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Isabel’s top tips for overall health of 2021

Isabel’s top tips for overall health of 2021 to bring you health in 2022

2021 has been quite the ride. While COVID continued to run rampant, the world was forced to slow down. Many people that spent their morning rushing commuting to work, only to work all day, and rush back home (hello NYC), now had a commute from their bedroom to the living room (or if lucky –  home office). For some of us, this newfound time and slower pace of life enabled us to turn inward, reflect, and focus on our health. This past year at Isabel Smith Nutrition has been incredible. We have continued to grow our practice, adding new amazing dietitians to the team, and expanded our clientele to the most diverse and amazing group of clients from all over the country  (and even the world!). With that being said, we have developed a list of our top tips for overall health of 2021 broken down by category: gut health, hormone health, fatigue/energy, and fertility to help you reach your health goals in this upcoming year! 

Top Tips for Gut Health

  • Focus on your microbiome! – Nourish your gut with pre and probiotics and if suffering from digestive issues reach out to a health professional to address any imbalances in the microbiome!
  • Aim for 4+ servings veg a day (cooked/raw) – This will support your gut microbiome, energy, and immune system.
  • Drink water! (but not too much at meals) – You are probably sick of hearing it by now but hydration is key! Just make sure to keep the majority of water between meals as having tons of liquid around a mealtime may mess with digestion.
  • Slow down and CHEW! – It is really that simple! Think about it, your teeth are the only source of mechanical digestion (chewing) your body has, the rest is up to chemical digestion via enzymes so help your body out! 
  • Spend more time looking at your food – Sounds funny right? Taking the time to look and smell your food signals to your body that it is time to eat. In turn, your body will begin secreting digestive enzymes preparing you for digestion. 
  • Use more herbs – Herbs are great for so many different things such as digestion, immune health, overall microbiome health,  and of course adds a TON of flavor.
  • Work on going to the bathroom daily – Your motility is often the culprit behind digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, and poor detoxification. Newsflash you should be pooping at least once a day!

TOP TIPS FOR HORMONE BALANCE

  •  Reduce environmental toxins (think: air, water, household beauty, and cleaning products) – Our hormones are super sensitive to our environment and lifestyle! You would be amazed at all the things that can disrupt our hormones. 
  • Get better sleep – I do not just mean sleep an hour longer, I mean getting better quality sleep. This may look like not waking up multiple times throughout the night by engaging in a nightly wind-down routine. 
  • POOP daily – Excess hormones like estrogen are excreted in your poop balancing hormone levels. 
  • Eat more cruciferous vegetables (think: kale, cauliflower, brussels, broccoli) – Cruciferous veggies contain indoles that help balance hormones. 
  •  Eat at regular times daily and do not skip meals – Blood sugar balance and hormone balance go hand in hand. 
  • Stress management is key for your adrenal health! Despite the world seemingly slowing down this past year, burnout was a common issue among our clients!

TOP TIPS FOR FATIGUE / ENERGY

  • Eat for blood sugar balance – Think: fiber, healthy fat, and protein with all meals/snacks!
  • Cut back on the caffeine – Coffee is good in moderation, but too much stresses out your adrenals! Stick to 1-2 cups!
  • Incorporate adrenal healthy foods – Think: complex carbs – sweet potato, squash, carrots
  • Get moving (bonus if outside!)  – You would be surprised how even 20 minutes of movement can make a world of difference!                                                          
  • Stay hydrated – This does not just mean water, but electrolytes as well!                                        
  • Reduce stress – try yoga, tai chi, meditation, journaling, listening to music, reading, or a walk in nature                                                      
  • Get quality sleep – aim for 7-8 hrs per night
  • Engage in activities and surround yourself with people that bring you joy!

TOP TIPS FOR FERTILITY

  • Focus on healthy fat (hello omega 3’s!) – Think: walnuts, chia/flax seeds, olive oil, avocado, wild caught salmon
  • Eat more veggies – Specifically, asparagus, leafy greens, beets, brussels, and  broccoli are great sources of folate 
  • Engage in gentle movement – Reduces stress and helps balance hormones
  • Nourish your body! – Now is not the time to restrict food! Nourishing your body with nutrient-rich foods is important! Omega 3s, folate, iron, and calcium are key when TTC. 
  • Decrease stress – Your body needs to feel safe! Reducing stress is key. 
  • Consider acupuncture – This may help reproductive health, balance hormones, and decrease stress. 

The Bottom Line

Your health is a priority! While health can feel complicated, we find bringing it back to the basics can be extremely powerful! Focusing on your diet and lifestyle are key with specific attention to your sleep, stress levels, boundaries you set for yourself, and who you surround yourself with are critical in optimizing your health. 

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