Time for New Year's resolutions again and there is an abundance of holistic solutions for your resolutions, with which you can literally turn over a new leaf. Read on and see what I mean:
Cutting down on or eliminating alcohol? try kava and/or CBD. The same would apply to smoking or other addictive substances with the addition of oat straw - a legendary adrenal and nerve tonic that alleviates withdrawal challenges, kudzu which helps the liver subdue cravings especially for alcohol, and homeopathies like lobelia for smoking specifically.
Post-holiday Stress? CBD, cannabinoid relatives. Magnolia/Relora, hops, echinacea angustifolia, and ashwagandha - an Ayurvedic adaptogen that needs no introduction to help the nervous system adapt to and soothe stress.
Appetite out of control? chickweed and saffron can help there as well as chromium for balancing blood sugar irregularities that incite cravings or unjustified hunger signals.
Overindulged your sugar cravings? Add Berberine, chromium, bitter melon and alpha lipoic acid. Anti-candida supplements containing garlic, Paul D’Arco, and monolaurin can help vanquish yeast overgrowth resulting from (excess) sugar feeding unhealthy microbes in the gut which in turn imbalance the good bacteria that is responsible for feeding the nervous, immune and integumentary systems. A probiotic supplement can amplify these benefits. Greens powders allow healthy low calorie ultra-nutrient dense beverages that can healthfully substitute for candies and assist the body in detoxing which also alleviates cravings.
And speaking of detoxing, for Overindulgence of every kind a Detox is essential, especially with holiday fares’ propensity for grease and saturated fats (which in addition to weight gain can elevate triglycerides and cholesterol and contribute to circulatory issues), refined carbs and sweeteners as well as nitrosamines in deli cuts and preserved foods. Kits make it easy to implement a detox and many are targeted for certain organ systems that may have greater vulnerability such as the liver, skin, kidney, colon, etc. Some mechanical ways to stimulate detoxing and lymphatic function (so key to optimal immunity) is skin brushing, and therapeutic bath salts and soaks as well as the ever popular ear candles that encourage the egress of lymphatic build up through the upper respiratory and are especially good for people who have trouble hearing in the dark.
Starting or restarting that exercise program? Use energizers and recovery supplements: such as carnitine to promote better fat metabolism and lean muscle tissue as well as cardiovascular support, phosphatidyl choline or serine to counteract cortisol which slows muscle recovery and makes fat accumulate around the waist or hips, as well as caffeine containing thermo and ergogenic which support performance and burning calories added to formulas with creative for volumizing muscle (size) and arginine for muscle and vascular efficiency. Protein supplements with added glutamine depleted during exercise and branched chain amino acids which feed muscle tissue are available in vegan or omnivore varieties.
Holiday Blues? Endorphins from exercise and D3, Saffron, Damiana, Relora and fish oil or algae essential fatty acids have proven anti-depressant qualities. A high-quality probiotic and liver cleansing herbs and teas or tinctures of dandelion, yellow dock and milk thistle to facilitate the synthesis and utilization of essential neuro-chemicals. A Mediterranean diet contains many of these nutrients.
Starting a new diet? Supplements can support staying on it and covering for nutritional oversights. For instance, vegans might want to add vegan b12 and vitamin D. Paleo practitioners should add fiber supplements and enzymes to better accommodate protein and fat rich selections. If you do decide to go with blue zone diets such as the Mediterranean but don’t have time for a whole lot of preparation, companies such Garden of Life make several protein rich meal replacement powder that includes many Mediterranean food factors as such as salmon powder, fava and pea protein and others that include superfoods and plant based protein sources.
And of course, supporting your immune system is as front and center as ever; adding greens powder with land and sea greens like barley grass, kale and chlorella not only helps detox the organs that take the load off an overburdened immune system common during these times but helps alkalize blood and tissue which improves resistance to hostile microbes. See my prior immune related blogs for that dense subject matter.
Have you promised yourself to do more mental activities for acuity and memory like puzzles, word games and reflex challenging online games?? Think DHA rich, fish oil, phosphatidylserine (a substance that contains phosphates that cover the brain with choline - a precursor to the memory neurochemical acetylcholine. Bacopa (an Ayurvedic neural regenerative), acetyl l carnitine which helps the brain process fats and support neuronal mitochondrial function. with turmeric - a cerebral antioxidant, magnesium threonate (unless bipolar or being treated with psycho pharmaceuticals), nootropic (nerve cell regenerating) mushrooms like Lion’s Mane along with spearmint and matcha tea combinations are cognitive enhancers and a natural source of theanine which promotes calm focus. Also trying new superfood or nutrient dense ingredients in new recipes, especially from different cultures (I like Persian) is like taking your mind and mouth on a new route and a multi-sensory cognitive challenge and reward rolled all into one.
Change of the clock, schedule, routine and/or season disrupt your sleep? Melatonin, tart cherry (natural melatonin), magnesium glycinate, ashwagandha, valerian, skullcap, calcium, passionflower, chamomile are safe sleep aids.
Embarking on a beauty regimen; grow it from the inside out with collagen, biotin, silica, herbs like red clover and fo-ti (he shou wu to help restore hair color and skin integrity} and sarsaparilla, along with chlorophyll rich anti-aging green foods and superfoods like moringa and spirulina to name but a few.
And while you are improving your own sustainability, why not integrate more sustainable products into the rest of your life. Many products and their manufacturers have embedded sustainability or low or even beneficial environmental impact into their ethos, materials and production practices; ie using bamboo instead of endangered wood sources, recycling materials for furniture, buildings and electronics, and making more items using compostable or biodegradable materials. Most of these companies are proud of their efforts and will explicate their position on this on their packaging. So, look for anything on packages that state sustainability and ecological considerations.
After all, no clean air, water or soil, no herbal medicines and natural supplements;
No Earth, no - well you know....