Tag Archives: mediterranean diet

7 pointers to better health

Dr Rosenbaum PharmD

Seven Balance Point Model To Better Health

By Dr. Cathy Rosenbaum

Holistic Clinical Pharmacist

How would you define health? For many of us, health is strictly focused on our physical condition.  Yet, holistic teachings guide us to equally consider value in body, mind, and spiritual health.  I’d like to propose there are at least seven aspects to explore when planning a health and wellness regimen.  We will call these aspects taken together ‘the seven balance point model’ for healing and wellness (e.g., physical, nutrition/supplements, sleep, exercise, social, emotional, and spiritual health).  Here is a brief summary of each aspect.

Physical: It’s important to select and develop a good relationship with your primary care physician who will coordinate your traditional and non-traditional health care team as you partner to develop a personalized health regimen.  Keep up with maintenance and preventative testing as directed by him/her.  We all need a 50,000 mile tune up from time to time just like with our cars!

Nutrition/Supplements: The Mediterranean Diet is considered the world’s gold standard diet for healthy eating and is evidence based. Read about this strategy and try to incorporate more beans, nuts, oily fish, antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables, and monounsaturated fatty acids like extra virgin olive oil into your diet. You’ll be amazed at how much better you start to feel.  Use dietary supplements sparingly at the advice and consent of your healthcare practitioner.  Supplements can never replace good nutrition or eating whole organic foods.

Sleep: Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep at night.  If you have trouble sleeping, drink a glass of milk or decaffeinated green tea before bedtime.  Milk contains tryptophan and green tea contains L-theanine, both of which are relaxing constituents.  Keep your bedroom very cool to allow the body’s natural melatonin levels to rise and help you fall asleep.  Place a drop of lavender essential oil on your pillow as a relaxing fragrance. Play soft music with nature sounds at bedtime.  Light candles to make the room inviting (but be careful not to burn down the house); extinguish them before retiring.

Exercise: We need about 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.  Walking qualifies and is easy for many of us to do around the neighborhood, at the club, mall, or even at work.  Walking in nature is even better to encourage us to drink in earth’s beauty and become one with the universe.

Social: Develop relationships and friends for your emotional support and for whom you may be a good support in return.  We were not placed on this earth to be isolated.  Being around others helps us feel more alive and stay young.

Emotional Health: Forgive others and self.  Manage your stress with regular massages, laughter, and musical enjoyment.  Dancing is a fabulous outlet to bring a smile to your face.  Deep breathing is a Yoga technique and helps center and calm for stressful times in life.  Try it sometime and see for yourself.  As much as possible, try to focus on the positives in life and change the mental tape if you start to think negative thoughts.

Spiritual Health: Again, spend more time in nature. Explore your understanding of a higher power. Focus on the big picture in life.  Volunteer in your community and give back to serve others and give thanks for your blessings.

Good luck and may you be blessed in body, mind, and spirit.

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Ask The Pharmacist; August posting

This is our August blog post. The first in our new monthly postings entitled “Ask The Pharmacist“. We invite you to voice common questions that our colleague, Holistic Clinical Pharmacist Dr. Cathy Rosenbaum, can respond to.

Please feel free to contribute and post a comment below or visit Dr Cathy’s blog by clicking here.

This months question:

  • Dietary Supplement Mania.  Should we worry about mega-dosing fat soluble vitamins or water soluble vitamins or all of them?  Why?
Dr Cathy’s reply:

Fat soluble antioxidant vitamins can accumulate in the body over time and cause unwanted side effects. For example, vitamin E in doses higher than 200 IU daily for more than two years can increase risk of stroke and other cardiovascular disease. Vitamin A intake higher than 1250 IU daily (supplement or juicing) increases risk of hip fracture in both men and women. Water soluble vitamins have their issues in high doses, too. Vitamin C may actually be pro-oxidative in doses higher than 500 mg – 1,000 mg daily. It can cause kidney stones, increased risk of bruising and bleeding as well. The body does not absorb more than 250 mg daily.

All three of these supplements are excellent antioxidants but it’s still better to eat colourful fruits and vegetables from the Mediterranean Diet than to supplement since there are literally thousands of antioxidants in nature from which to choose. The body craves variety.

Be sure you talk with your doctor or pharmacist about the best vitamin supplements for your individual health needs and goals.

Be healthy!

Dr. Cathy

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