Another two million people report having volunteered at organizations dedicated to the arts in their communities in 2011. Significant spending backs this interest in the arts. Consumers spend a yearly average of $151 billion on the arts (for dance classes, for performance admissions, to purchase artwork, etc.). Supporting the arts will encourage the engagement, participation and shared investment that leads to successful communities.

Art plays a crucial role in well-being, both internal and external. It provides more than just the skills to hold a pencil, color inside the lines, dance to the beat or sing on key. I have seen how art can connect us in mind, body and spirit. I witness preschool students blossom in the arts. They come to us unsure of their new surroundings, and we see through movement, music and visual arts how they learn to engage and participate in a classroom setting. Our school age students and young adults find a way to connect with peers and identify their artistic interests, often building on their skill sets through progressive classes. Adults and seniors have the pleasure of picking up arts where they left off as children or find themselves ready for a new experience.

Art is a way for people of any age to express themselves in a safe way. Art gives people the opportunity to believe in themselves and their success. Art connects neighbors, and gives people an appreciation for diversity and intercultural understanding and learning. It brings people together through a shared interest and gives them a positive sense of self-worth, belonging and community.

Outagamie County Recycling has been a leader in the state since the early 90s with the inception of Wisconsin’s mandatory recycling law. At that time each municipality within Outagamie’s borders put their trust in the county to create a recycling program that not only collects and processes curbside recyclable material, but also provides residents and businesses information about their recycling responsibilities. This job of Outagamie County Recycling is known as the Responsible Unit of Government (RU).

As the RU, Outagamie Recycling contracts with a private hauler to collect curbside recyclables from 67,000 households. The curbside recycling program is for all residents living in single family homes and multiplex dwellings up to four units. By law, property owners of larger multi-family residences must provide recycling collection programs for their tenants.

Through the years, Outagamie Recycling staff has excelled at crafting collection and disposal programs geared at reducing waste and diverting material from the landfill.

The popular seasonal hazardous waste collection program, for example, is free to Outagamie residents including the citizens of Appleton and New London. The program allows safe disposal of materials that if stored or disposed improperly pose a risk to the environment, and a safety concern for children due to accidental poisoning.

Another significant effort is Outagamie Recycling’s partnership with the Appleton Police Department to create a free medication drop box. This program provides residents of the Fox Cities a safe disposal method for unused medications lessening the risk of accidental overdose or misuse of pharmaceutical pain killers.

Outagamie Recycling’s most recent project — for the safe disposal of needles, lancets and syringes — involves a partnership with public health departments and Roundy’s Pick ‘n Save pharmacies. The program is free and is expected to reduce the number of needles at the recycling facility, where accidental needle sticks are a public health concern.

The most important partnership, however, has been with Brown and Winnebago Counties. In 2009, the three entities collaborated to create the award-winning Tri-County Recycling Facility, which is one of the largest publically owned and operated single stream recycling operations in the U.S. Outagamie Recycling operates the facility while Brown and Winnebago manage transfer stations that ship recyclable material to Outagamie. The facility serves most Northeast Wisconsin communities and processes over 100,000 tons of material annually.

Outagamie Recycling has been recognized by industry leaders and experts for creating recycling guidelines using simple and easy to understand terms and images, which helps us “Recycle More & Recycle Right.”

You can learn more about Outagamie’s recycling programs by taking a group tour of the facility or have a staff member speak to your organization. For the most up-to-date information, follow Outagamie Recycling on Facebook, visit their user-friendly website and download their mobile app on your smartphone.


Outagamie County Recycling

920-832-5277

www.RecycleMoreOutagamie.org

In this month when we tend to think of things related to our hearts, let’s talk about hawthorn (crataegus oxyacanthoides), an herb that can be your heart’s best friend; specifically, let’s talk about hawthorn berries. Hawthorn berries are known as a heart tonic, or nutritive heart herb, and have been used for centuries and across many traditions, for circulatory system health. The hawthorn berries contain bioflavonoids, antioxidants and procyanidins, which help nourish and tone the heart.

