Dr Frank Lipman http://www.drfranklipman.com Functional and Integrative Medicine Fri, 01 Jul 2016 09:00:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman and Hyatt Collaboration: Recap of the Chef Workshop in New York City http://www.drfranklipman.com/hyatt-collaboration-recap-chef-workshop/ http://www.drfranklipman.com/hyatt-collaboration-recap-chef-workshop/#respond Fri, 01 Jul 2016 09:00:18 +0000 http://www.drfranklipman.com/?p=27279 Last month, it was announced that Be Well would be joining forces with Hyatt Hotels to bring healthy hospitality to a new level, bringing overall health and wellness to guests in a variety of ways. To kick off the collaboration, Hyatt and Be Well brought together Hyatt chefs and the Be Well team to create more options in Hyatt’s food and beverage experiences that deliver on this mission.

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Hyatt Collaboration
Last month, it was announced that Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman joined forces with Hyatt to bring healthy hospitality to a new level by focusing on guests’ health and wellness in a variety of ways.

To kick off the collaboration, a Chef Workshop was held at Andaz 5th Avenue with the Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman team and 10 Hyatt chefs from hotel locations in New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The workshop was centered on creating more food and beverage experiences that deliver on Hyatt’s continued focus on healthy meal choices for guests.

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The Chef Workshop was led by Be Well’s founder Dr. Frank Lipman (center), along with Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman Chef and Wellness Advisor Seamus Mullen (left) and Hyatt’s Culinary Director Maximo Lopez May (right).

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The morning started with a chef roundtable discussion lead by Dr. Lipman and Seamus. Topics included decreasing carbohydrate consumption, switching out industrialized vegetable oils, minimizing factory-farmed meats, and most importantly, loving our food!

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An interactive cooking lesson then took place. Each kitchen station was assigned a unique Be Well by Dr. Frank Lipman recipe. The station pictured above was set up for Be Well’s Kale Caesar Salad. Here is the recipe:

Be Well Kale Caesar Salad with Anchovy-Citrus Vinaigrette

Salad Ingredients:

  • 8 packed cups minced black kale
  • 1 avocado, diced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 1 pint Sun Gold tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch each fresh dill, basil, and mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, microplaned
  • 4 oz Anchovy-Citrus Vinaigrette
  • 8 Tbsp dry-roasted pecans

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup EVOO

Instructions:

For the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients except EVOO in a blender. Process until smooth and drizzle in EVOO.

For the salad, in a large bowl combine kale, avocado, chili, tomatoes, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper, toss with the vinaigrette, and finish with a generous grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano and pecans.

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Finished Product: The Be Well Kale Caesar Salad!

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Chefs in the kitchen chat about the benefits of considering quality rather than counting calories and avoiding fats.

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Lunch was served along with our favorite Be Well Mocha Choca Smoothie and chia seed pudding for dessert.

This exhilarating event was just the beginning of our health and wellness initiative. Read more about our collaboration with Hyatt here.

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Forever Fit http://www.drfranklipman.com/forever-fit/ http://www.drfranklipman.com/forever-fit/#respond Thu, 30 Jun 2016 09:00:45 +0000 http://www.drfranklipman.com/?p=27260 Getting older doesn’t have to mean retiring from your favorite activities and sports.
Here’s your guide for staying fit for life.

I’m 70. There, I said it.

None of my previous milestone birthdays — not 40, 50, or even 60 — got my attention. But 70 did

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Forever Fit
Reprinted with permission from Experience Life Magazine.
By Joe Friel

Getting older doesn’t have to mean retiring from your favorite activities and sports.
Here’s your guide for staying fit for life.

I’m 70. There, I said it.

None of my previous milestone birthdays — not 40, 50, or even 60 — got my attention. But 70 did.

For whatever reason, 70 seems a lot older than 69. It fact, it felt different enough that I contemplated the start of my eighth decade for the better part of a year. My greatest concern was that it might signal the beginning of the end of my lifelong adventure as a serious athlete. I simply didn’t know what to expect.

We know that our bodies go through several key physical changes that affect our fitness and athleticism as we get older. So leading up to my Big Seven-Zero Day, there was one question I wanted answered: How can I slow, or perhaps even reverse, my loss of fitness?

From research and personal experience, I’ve learned that with the right training, you can maintain — and improve — fitness as you age. The -following guidelines have helped me stay on top of my game, and they can help you stay fit after 50, too.

