Dr. Phil Shares: 5 Quick + Easy Ways To Incorporate Wellness Into Your Week

With all of the go, go, go that comes with being a busy, working woman, sometimes our own health falls to the wayside. We get it, not everyone has the time to hit a two-hour Pilates class every day…we certainly don’t! We’re all about striking a balance here and figuring out simple ways to improve our health on the daily. Let’s keep it simple and dive right into our five quick and easy wellness tips to improve your week.

easy wellness tips

Increase Your Intake of Hydrating Foods

Every wellness article you read is going to tell you to drink your body weight in water, and you should! But just in case you’re not the best at guzzling gallons of water in one sitting, try snacking on it! Foods like cucumbers, watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes and zucchinis are about 95 percent water. Increase your intake of these tasty snacks and you’ll kill two birds with one stone. We also love mixing in a shot of this hydrating inner beauty boost into our water!

Micro-Dose Your Vitamin D

Set a timer on your phone, write it on your to-do list, do whatever you need to do to incorporate fresh air into your day. Before lunch each day, head outside for a 15-minute walk and soak up the sunshine. Fifteen minutes may not sound like much, but it’s enough to get your blood pumping and also shift your mindset. Pencil in a minimum of one walk per day, but if you can swing more, do it!

Eat Mindfully

So many of us (*guilty hand raised*) eat like it’s just something else to check off our to-do list. We often eat our lunch at our desk in front of a computer, or at home in front of the television. This often leads to overeating or mindless snacking! When it’s time to eat a meal, choose somewhere intentional to sit that doesn’t involve devices with screens. This will help you feel mindful as you eat, breathing between bites, and taking note of when your body is satisfied.

Try Dry Brushing

Never heard of dry brushing? It has a surprising number of benefits, including lymphatic system stimulation. The lymphatic system is responsible for collecting and transporting waste to the blood. Dry brushing can stimulate the lymphatic system as it stimulates and invigorates the skin. It helps with everything from improving the appearance of skin to supporting digestion. Try our favorite brush here

Do Bedtime Yoga

This is one of our favorite ways to end the day. You literally do yoga in your bed, what could be more relaxing? We follow this routine, but feel free to find one that you look forward to doing each night!

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health Guelph

The Benefits of 7 Common Herbs

The Benefits of 7 Common Herbs 

You walk into the kitchen and smell something delicious. Odds are you can credit fresh, green herbs for that aromatic infusion. Sure, you can get the dried version in a jar, but fresh ones add more flavor and they’re easy to maintain – keep them in pots outside if you live in a temperate climate or start a windowsill garden if you live somewhere you experience extreme temperatures.

Here are seven herbs to start with that will make your recipes sing.

Parsley
Whether you pick the curly-leafed or the flat-leafed Italian variety, this herb has almost twice the carotenoid content of carrots. It is rich in antioxidants, which may slow down the effects of aging and help prevent coronary artery disease. Parsley also contains apigenin—a phytonutrient shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties, by working to inhibit the formation of new tumor-feeding blood cells.
Recipe: Parsley is one of the stars that transform basic chicken breast into something special. Get the recipe.

 

Cilantro
These delicate 1/4-inch leaves help cut cholesterol, reduce high blood sugar, promote detoxification of the blood, according to a study published in the Department of Food, Nutrition and Health. They are also a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Add chopped cilantro (and a squeeze of lime) to savory Mexican and Middle Eastern dishes.
Recipe: Cilantro is an unexpected addition to this pork chop recipe, but it helps pull the other flavors together.

 

Basil
These wide, pointed, round leaves are a good source of vitamin A and magnesium. They also contain iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. Basil has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that come from its high volatile (aromatic) oils content, which include—linalool, estragole, and limonene.
Recipe: Add fresh basil leaves to any dish with whole-grain pasta or try this homemade basil pesto on an egg white omelet.

 

Mint
A cousin of basil, these small, wrinkly leaves can soothes your tummy and can help lessen the effects of conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and dyspepsia, by its ability to relax the smooth muscles in these areas. Moroccan mint tea, anyone?
Recipe: Mint gives this vegetarian chickpea salad extra zing.

 

Chives
This pungent, slightly spicy herb is related to garlic and leeks. Like garlic, chives get their distinctive aroma from their high allicin content—an antioxidant compound that has been associated with anti-aging. Nutritionally, they’re a good source of beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin K, calcium, and folic acid, and also contain trace amounts of iron and vitamin B. Sprinkle chopped chives on top of soups and chive on.
Recipe: Using chives in these broccoli and bell pepper egg cups will give them a depth of flavor they wouldn’t have otherwise.

