New Year And A Real New You

In Dr. Karen M. Pendleton, Health and Beauty by Lola Magazine

Happy New Year 2017!

Okay, now that the 2016 Holidays have come and gone, it is time for us to truly focus on our paths. First of all, we must define and/or re-define what our paths are, as opposed to making resolutions. Is the path all to do with health and wellness? Could our path be one of financial health? Or all of the aforementioned.

Seemingly, each year a lot of us make the same resolutions of eating better and exercising. Forgive me, but those promises are so cliché’. As a physician and one who observes trends, I have discovered that for the great majority, eating better and exercising are not very sustainable. Can we talk?

Let me speak to you as I do in my day-to-day role as a knowledgeable, compassionate and nurturing physician in our practice of Pair O’ Docs located on Line Avenue in Shreveport, LA. Allow me to share with you, who are reading this article, some of our practice’s major tenets. These tenets will set the foundation for incorporating sustainable principles going forward into 2017.

The first tenet is to adopt a positive mindset about your health. Know that thoughts are powerful energy entities. What thoughts that we put out into the universe will, indeed, come back to us.

The second tenet encourages us to be more educated and informed consumers. Label reading is paramount. By being mindful about ingredients, we can certainly lessen our toxic load, as it relates to foods, supplements and products used on our skin, hair and nails. In our practice, we always share a “Never Ever” / “No Compromise” list with our patients. Toxins can definitely affect one’s general health; interfere with brain function; disrupt hormones; and prevent weight loss/maintenance. A few examples of toxins include parabens, sulfates, phthalates, talc, petrolatum, formaldehyde, siloxanes and BHA/BHT.

The third tenet supports the concept of incorporating more super nutrition into our dietary lifestyle choices. Super nutrition is a term use to describe foods in their least processed forms. Thus, these foods are fresh and seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and certain grains. And, these foods are typically found while shopping the grocery store’s perimeter (the walls as opposed to the aisles), and at our local farmers’ markets. Please decrease the intake of packaged foods and remember the “Clean Fifteen” and the “Dirty Dozen”.

The fourth tenet takes into account detoxification and self-care practices. Let’s define detoxification and the organs involved. (I promise no quiz on Friday!)

Detoxification is the process of removing toxic substances. Body organs involved:
Skin: The largest organ of the body.
Liver: The “first pass” organ, i.e., the first organ of metabolic detoxification.
Kidneys: The “second pass” organ, i.e., the second organ of metabolic detoxification.
Lungs: Considered the “third kidneys”. They are involved in oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange with release of toxins.
Digestive Tract: Digestion, assimilation and excretion of toxic waste.
Lymphatic System: Part of the circulatory (blood) system and a vital part of the immune system.
Adipose (Fat) Cells: The cells that store toxins. (Bummer!)

General principles of Detoxification: One should limit one’s exposure to toxic substances. Considerations include the intake of detoxifying and alkaline foods and beverages (water and teas); juicing of vegetables (not fruits); and quality supplements. Detoxification products must possess zeolite, activated charcoal, chlorella/chlorophyll, spirulina, chia seeds and ginger root. Body movement allows for the increase of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange via the lungs; the release of toxins in our sweat through the skin; the movement of lymph in our lymphatic system; and the release of toxins from fat cells, as they are reduced (weight loss).

Self-care is vital for a healthy existence!

Self-care is the ultimate proactive element in managing stress. Stress is the major contributor to all chronic diseases of aging. Those diseases are commonly encountered in our society, and include heart disease (heart attack and stroke), hypertension, metabolic disorders, like diabetes and thyroid diseases, obesity, and all forms of cancer.

Self-care practices are any quality activity that makes one’s “heart sing”! And, as a major category, Primary Foods are intimately involved in one’s self-care. So, what are Primary Foods, you say? Actually, they are not found on a plate, but can be equally, if not, more nutritious than Secondary Foods (fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole grains).

Primary Foods include the following four –
1.Healthy relationships
2.Physical activity
3.Spirituality
4.Loving one’s career / Financial health

New Year Recommendations

As an old Chinese proverb states: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. My advice is to begin with 2 recommendations and then, build from there. Here is your list to work through. Get started today!

  • Mindset

    Have a positive mindset about your health and your body image.

  • Relationships

    Strengthen and/or develop healthy relationships, both personal and professional.

  • Learning

    Strive to learn something every day, as it relates to ingredients, particularly toxins

  • Food

    Eat fresh, seasonal, alkaline, unprocessed, detoxifying super foods.

  • Detox

    Perform timely (quarterly) detoxification programs utilizing physician-directed products.

  • Supplements

    Because our soils have been over-farmed and thus nutrient-depleted, one should definitely consider a regimen of ‘clean’, food-grade and nutrient-dense supplements, such as vitamins, minerals (particularly the chelated forms of calcium and magnesium), B-complex vitamins, non-synthetic Vitamin D3 and Omegas/Fish Oils (sourced from smaller fish, thus with minimal if any mercury contamination).

  • Water

    Drink plain (unflavored) alkaline water, with the amount being half your body weight in ounces per day (more if active).

  • Exercise

    Body movement aka Exercise, 30–45 minutes per day, and 5–7 days per week. Please put yourself on your calendar and show up, preferably in the morning. That’s real accountability! Working out first thing in the morning can help you lose 20 percent more fat than exercising after breakfast, according to a 2013 study in the British Journal of Nutrition. Recognize that there are three forms of exercise, which must be factored into the above stated equation. They are cardio (anything that gets your heart rate up); weight-bearing / weight resistance; and calming (yoga, Pilates and stretching). Further, a subset of the cardio form of exercise is HIIT (high intensity interval training) that is effective in as little as 10–15 minutes. A very important fact about weight-bearing /weight-resistance exercises is that they allow for the continuing of the body to burn fat post-workout. Yay! If time constraints are an issue, divide workouts into smaller segments (six 5-minute sessions per day).

  • Mind, Body, Spirit

    The mind-body-spirit connection, as it relates to self-care practices. Self-care services involve the laying on of healing hands (massage, manicure, pedicure and etc.). And, the mind-body-spirit connection can relate to our spiritual practice, i.e., yoga, meditation and one’s religion.

  • Finances

    Financial health practices can run the gamut of prioritizing purchases; saving a dollar a day; and creating a vision board of where you want to be financially in 1, 3, 5, 10 years, and beyond.