Summer is Here!

Who doesn’t love the sunshine and carefree atmosphere of summer? Summer still automatically invokes the feeling of an inherent vacation within all of us at Holistic Haven – even though it might be a little strange considering how long it has been since we’ve been in school! The Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, is right around the corner…

water-melon-beachWhat images come to mind when you think of summer?

Perhaps you envision lightness, happiness and freedom to name a few? The days are longer, there is lots of sunshine, and we can spend more time outdoors. The beach beckons us; meals are often grilled on the barbeque… ok, you get the point!

Now let’s move on to the seasonal nutritional delights that the summer has to offer. I especially love the fresh produce, like a big & juicy watermelon. I enjoy growing my own robust tomatoes and basil along with seeing what’s available at the local Farmers’ Markets.

There was a time when we marked the change of seasons with rituals – the Pagans would have bonfires and ceremonies and dances to mark the changing months of each year. The biggest part of these rituals was the planting and harvesting of seasonal crops. There were strong belief’s associated with the time of year, and because people lived off the land they had to know the cycles and corresponding health practices quite wellsummer-solstice

The Summer Solstice begins on June 21st at 12:38 p.m. You might find a ceremony to attend locally or host your own gathering to embrace the sun. I know that many of you are fortunate enough to be taking time off to vacation and I can’t wait to hear all of the stories and see all of the beautiful pictures. Be sure that you are eating lots of fresh seasonal produce, actively drinking enough water to stay hydrated, and are stocking up on your travel and immune supplements.

Whatever it is that summer means to you and whatever you have planned in your schedule, please join me in saying a prayer of thanks for all of the gifts that summer brings!

June 21st is also the longest day of the year. Go to our Facebook page and answer our short poll: How do you celebrate the longest day of the year?

 

 

 

Health Begins in the Gut

Something I discuss with my patients daily is the importance of good digestion; because as the saying goes, I believe that health begins in the gut.gut-draftYou’ve got many important organs to consider – the stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and of course the small & large intestines. These organs are where you break down your food and absorb your nutrients. So if you don’t have optimal digestion, you won’t absorb crucial nutrients from your food, even if you are eating an ideal diet!

Bloating, indigestion and acid reflux are super common symptoms…and lots of us just think that it’s simply unavoidable. Well, I’m here to say that these symptoms need to be addressed.

A few of the factors that can impair efficient digestion include stress, eating too quickly, eating large quantities, eating too close to bedtime, food allergies and even inflammation.

Also something to consider if you have been trying to lose weight and are not getting your desired results, is to look at improving your overall digestion.

So what can you do? One easy fix is to take digestive enzymes with your meals, especially while eating cooked and processed foods. The older we get the fewer enzymes our bodies produce, and enzymes are crucial for helping to properly break down your food.

sauerkrautAnother solid fix is to improve your good gut flora by eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut, plain yogurt or kefir, Kombucha, pickles or kimchi. When that’s not possible or if you don’t like the taste of fermented foods you can always supplement with a high quality probiotic which offers concentrated amounts of beneficial bacteria in a convenient dose.

There are lots of natural methods out there for treating digestive issues, so it’s really just a question of becoming aware and educated on what your options are. It’s truly worth the effort to find solutions, because as you can see there is more to digestion than most of us realize…and our health depends on it!

Transformation

namasteYOU CAN DO IT!

Changing your habits is difficult. Developing new habits takes time. Listed below are some tips to help you:

  • Make changes slowly
  • Look at ways you can make your   eating and physical activity habits healthier
  • Know what’s holding you back
  • Set a few realistic goals for yourself