The Facts of Aging

Let’s face it: Time changes us, at least to some degree. And as you get older, some people will probably step forward to offer “helpful” advice on how you should adjust your fitness efforts — usually by warning you away from exercising so strenuously. Advancing age means you must slow down, they say. Maybe they tell you -horror stories of broken bones, of heart attacks. Look at so-and-so, they say.He wouldn’t stop, and now he’s getting knee replacements. Overdoing it is bad for you. Back off — you’ve earned a rest. Enjoy the twilight of your life.

Ugh, I know. But here’s the thing: By the time we’re in our 50s, it starts to become apparent to most of us that some things are progressing the wrong way, even if we’re active.

The first thing aging fit people usually notice is that we don’t recover as quickly from our workouts and training sessions, or race as quickly, as we did just a few years earlier.

We might also be feeling a loss of power. Hills seem steeper and we will probably see certain performance markers declining. This sort of decline is, to some real extent, inevitable; we just don’t know how rapidly it will occur.

Scientists have a long list of phenomena that are typical signs of aging. But if you’re active and vigorous, you aren’t typical. And that’s good.

Still, even the most athletic among us can expect certain performance-diminishing declines with advancing age. I call them the Facts of Aging:

Fact 1: Body fat increases. We all experience a significant change in body composition starting around age 65. Compared with when we were 25, most men lose about 26 pounds, and women about 11 pounds, of lean mass — mostly muscle — by their late 60s. This, combined with hormonal changes and slowing metabolism, often results in higher body-fat levels.

Fact 2: Aerobic capacity decreases. Your maximal heart rate reduces as you age. The volume of blood pumped with each heartbeat also decreases. The result is  that you simply aren’t capable of delivering as much oxygen to your working muscles as when you were younger, and your VO2 max declines.

Fact 3: Muscles shrink. Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle as we age. Starting around age 40, a progressive decrease begins. As muscle fibers are lost and aerobic enzymes in the muscles become less effective and abundant, we experience a decrease in strength.

Meanwhile, there’s some other depressing stuff happening in our bodies — loss of bone density, an increasing propensity for total-body acidity, a slowing of metabolism, a loss of joint range of motion, and so on. But the three Facts of Aging are most often the reason for declines in fitness and athletic performance as we get older.

Here’s the good news: With consistent exercise and healthy lifestyle habits, we can minimize or reverse these symptoms of aging and remain fit and active well into our 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond.

The Value of Exercise

Exercise keeps you healthier and biologically “younger,” regardless of intensity. It’s powerful medicine when it comes to your health.

If your reason for exercising is to live a long life filled with vibrant family activity and fun for many years to come, then vigorous and frequent exercise of any type is the way to go.

What scientists know best about exercise and aging is that there seems to be an inverse relationship between older people’s volume of exercise and their risk of premature death, regardless of cause. In other words, the more you exercise, the less likely you are to die early.

While aging naturally takes a toll on the performance of active people and aging athletes, its impact is minor compared with the loss of functional performance that inactive people experience due to disuse. Most people “rust out” from inactivity rather than “wear out” from being overly active. (For more from Experience Life on the process of “rusting” and what you can do about it, see “Glutathione: The Great Protector“.)

Remember when we discussed the first Fact of Aging: Body fat increases? Exercise and nutrition are your best allies in overcoming this challenge. (For more on food habits that age you, see “Food Habits that Age You”.)

Genetics and lifestyle — often referred to as nature and nurture — are both important here, but there is reason to believe that the major contributor to performance decline as we get older is nurture, with nature playing a smaller role.

This contradicts what our society has come to believe: that the vagaries of aging occur at a given rate, are inevitable, and are completely beyond one’s control. That line of thinking makes it easy to throw up your hands and surrender.

A vigorous lifestyle — and especially strenuous activity or training for a sport — has a powerful influence on physiology and longevity. Longitudinal studies show that reduced workout and training intensity can result in significant declines in the performance-related physiology of athletes over time. At the same time, research has demonstrated that loss of a vigorous lifestyle, along with diet, may also explain the declining lifespan of native populations.

Some scientists who study sport and aging also see the balance tilted toward the nurture side, because as we age, exercise behavior (nurture) appears to play a significant role in how our given genetic biology (nature) plays out.

This balance could be around 60:40 or even 70:30. In other words, 60 to 70 percent of our reduced performance might be explained by changes in training (and lifestyle in general), with the changes due to biological aging accounting for only 30 to 40 percent.