These active ingredients act by normalizing the heart — either by slowing its activity, if needed, or by stimulating it — whatever the heart needs, it tries to provide. Hawthorn dilates arteries and veins, which allow for better blood flow. It also strengthens the heart muscle, which helps to regulate and normalize blood pressure. It is also able to strengthen the capillaries in the venous system, which helps those who bruise easily.

Hawthorn is a gentle treatment, and over time can help to support those with congestive heart failure or heart palpitations, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and angina pectoris. The gentle nature of hawthorn berries generally allows for the ingestion of hawthorn, even if you are using cardiac medications*. Hawthorn is a food herb, meaning it can be ingested in a wider variety of mediums than most herbs. In addition to tea and tincture, hawthorn berries are used to make honey, jam, syrup, cordials, elixirs and vinegar. Hawthorn-infused honey is a beautiful rose color, with a yummy, fruity flavor.

Making a Hawthorn Berry Infusion by steeping two teaspoonfuls of hawthorn berries in boiling water for 20 minutes, three times daily, over a long period of time can have beneficial effects. Herbs do not work “overnight” in most cases, but require prolonged use to gently tune the body. Try daily Hawthorn Berry Infusion for several months to determine if you find its effects positive.

If you aren’t keen on tea, then try adding a teaspoon or so of this mixture to your hot or cold cereal, adding to a smoothie, stir into your yogurt, or top your fresh fruit:

Hawthorn Berry Infusion

Recipe from Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide

  • 2 tablespoons hawthorn berry powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon ground ginger root
  • 1/8 tablespoon cardamom powder
  • Mix and store in a glass jar.

*Of course, always talk with your health care provider before using any herbs or essential oils — as there are always exceptions to the rule, and some medications can be affected (either by decreasing or increasing their effectiveness) when combined with herbs or essential oils. The information provided here is not meant to substitute for advice obtained from your health care provider. The statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration, although research studies have been conducted that support these statements. 


References: “Medicinal herbs: A beginner’s Guide.” North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing. 2012. R. Gladstar.

“Holistic Herbal: A safe and practical guide to making and using herbal remedies.” London, UK: Thorsons. D. 1990. D. Hoffman.

Recipe from Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal herbs: A beginner’s guide.

Have you experienced an ache at the bottom of your heel toward your arch as you arise out of bed in the morning? An ache that may go away, but reappears when you arise from sitting or standing for a time? An ache that actually tends to get better as you walk throughout the day, only to wake up the next day and have the pain result all over again? You may be experiencing plantar fasciitis.

The most common foot problem both for the general population and active athletes is plantar fasciitis (pronounced “plantar fash-ee-eye-tis”). A condition that seems to have reached almost epidemic proportions, it eventually affects one out of every 10 U.S. residents. It is most common in people between the ages of 40 to 60 years. However, it can occur at any age. It is twice as common in women as it is in men.

Among certain populations, including runners, those who stand for long periods of time, the overweight and sedentary, the rates are much higher.

The planter fascia is a broad band of connective tissue stretching from the front of the bottom of the heel (calcaneus) to the toes (phalanges). Its purpose is to transmit stress through the foot by acting as a truss to help support the weight of the body when standing, and stabilize the foot and improve its function as a lever as part of the windlass mechanism while walking, running and jumping.

Plantar fasciitis typically causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. The pain is usually worse with the first few steps after awakening, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or rising from sitting. The pain is usually worse after exercise, not during.

What causes plantar fasciitis is not limited to the foot. In fact, the foot is usually only the source of pain, not the problem. It is important to diagnose why you have something rather than what you have. Treating only the site of pain, in this case the bottom of the foot may yield only frustration later on, for it is not correcting the cause of the pain. A thorough evaluation of one’s gait (walking pattern) and a hands-on evaluation to assess the biomechanics of the leg from the foot to the hip should be performed. Muscle imbalances in the leg need to be evaluated for tightness or weakness. For example, the lower leg muscles of the calf have connective tissue extensions that comprise the Achilles tendon and blend to the fascia. And trigger points of the soleus and tibialis posterior, two muscles of the calf region, refer symptoms to the bottom of the foot in the region of the plantar fascia.

