Vitamin D & Flu Season
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin (and hormone!) that is crucial for all sorts of functions in the body—bone health, immune function, skin & brain health, and so much more! It is also one of our favorite tools to have on hand to prevent illness and support our immune systems during cold & flu season.
While it’s a bit easier to meet our Vitamin D needs in the summer by getting adequate time in the sun, it becomes harder during these cold, winter months. Luckily, there are lots of foods that contain Vitamin D—fish (wild salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel), fortified milk, beef liver, eggs, and mushrooms. Many times, however, getting Vitamin D through diet alone isn’t enough and we need a little extra support with a high-quality Vitamin D supplement.
Book an appointment with one of our docs to get your Vitamin D levels tested today!
That may sound like a weird question, but truthfully if you are using a product on your skin, it should be “clean” enough to eat. Though you may not realize it, your skin is an organ (your largest organ, at that), and is capable of not only excreting things through your pores (i.e. sweat, salts), but also ABSORBING things. In fact, some prescriptions, such as hormones, are administered as creams to be applied to the skin for absorption into the bloodstream. So if medicine can be given topically through the skin, imagine what other things are being absorbed into our bodies-- think chemicals in lotions, sunblock, perfumes, make-up, hair products, etc.
Let’s dive a little deeper into which chemicals we are concerned about and what they may be doing when they are absorbed into the body:
So how do we know if these chemicals are in our products? We recommend the Environmental Working Group, as well as apps likeThinkDirty. The ThinkDirty app makes it super easy, especially when you are out shopping. Just scan the barcode of the product and if it’s in the database, it will show you how “clean” the product is and what chemicals it may have in it. Another option is to buy from companies, such as Beauty Counter, who are committed to providing safe & clean beauty products.
Feeling overwhelmed? I know that when I first learned about all of this, I wanted to live in a bubble. There are so many things to look out for and to avoid—it can be super overwhelming! My advice is always to start slow. Rather than throwing everything away and buying all new products (because, who can afford to do that? #studentloans), wait until you run out of something to buy a cleaner option. You can use this approach for everything from skincare and beauty products to household cleaning products.
Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash
Let's Talk Detox!
While detoxing or cleansing has been somewhat of a fad in recent years, the truth is that our bodies are detoxing on an everyday basis. More than ever, we are bombarded by toxins in the food we eat, the water we drink, the chemicals we use in our homes, the products we use on our bodies, etc., so these detox systems are VERY important.
While every cell in our body is equipped with machinery that help to neutralize toxins and rid them from the body, there are some organs that are the real MVPs when it comes to detoxing 💪
So how can we support our detox pathways?
✔️Minimize exposure to toxins
✔️Support main organs involved in detoxification
🔜Keep an eye out for our next posts on how to minimizing toxic exposures & supporting your body’s detox organs!
Photo by Jose Soriano on Unsplash
What's on your grocery list?
Just last week, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released their 2019 list for Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. These lists are a great way to start making conscious choices on the foods we are putting in our body.
The Dirty Dozen are produce that should always be bought ORGANIC. These 12 fruits and vegetables contain the highest amounts of pesticides when tested. When looking at the list, we can see why these have the highest amounts of pesticides. These fruits and veggies are delicate and can brown, bruise, or wilt easily. For this reason, there are extra chemicals sprayed on them so they are more appealing at the grocery store.
The Clean Fifteen are a list of produce that you can save some money on and not buy organic if you’d like. These 15 fruits and vegetables ranked the lowest in pesticides when tested. These produce tend to have thicker skin, like cantaloupe and avocado, and therefore less pesticides are able to penetrate into the edible fruit/vegetable. Some other flowers are also included in this list.
✅Sweet Peas Frozen
This is a great guide that can be especially helpful when you’re stuck in the produce section trying to decide whether to buy organic or non organic.
Photo by: Dose Juice on unsplash
🌿How often are you getting outdoors? 🌿
In today's society, where we spend much of our time indoors, it's easy to forget how interconnected we are with nature. From the basics, like our survival needs of fresh air and water, to more complex processes, like our hormones cycling with the sun and the moon (circadian rhythms, menstrual cycle).
I know that, personally, when I was living in colder climates, it was especially hard to get out in nature on a regular basis. The most time I would spend outdoors would be to run to and from my car and wherever I was going. But even in the colder months of the year, it is so important for our well-being and overall health to take time to get outside and reconnect with nature. So let this be your reminder to get outside today- even if it means you are bundling up with lots of layers!
Photo by nick beswick on Unsplash
I used to dread Sunday’s because I knew that the end of the weekend brought long days and endless to-do lists of the upcoming week. Don’t get me wrong, I still get the Sunday blues every now and then, but for the most part I look forward to Sundays. It’s my day to reflect, reconnect to my priorities and goals, and map out the week ahead. For the past few years, my husband and I have made it a point to plan out our week on Sundays. We start with our outward obligations (appointments, meetings, work, etc.) and then fill the rest in with our non-negotiables: physical activity, time in nature, healthy-home cooked meals as often as possible, and date night. We have found that by mapping out our week ahead of time, and including things that we are excited about, we feel more motivated and energized at the start of our week!
How do you kick the Sunday blues? What are you looking forward to this week?
Dr. Jess Hickey & Dr. Lain Lye are naturopathic doctors and wellness enthusiasts. Tune in for health tips, reflections, and more!