Leading a naturopathic lifestyle in a woman’s entrepreneurial world
It’s not easy being a female entrepreneur, taking care of your family and keeping on top of your health at the same time. Even though it may seem difficult to make time for healthy choices, without your health you cannot run your business, be an integral part of your community and feel great. This is why I will be outlining some easy steps to take in order to lead a more naturopathic lifestyle despite your busy schedule.
Before I get into the specifics, let’s take a step back and talk about what naturopathy even means. Naturopathic medicine blends Western and Eastern forms of treatment. That means when you see a naturopathic doctor, they will ask lots of questions regarding your health, request your blood work, do a physical exam and create a treatment protocol that treats the root cause of your chief concern(s).
The tools that a naturopathic doctor uses vary from practitioner to practitioner based on their education and speciality. Naturopathic doctors undergo much of the same education as medical doctors and are trained in such areas as anatomy, pathology, emergency medicine and pharmacology, just to name a few.
Additionally, all naturopathic doctors are trained in acupuncture, homeopathy, botanical medicine, Chinese medicine, nutrition and lifestyle counselling. The art is figuring out how all the symptoms connect, why they are occurring and what treatment(s) would work best. The body is like an orchestra. When all the instruments are playing in tune, the body can heal itself without the need for symptom-masking medications. But why wait until symptoms actually occur? Here’s your chance to take control and prevent disease by making a few small changes so you can live long and well.
1. Drink water. Ok, duh! Of course we need water to live, but how much are you drinking? Water is necessary to detoxify our system and to hydrate our joints. A good rule of thumb is to drink one fluid ounce per kilogram of weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds then you need to drink two litres of water a day. A great way to keep track of your water intake is to put rubber bands around your water bottle. Every time you fill it up, you move your rubber band up or down the bottle. At the end of the day you count the number of rubber bands you’ve moved and that will equate to the number of bottles you drank. I learned this neat trick from speaker and coach, Jeremy Tracy.
2. Prepare your snacks ahead of time. Are you out and about and wish you had a healthy snack on you, but instead you end up buying some cookies or chips? Something you can do even with your kids that will save you money is chop up some vegetables like carrots, broccoli and celery and pack them in several individual Ziploc® bags. Then blend a can of chickpeas, one clove of garlic, one tablespoon of tahini, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Voila, you have homemade hummus that you can put in small individual containers. When you’re rushing in the morning, just grab a baggie of veggies and your hummus to go.
3. Don’t cook with olive oil. Oils that have a low smoke point easily become rancid and turn into trans-fat when heated, which increases your chances of cardiovascular disease. Olive and flaxseed oil have low smoke points and their biggest health benefits occur when consumed raw. It’s important to use oils with a high smoke point when cooking because they retain their structure even when subjected to high temperatures. Examples of oils that are great for cooking are coconut and grape seed oil. Costco sells organic cold pressed coconut oil for a very good price. Also, studies have shown that coconut oil is beneficial for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Breathe deeply. Stress is the number one cause of chronic disease. One effective way to decrease our response to stress is to take a few deep breaths. This tells your body that there is no danger. A simple thing to do while you are lying in bed is to breathe in through your nose for a count of seven, hold your breath for a count of four and exhale all the air slowly through your nose for a count of eight. Concentrate on how the breath feels as the air rushes through your nostrils. Make sure that you are breathing like a baby. This means your belly is rising and sinking while your chest stays still. Just doing this mindful breathing exercise for a few minutes each day/night will decrease your body’s response to stress and improve your sleep.
5. Exercise. Of course we all know that exercise is good for us. But who has time to exercise in our busy lives? Well, if you don’t use it, you lose it! As we age we lose flexibility and balance. My sister went to India for a month and stayed in an ashram to study yoga. There, they stress that longevity is proportional to your flexibility. I am a big proponent of yoga because it keeps your joints lubricated, exercises your balance and decreases your body’s response to stress. In addition to regular stretching, many doctors these days are suggesting yoga at least once a week to complement sports (especially sports injuries) and workout routines. You don’t have to be a woman, super flexible and rich to practise yoga. Give yourself 20 minutes a day to turn on your computer, open up YouTube and search “yoga.” There are hundreds of yoga videos that are absolutely free and you can start your yoga routine from the comfort of your own home. Get your whole family involved and make it fun!
6. Things to do while you are in your car. So we know we shouldn’t use our cellphones while driving but there are lots of things we can do to improve our health during our commute. First, play your favourite tune and sing along as loud as you can. Of course this is more realistic if you are driving, alone, but singing increases our lung capacity and the feel-good hormones start surging. Second, clench your butt and genital area as if you really have to go to the bathroom. These are Kegel exercises and strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. It’s an easy and inconspicuous way to burn some calories and tone your rear. So the next time you’re in your car don’t think of it as wasted time but an opportunity for some quality time with yourself.
I hope you enjoyed my tips and can implement these suggestions into your busy lives. I promise it will be worth it.