The good news is in most cases the pain will ease in time. Fascia tissue, like ligament tissue, heals quite slowly. It may take several months to be symptom free. Searching the internet will inform one of direct treatment such as rest, using prescribed medication, icing, and gentle stretching and strengthening exercises. More recent literature reviews and internet posts discuss how our lifestyle and shoes have become a contributing factor to the increased incidence of plantar fasciitis, noting that incidents are lower in those countries in which many of the population do not wear shoes.

As such, if simple direct at home measures do not provide early relief, different treatment ideas and methodologies should be initiated after an experienced medical care provider does a thorough evaluation. 

February is the month for love and valentines; the time of the year we shower our friends and family with chocolate hearts and flowers to profess our love and gratitude. It’s also Heart Health Month and we are reminded of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We all know what to do. Unfortunately life happens, we get stressed and our best intentions are put on the back burner.

Everyone can recognize the effects of stress on the body; a pounding heart, which you can feel in your chest, ears and/or in your head. You may have heartburn, a stomachache or high blood pressure. For some it shows as headaches, insomnia, anxiety or depression. People are looking for that magic pill that will make the stress go away or the best way to deal with or learn to cope with it.

Maybe the answer isn’t as much in learning to cope with stress but rather living a life that is able to face the “stressful” events and be neutral to it. Maybe the answer is to have a body that is in balance so no matter what event comes your way, you are able to experience your life in a calm and productive and fulfilling way. Maybe, there is another way, one that’s been around for 5,000 years. A way that has been tried and tested and has withstood the test of time.

The way is traditional Chinese medicine. The theories and philosophies are simple. First, everything is made of qi (pronounced chee). Qi makes the yin (female energy) and yang (male energy) in our body and this energy wants to maintain a balance. So, naturally anything we do to our body including the foods we eat, the exercise or lack of, the social interactions, the amount of sleep we get each night, etc., all factor in maintaining a balance.

Chinese medicine believes that to have a healthy body, a person must work at maintaining a balance of qi in their body and that the qi of their body should be in balance with the qi in nature. Meaning, not only does your body need to be in balance, it needs to be in balance with the space it occupies. To accomplish this, there are eight branches within Chinese medicine that you can incorporate into your life. They are acupuncture and moxibustion, exercise, massage, nutrition, astrology, geomancy (feng shui), meditation and herbology.

For the person who is already experiencing the stressors in life, has the tension headaches, sore shoulders, sleepless nights; asking them to incorporate eight new habits may add a bit more anxiety to the mix. The goal is to reduce the stress and begin to feel better. The quickest and easiest way is to make an appointment with your local Oriental Medicine Practitioner/acupuncturist. The two of you can discuss what is happening in your body and in your life. The practitioner will determine where the imbalances are in the body and assess the channels (pathways of energy in the body) that are out of balance. She will most likely suggest an acupuncture treatment as it is a very effective way to address the imbalances. People report after an acupuncture session, they feel very relaxed, calm, at peace and their pain is beginning to subside.

A typical course of treatment is 10 sessions; some people need fewer sessions while others require more. It depends on your level of imbalance in the body as to how many sessions will be needed. Factors to take into consideration are: how long you have been dealing with this condition, your overall, general health and your willingness to resolve the imbalances.

Keep in mind that Chinese medicine incorporates the eight branches and requires that you, your body and your environment, be in balance. It is through the daily practice of these eight branches that you begin to achieve the balance. As you are going through your sessions, your acupuncturist will share ways to incorporate the eight branches into your life so it promotes a balance of the qi. For example, not only is a pear one of your fruit servings per day, a pear will help to cool your body, it will bring moisture to your lungs and skin and it’s a great food to eat as we enter into the fall and winter seasons.