Bottom line: A lot of how you age, and how much it affects your fitness, is entirely up to you.

Forever Fit: Training Guidelines

So how can you exercise to slow aging while also maintaining — or even improving — your -fitness and performance?

The answer is not all that mysterious. What drives the physiology of exercising and training in middle age and beyond is no different from what it was when you were in your 30s. It’s about how hard, how long, and how often you exercise.

What does change, however, is your capacity — physiological and psychological — to handle the stress associated with exercise. Your “repair” mechanisms aren’t quite as efficient as 20 years ago, and you may notice it takes a little longer to bounce back after an intense workout.

Balancing your strength and cardio efforts with plenty of recovery is the key to increasing your -fitness -capabilities and boosting performance. (For more fromExperience Life on building your own workout program, go to “Build Your Own Workout“.)

1. Interval Training

Think back to the second Fact of Aging: Aerobic capacity decreases. To stave off that decline, you need to regularly challenge your aerobic capacity and VO2 max. The most effective and efficient way to do that is interval training: high-intensity bursts combined with time for recovery.

When you perform intervals, the absolute intensity, duration of repetitions, number of repetitions, and duration of recovery between intervals must be only slightly more challenging than your estimated current capacity for physical stress.

Translation: You must know, or be able to sense,  your physical limits and not exceed them. (Metabolic testing can offer insights for making the most of your efforts, without overdoing it.)

That’s why, if it’s been a while since you last did this type of workout, it’s best to take a conservative approach. Don’t try to get in shape in just a handful of sessions. Too much too soon nearly always results in an injury or other bodily breakdown.

Taking a long-term approach — building your intensity and capacity over several weeks — will help you safely produce the results you want.

Interval Training Tips

If you’re new to interval training, or you haven’t done interval training recently, start here:

1. Warm up for at least 10 minutes, gradually increasing the intensity to a moderate effort.

2. Then do three intervals, with a 3:1 work-to-rest ratio. In other words, push the pace with your choice of cardio or resistance training for 90 seconds, then slow down so you can recover for 30 seconds.

3. Cool down with several minutes of easy exercise.

Start with one interval workout per week. Over time, increase the number of weekly sessions to two if you have the stamina and time. A heart-rate monitor can be a helpful tool for monitoring and adjusting your efforts based on your current fitness level.

2. Strength Training

Many people believe their hearts should be the target of their exercise efforts, but the loss of fitness with age largely depends on lean muscle mass.

The heart is essentially a pump that responds to the needs of the muscles by speeding up or slowing down its rhythm to meet their demands. If you want to be highly fit, focus first and foremost on your muscles. Your heart will follow suit.

Strength training is also our best bet for offsetting the third Fact of Aging: Muscles shrink.

A regular resistance-training regimen can help you retain and regain muscle mass at any age. Forget the myth that you can’t build muscles in your 60s and 70s. Though it may not happen quite as quickly as in previous decades, you definitely can. Sedentary people of all ages, including those in their 80s, have successfully improved muscle strength with weightlifting.

If you have not done resistance training for some time, take several weeks to progress from light to heavy loads. (For tips on figuring out the amount of weight that’s right for you, see “Expert Answers on Figuring Out How Much Weight to Lift“.)

For more on the value of strength training, go to “Be Strong“.

Strength Training Tips

Cody Sipe, PhD, cofounder of the Functional Aging Institute, has devoted his career to developing training strategies that help older adults improve their functional fitness. Here are his general recommendations for strength training, which help protect against the negative effects of aging.

Forever Fit

For more on interval training, see “Steady-State Cardio Vs. High-Intensity Interval Training“.

3. Rest and Recovery

Hard workouts require recovery time. While there’s no precise formula for determining when you need to take a break — and for how long — there are some guidelines based on markers of fatigue. Some signs that you may need to back off:

Perceived fatigue. Symptoms include muscle soreness, poor sleep, low motivation to exercise, general malaise, localized leg or arm fatigue, heavier-than-normal breathing during easy workouts, and unusual difficulty in walking up a flight of stairs.

Mood. If you’re irritable, it may be a sign that you’re tired and need rest.

Waking heart rate. Check your waking pulse daily, before you get out of bed and while still lying down, to see how it compares with other days. When you have other signs of fatigue, such as muscle soreness or moodiness, you may find that it is elevated 10 percent or more above the baseline.