 

Dill
Dill, easily identifiable by its delicate, wispy fronds, is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s high in calcium, manganese, iron, fiber, and magnesium. And, like basil and mint, contains volatile oils such as limonene and anethofuran that have antioxidant properties. Ancient Greek and Roman soldiers would use burnt dill seeds on their wounds for healing, and while we don’t recommend that…we do support using it as a garnish for fish, in sauces, or if you make pickles!
Recipe: Tzatziki, a dipping sauce made with yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, and dill, showcases dill’s flavor and is great on sandwiches.

 

Oregano
A staple of hundreds of cuisines from around the world, oregano’s fresh, fuzzy leaves add surprising dimension to beans and chicken dishes. It’s an excellent source of vitamin K, and a good source of vitamins A and C. It also contains iron, manganese, and folate. Try sprinkling minced leaves on slices of tomato and cucumber and drizzling a touch of olive oil on top for a Mediterranean-style snack.
Recipe: Try this healthy turkey hash for breakfast. Just swap out the dried oregano for fresh. 1 teaspoon of dried leaves is equivalent to 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano.

Photo by Lina Veresk.

How to Stay Cool During Summer Workouts

EML_NL_20150712_TBB_ART1

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister

Working out in the summer heat can be a miserable, sweat-soaked endeavor. As much as you don’t want to slack off, let’s be real—when it’s a bazillion degrees with 8,000% humidity, just lying on your couch in your air-conditioned living room starts to look reeeeeally tempting. But with the proper preparation, you can keep your workout going strong throughout the dog days of summer. Here’s how to weatherproof your workout.

1. Get the Timing Right
Blazing sun isn’t going to do you any favors, so if you are going to exercise outside (or if you don’t have air-conditioning), schedule your workout for early morning or late evening. “It’s ideal to work out before or after the heat index rises,” says Elizabeth Kovar, an ACE Master Trainer and mind-body movement specialist. “If your schedule doesn’t allow you to work out during those hours, play it safe by working out indoors.”

2. Stay Hydrated
Okay, so I royally screwed this one up a few weeks ago. On the first day of a nasty heat wave, I went for an early-morning run while it was still “only” 86 degrees out. Minor tactical error: I only drank half a glass of water when I woke up. I spent the rest of the day on the couch nursing a splitting headache, achy muscles, and wicked nausea. Oops. “Guidelines recommend consuming 17–20 ounces of water two hours before exercise, 7–10 ounces of fluid every ten minutes during exercise, and 16–24 ounces for every pound of body weight lost after exercise,” says Jessica Matthews, MS, an exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. If you’re working out for an hour or more, you may also want to replace electrolytes with Results and Recovery Formula or coconut water.

3. Eat to Beat the Heat
Excuse all the rhyming, but it really is important to eat properly before a summer workout, since the wrong foods can boost your body temperature. “Avoid spicy foods, which stimulate heat production,” Kovar says. “Also, high-protein foods and anything greasy will be harder to digest, thus enhancing internal heat production.” Stick with easy-to-digest foods like fruit, eggs, or yogurt instead.

4. Dress the Part
This one’s really easy. “Lightweight, loose-fitting, minimal clothing can provide a greater skin surface area for heat dissipation,” Matthews says. Black may be slimming, but wear light colors to reflect the heat from the sun, and choose moisture-wicking fabrics to stay cool and dry.

5. Scale Back
On crazy-hot days, you may need to change your “go hard or go home” philosophy to “go easy or go inside.” If you’re acclimated to hot weather, then you may be able to tolerate a tough workout in extreme heat. But if you live in an area where three-digit temps make headlines, scale back when a heat wave hits. “Anything lower intensity or steady state is probably more achievable mentally or physically,” Kovar says. If you’re planning on doing high-intensity interval training, she adds, “Try to find a shaded area or take the training indoors.”

6. Heed the Warning Signs
Heat exhaustion isn’t a push-through-the-pain situation. Unchecked, it can lead to coma or death—so if you start to feel crampy, dizzy, or nauseous, stop immediately and start doing damage control. “Drink plenty of water and remove any unnecessary clothing,” Matthews says. “You can also mist your skin with water to bring your body temperature down.” If your skin is hot but not sweaty, or your pulse feels fast and weak, those are signs of heatstroke. “Call 911 and get cool any way that you can until help arrives,” Matthews says. Anytime the heat index is over 90 degrees, you’re at risk for heat exhaustion; over 105 degrees, it’s almost a given.2 So play it safe—if you know you can’t handle the heat, head indoors.

How do you stay cool during summer workout?

Thanks to Beachbody.com for content