The Taoists observed over 5,000 years ago that disease in the body was greatly reduced and/or healed by the practice of specific body movements. These movements are known as qi gong. When you perform qi gong, the movement follows the path and direction of the channels in your body. As you are practicing your qi gong, you are encouraging the movement of qi in that channel. Essentially, you are giving yourself a mini acupuncture treatment.

Chinese Medicine is about embracing all the parts of our life and understanding that every single part is connected to all the other parts. What we do in one area of our life affects all the other areas. As you begin to incorporate the eight branches into your life, you will begin to see a peace and calm return. With that peace, comes improved health. It’s not just you who experiences these changes, it’s all those who you come in contact with. As you are in balance with your surroundings, your surroundings are in balance with you. What a great way to show your family and friends how much you love them. Happy Valentine’s Day! 


Article submitted on behalf of 9th St. Wellness. For more information, visit www.9thstwellness.com.

Aside from the occasional sandwich, many people think turkey is solely for the Thanksgiving dinner table. However, turkey is much more than a holiday centerpiece. Anyone concerned about healthy eating would be wise to learn more about the health benefits of turkey and find ways to include it in their diets throughout the year.

Turkey is low in fat and high in protein, making it an important source of nutrition. One piece of turkey breast without the skin measures up at 160 calories, four grams of fat and a whopping 30 grams of protein, according to the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory. Dark meat and turkey legs are higher in calories but boast similar amounts of protein.

The average portion of turkey is 100 grams, or 3.5 ounces of meat. This is about the size and thickness of a deck of cards. A single serving of turkey can provide around 65 percent of the recommended daily intake of protein.

But turkey is more than just a low-fat source of protein. The meat is rich in niacin (B3), which may help increase HDL cholesterol, widely known as the “good” form of cholesterol. Niacin, in addition to helping balance cholesterol levels, can lower a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease by reducing atherosclerosis, which is a hardening of the arteries. The resource Healthline also says niacin may help reduce inflammation and symptoms of arthritis.

Turkey also is rich in vitamins B6 and B12. B6 helps keep red blood cells healthy and reduce fatigue, while B12 can decrease levels of homocysteine that can contribute to cognitive decline.

Turkey is also a good source of selenium, which helps to keep hair and nails healthy while serving as an immune system booster that protects against damage to cells and tissues. Around 20 percent of the recommended daily amount of selenium can be obtained from a single serving of turkey.

Turkey is lower in calories and fat and higher in protein than chicken. Those who routinely consume chicken as part of a healthy diet can substitute it for turkey for even greater nutritional benefits. Turkey is particularly low in saturated fat, which may contribute to increased levels of the LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol.

Turkey also is versatile, as it can be baked, boiled, stir-fried, grilled, ground, chopped for salads and sliced for sandwiches. Turkey can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Home chefs often find they can substitute turkey for any meat in a recipe with good results because turkey’s mild taste takes on the flavor of other ingredients.

Turkey is much more than a Thanksgiving staple and can be enjoyed in various ways throughout the year.


Source: MetroCreative Connection.

During American Heart Month, it is important to recognize two things: that heart disease is the no. 1 cause of death for both men and women in the United States — taking approximately 1 million lives each year — and that death from heart disease can often be prevented.

This is quite a serious matter, considering that 85.7 million of us (34 percent of U.S. adults) are estimated to have hypertension and 2,200 of us are dying of cardiovascular disease each day, according to the American Heart Association.

If you haven’t already taken steps to make your health a priority, now is the time!