Heart-rate variability (HRV). Counterintuitive as it may seem, the length of the intervals between heartbeats will vary more when you’re well rested. When you’re fatigued, the length of the intervals will be more consistent. (Learn more about HRV at “Expert Answers: What is Heart-Rate Variability“.)

Physical signs. Itchy eyes, a runny nose, or the appearance of cold sores on your lips could signal an overwhelmed immune system and a need for more rest.

When any of these indicators are present, use sleep and nutrition as your primary recovery tools.

Even if you do everything right, of course, at some point you’ll find your body (and your performance) changing. But that doesn’t mean you should give up challenging your body or pursuing the fitness activities you find rewarding.

Strong, fit, fast, and powerful are all achievable goals at any age. By being proactive and strategic in your fitness pursuits now, you can beat the typical odds and not only preserve your current capacity longer, but also enjoy even greater fitness pursuits and achievements for years to come.

For more on the art of recovery, see “The Recovery Zone“.

Adapted from Fast After 50. Copyright © 2015 by Joe Friel. Reprinted with permission of the author and VeloPress.


Joe Friel is an elite triathlon and cycling coach and the author of more than a dozen books, including the best-selling Training Bibles series. He has trained endurance athletes since 1980, including national champions, world champ competitors, and an Olympian. This article is adapted from Fast After 50: How to Race Strong for the Rest of Your Life.

Reprinted with permission from Experience Life Magazine.

Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit www.experiencelife.com to learn more, to sign up for Experience Life newsletters, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.

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Eating Out, Be Well Style http://www.drfranklipman.com/eating-out-be-well-style/ http://www.drfranklipman.com/eating-out-be-well-style/#respond Tue, 28 Jun 2016 09:00:11 +0000 http://www.drfranklipman.com/?p=27253 When you start to change your eating choices and habits, eating out can be a point of confusion for many. We see this all the time with patients at the office—they want to stick to their food plan because they’re feeling great, but they also want to be able to enjoy eating out with others and not feel like they are sabotaging their hard efforts. While it is helpful to pick a restaurant you know serves high-quality food, it’s not always possible to steer the ship.

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Eating Out

By Be Well Health Coach Jackie Damboragian

When you start to change your eating choices and habits, eating out can be a point of confusion for many. We see this all the time with patients at the office—they want to stick to their food plan because they’re feeling great, but they also want to be able to enjoy eating out with others and not feel like they are sabotaging their hard efforts. While it is helpful to pick a restaurant you know serves high-quality food, it’s not always possible to steer the ship.

In general, we recommend focusing your plate on roasted or grilled fish or animal protein, healthy fats like olives and avocados, and vegetables. For those of you on the Be Well Cleanse, you’ll find our cleanse-friendly tips below.  

Mexican

Go for the fajitas (shrimp, chicken, or beef) with salsa and guacamole, but leave the tortillas alone. You can add rice and beans on the side.

Cleanse tip: Keep it simple and get a salad (you can always ask for a double salad if it’s too small) with grilled chicken or shrimp, topped with avocado.

Japanese

Steer clear of any dishes with heavy sauces and spicy rolls; instead, opt for the simple sushi like a salmon avocado roll, yellowfin roll, or any basic roll of your choice. Choose tamari, which is a gluten-free soy sauce, if they offer it.

Cleanse tip: Since you’re avoiding grains on the cleanse, opt for naruto rolls, which are wrapped in cucumber instead of rice.

American

You want to be sure to skip anything cheesy, fried, or breaded. Choose dishes like roasted chicken and brussels sprouts, grilled fish and asparagus, and shrimp cocktail.

Cleanse tip: Choose any type of fish or animal protein you’d like, and pair it with vegetables and/or salad.

Italian

We certainly recommend avoiding the pasta and any fried options. Instead, opt for grilled or roasted fish or meat, a salad, and a side of sautéed vegetables such as spinach or broccoli rabe. I’ll often order an appetizer of mussels marinara and pair it with a salad and veggies to make a complete meal.

Cleanse tip: Get simply prepared grilled fish with a salad and sautéed vegetables.

I find it really helpful to scope out the menu before I get to a restaurant and decide on what may work best. It can really help to take any worry out of your dining experience. Oh, and if you’re feeling like dessert, go for fruit!

