How’s Your Diet? #1
Eat a very healthy diet that best suits your body’s needs. Whether it’s vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, Wheat Belly, or another – remember that a healthy, balanced diet will support you in being happy, satisfied, and making good choices.
Are You Eating Addictive Foods? #2
These are mainly all grains and sugar. Use any sweets – even healthier ones such as raw honey, agave or maple syrup, of the unprocessed kind – very sparingly. Unfortunately even some of the grains we think of as whole and healthy have been compromised by genetic modifications, and are no longer healthy. These can spike your blood sugar and make you insulin resistant.
Are You Processing? #3
Avoid all but minimally processed foods. These usually contain pesticides, herbicides, solvents, hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals which are known to be toxic to human beings (and animals). Instead, choose fresh, local, and organic foods. This applies to both produce and proteins. Above all else – read labels carefully and know your manufacturers’ practices. In other words, be an educated consumer. There is a great deal of information on the Internet from reliable sources … at your fingertips!
Are You Moody? #4
Check to see if your moods are positive, strong, and healthy. If you feel sad, lightly or highly depressed, angry, it’s time for an intervention! Check your diet – unhealthy eating and particularly insulin spikes can cause or exacerbate depression. Remember – depression goes hand-in-hand with substance use, so you do not want to fall into that trap. Also know that the B vitamin family, especially B6 and B12, affect your mood and other functions of the brain. Maybe it’s time to get some mental health therapy!
How Are You Behaving? #5
Look at your behavioral patterns. Are you making healthy behavioral choices? Are you learning from what you do and making improvements, or staying stuck in a rut? Remember, we know that feelings can be a powerful force behind whether we think positive or negative thoughts. If feelings are down or otherwise negative, thoughts will tend to be negative, and behavioral choices might reflect this. Maybe it’s time to get some mental health therapy!
How’s Your Social Life? #6
Choose to have healthy and positive social interactions. Assess whether your social life leaves you feeling positive or negative. Choose friends wisely. If you surround yourself with people who are frequently angry or down, you might also be feeling that way, yourself. If you surround yourself with positive people, they will help you feel good, too. If you isolate yourself from others, maybe it’s time for an intervention!
How’s Your Gray Matter? #7
Your mind needs exercise, too. Keeping your mind active is a great way to enjoy life to the fullest and help prevent dementia from happening. Your brain is like a muscle. Give it some awesome stimulation by reading, writing, taking courses, or whatever you enjoy!
Are You Spiritual? #8
Have a healthy spiritual life. Develop your own sense of the profound, and make it a regular part of your life. For some, it may be practicing a particular religion. For others, it might be meditation or yoga, for example, which have been proven scientifically to have positive effects on health. Remember – we are genetically wired for spirituality!
Are You Moving Your Body? #9
Exercise is known to be healthy for the mind and body … maybe even the soul. Many scientific studies have shown this to be true. Be wise about the exercise you choose – the kind and frequency. Make sure you stay safe when you exercise – do not do too much or too little. Remember - regular exercise can help you burn more calories, lower blood pressure, improve your mood, be healthy for your heart … and much more!
Got Balance? #10
When one part of a person’s existence is out of kilter, the other parts are affected, often adversely. So it is important to take care of ourselves holistically. Make sure you are healthy emotionally, cognitively (thinking), physically, and spiritually. It will pay off in great dividends!
Dr. Donna Poppendieck (Dr. P) has over 30 years of experience in the mental health care field. She is a seasoned college professor and instructor for providers. She uses credible, proven holistic health strategies in instruction for parents of children with mental health challenges looking for another approach as well as healthcare providers seeking to implement or understand holistic strategies.