TAKE YOUR HEART SERIOUSLY

Unfortunately, many Americans don’t consider that years of bad lifestyle choices have taken a toll on their heart health. If you haven’t already, work on these areas of your life:

  • Eat healthier foods (cut fat and salt)
  • Get off of tobacco
  • Learn how to manage your stress
  • Get your body moving
  • Reduce inflammation in your body
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Control high cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure levels
  • Enjoy alcoholic beverages in moderation
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take supplements that may play a major role in heart health

SUPPLEMENTS FOR HEART HEALTH

Omega-3 fatty acids

Fish oil is a source of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. Your body needs them to function properly. According to Mayo Clinic, “Research shows that eating dietary sources of fish oil, particularly tuna and salmon, twice a week is associated with a reduced risk of developing heart disease. Taking fish oil supplements for at least six months has been shown to reduce the risk of heart-related events (such as heart attack) and death in people who are at high risk of heart disease.”

The organization also points to research that suggests the risk of congestive heart failure is lower in older adults who have higher levels of EPA fatty acids, along with positive effects in supporting healthy blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol, and in managing inflammation.

Gamma linolenic acid (GLA)

If you’re looking for a natural way to help maintain a normal inflammatory response, or to deal with inflammation after intense exercise, GLA may be right for you. It’s an omega-6 fatty acid that the body needs but is unable to produce, which means we must consume it in the foods we eat.

GLA is primarily found in plant seed oils, and GLA supplements are typically made from evening primrose oil, black currant seed and borage seed oil. It can also be found in breast milk, which is the primary source of this fatty acid for infants. GLA can help improve the symptoms of a variety of conditions and support heart health. If you’re looking for natural ways to combat inflammation in your body, consider a GLA supplement.

Coenzyme Q10

CoQ10 is an antioxidant substance found in the body that works in the conversion of food into energy. Found in two forms, ubiquinol and ubiquinone, CoQ10 production slows in the body as we age. A recent study published in Cardiovascular Pharmacology: Open Access found evidence that CoQ10 may have “significant cardiovascular protective effects” that could help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Researchers also point to benefits for people with cardiovascular disease, from reducing risk for repeat heart attacks and improving outcomes in patients with heart failure, to lowering blood pressure and helping combat side effects of cholesterol-lowering statins.

Plant sterols

Phytosterols are cholesterol-like compounds that are found in plants. They are believed to block the absorption of cholesterol in our diets. We consume plant sterols when we eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, grains and legumes. Many studies have examined the role plant sterols play in lowering serum cholesterol levels and preventing cardiovascular disease, according to the Neurohealth Sciences Center.

Hence, plant sterols have been recommended by both the American Heart Association and the National Cholesterol Education Program as a way to lower elevated LDL cholesterol levels and manage coronary heart disease.

There are several other types of supplements to consider for supporting your heart health. I encourage you to learn more about them!

This American Heart Month, put the focus on your heart, and encourage your family and friends to do the same! Together, you can work on making heart-healthy choices, and on educating each other about family health history, the risk factors for heart disease, the importance of regular checkups and working with your physician to manage your health. 

I’d like to invite you to consider what you mean when you say (or hear someone else say) you want to “be more holistic,” or “adopt a holistic lifestyle.” If we think about the meaning of holism (from ὅλος holos, a Greek word meaning “all, entire, total”) from a philosophical perspective, it is a belief that all the properties of any given system (physical, biological, chemical, social, psychological, etc.) cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone. If we take that one step further, and apply it to health and wellness, to treat someone within a holistic framework requires the treating of the whole person, accounting for psychological, cultural, and spiritual factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease or injury.

It is interesting, then, that we often hear more about modalities than about a true holistic perspective. Are herbs holistic? Are essential oils? Is massage or acupuncture? The answer to this is that it all depends on how you think about and use these modalities. If your mindset is “Do you have an herb for my headache?” then you are looking for symptom management using an herbal versus a pharmaceutical approach. And while there is nothing wrong with that, it is not a holistic approach. If you only look at health/well-being as something that requires treatment when a malady arises, you may still be approaching health from more of a Western, reactionary mindset rather than a holistic, promotion/prevention mindset.

So how does a holistic, or traditional health perspective (sometimes called folk medicine, which may be intended to minimalize its effectiveness) differ from a Western perspective? Rather than treating only the symptom, holistic care looks for what is going on in the person’s life, which might be at the root of the headache. How is his stress level, and could the adrenal glands be depleted? How is the individual’s nutrition? His sleep? How active is he? How are his relationships with his family/friends, at work, in his community? What is his spiritual belief system? Are there cultural/ethic/familial traditions that might influence his health and well-being (positively or negatively)? What are his beliefs about stress, about pain, about nutrition, about health? Understanding an individual from a holistic perspective requires time to build a relationship, a willingness to listen, and an ability to consider the person’s own values and beliefs and how they can influence health.

Herbs, essential oils, massage, yoga, t’ai chi, bodywork: these are just some of the many modalities that can be integrated into personal care in a way that allows the individual to take control over his or her own health and well-being. These modalities can be integrated with Western medical practices — screenings, medication, physical and occupational therapy — in a way that can improve outcomes; they can also be used alone. However, to be truly holistic, we have to think beyond the “Do you have an herb for this condition?” mindset in which we simply replace a pharmaceutical agent (medicine) with a natural agent (also a medicine). We have to address the person, in all his complexity; if we do not consider all the parts, as an integrated whole that forms the human being, then we remain stuck in the “fix it” mentality often associated with Western medicine, and we resist holism at its very roots.

Let’s be clear, people have found both methods (traditional and Western approaches to health) to be effective but today, more and more people are finding a balance between the Western, allopathic beliefs and the more traditional, holistic ones. So perhaps as we move into this new year, we can consider a different route than merely looking for a prescription/herb/essential oil, and instead taking the time to truly understand what is influencing our health — for good and for ill — and address that using a variety of methods that support our existence as complex, holistic beings.

As we flip the calendar to the New Year many people turn their aspirations inward to improve their health going forward. Today we will delve into considerations for the New Year and make it great!

1. Choose foods wisely. The Environmental Working Group website has a list of the “clean 15” and the “dirty dozen.” Fruits and vegetables on the dirty dozen list should be purchased organically due to the heavy pesticide residue, which does not contribute to overall good health. For the produce on the clean 15 list, you can save your grocery pennies and buy non-organic as there is not significant spray detected or there is a protective peel or rind surrounding the fruit or vegetable that can be removed before eating. Another recommendation is to eat with seasons to vary your produce choices to incorporate more nutrients. Unfortunately the average American eats only 15 foods — over and over and over again potentially leading to food sensitivities.

2. Exercise. In my practice I commonly see patients who regularly incorporate cardio into their fitness routine. Unfortunately strength training and flexibility often take a back seat to cardio but are equally important. I am in favor of group, or individual training, as it can be helpful for an instructor to observe and critique the clients form and posture, in addition to simply making it more fun. I have also seen positive results with step counters in my patients trying to incorporate more motion in their day and to keep moving. Motion is the body’s lotion so get up and start moving!

3. Consider nutrient testing. There are specialty labs using a simple blood draw that can evaluate if one has nutritional deficiencies, which can be corrected with supplementation. Our population in Wisconsin is especially susceptible to vitamin D deficiency as we have many days where the sun is too far away to absorb adequate vitamin D effectively through our skin. Supplementation can prove helpful to correct imbalances. I also like evaluating B vitamin status, as this vitamin complex helps us deal with stressors, which are plentiful in our daily lives.

4. Cultivate or immerse yourself in a new activity or hobby. Below is a list of three common traits of people who live to 100 years of age.

  1. They are lean.
  2. They don’t smoke.
  3. They have hobbies.

Hobbies, especially in retirement, are important when transitioning from the work place to retirement. It is great brain food, to learn something new, which helps develop new neuronal pathways, and as a bonus, it is good to tap into your inner creativity.

Try to incorporate some helpful tips from this article and make it a great 2018!

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