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Bug Off, Buddy: 6 Ways to Avoid Mosquito Bites http://www.drfranklipman.com/bug-off-buddy-6-ways-avoid-mosquito-bites/ http://www.drfranklipman.com/bug-off-buddy-6-ways-avoid-mosquito-bites/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 09:00:44 +0000 http://www.drfranklipman.com/?p=27250 Mosquitoes. This year the prospect of getting bitten is more unappealing than ever, particularly with increased awareness of and rising concerns over the diseases mosquitoes can transmit, like Zika, West Nile, dengue, etc. Even if it’s just those itchy bites that we're all too familiar with, the fewer mosquitoes feasting on us the better. So, how to make yourself a less appealing prospect to the little buggers

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Avoid Mosquito Bites
Mosquitoes. This year the prospect of getting bitten is more unappealing than ever, particularly with increased awareness of and rising concerns over the diseases mosquitoes can transmit, like Zika, West Nile, dengue, etc. Even if it’s just those itchy bites that we’re all too familiar with, the fewer mosquitoes feasting on us the better. So, how to make yourself a less appealing prospect to the little buggers? While there’s no one perfect path to a bite-free summer, you can fight back in a variety of ways without having to poison yourself in the process. This season, try a few of our healthier mosquito-repelling tips, and send those nasty creatures elsewhere to dine.

1. Mosquitoes Love Some People More Than Others

If you’re one of those people who always seem to get bitten, it’s because you’ve got what they want, namely blood, and if you’ve got type O, studies indicate you’ll likely be the most popular guest at the mosquito buffet, compared to those with types A or B running through their veins. So all you type Os out there might want to ramp up your repellent efforts, particularly this summer.

2. Mosquitoes Like A Little Heavy Breathing

To attract mosquitoes, simply exhale. They’ll be able to pick up your scent—from up to 150 feet away—using the carbon dioxide you’re exhaling as a sort of dinner bell calling them to the table. Granted, holding our collective breath for the summer isn’t an option, but heading inside during peak hours is, so limit outdoor activities during mosquito-biting prime time.

3. Mosquitoes Like You Dirty, Sweaty, And Perfumed

The more scent you’ve got, the easier it is for mosquitoes to find you and take a bite. They’re attracted to all sorts of fragrances, from the ones we spray on ourselves to the ones we waft after intense exercise, like lactic acid, assorted bacteria, ammonia, and so on. So, if you’re out sweating round the track on a steamy summer day, hit the showers as quickly as possible so you don’t attract a stinging crowd. Another tip? If you tend to get bitten a lot, you may also want to lay off the brewskis—mosquitoes are attracted, for reasons not totally understood, to beer drinkers.

4. Mosquitoes Can’t Bite You If They Can’t See You

The flying nuisances rely on vision as well as scent to locate tasty morsels like us, so make it a little harder for them by dressing in white or light colors instead of city-chic black and navy. Long sleeves and long pants will provide additional camouflage and coverage—making you even less appealing.

5. Smoke ’Em Out

Much as most of us would probably enjoy carpet-bombing the world’s mosquito population into another dimension, the chemicals necessary to do that would be terrible for our bodies and the environment, so cooler heads must prevail. To reduce exposure, making ourselves as unappealing as possible to mosquitoes is a great place to start. Next, it’s time to start laying on the bug repellents, which must be done with care. One of my favorites is Dr. Fedorenko True Organic mosquito repellent, because it’s DEET-free, clinically tested, and made with certified organic essential oils. Not only does it fend off mosquitoes, but the smell is wonderful to humans—the bugs, not so much.

6. Arm Yourself With Knowledge

The next step: Check out the latest research from the top-drawer team at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), whose staff is dedicated to finding products that are the least damaging to the human body. To help consumers make the most informed buying decisions possible, in April the EWG published its Guide to Bug Repellents in the Age of Zika, a tip-packed must-read, which ranks a wide range of repellents for toxicity and efficacy, and offers recommendations for both adults and children.

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Healthy Habits for Summer Skin http://www.drfranklipman.com/healthy-habits-summer-skin/ http://www.drfranklipman.com/healthy-habits-summer-skin/#respond Fri, 24 Jun 2016 09:00:20 +0000 http://www.drfranklipman.com/?p=27207 There are a few lifestyle changes I make every year when summer starts. We all want to look and feel our best during the summer months, and my little mental checklist makes me feel at least a little more in control and prepared during swimsuit season. Here’s my list of healthy habits for summer-ready skin from head to toe.

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Summer Skin
There are a few lifestyle changes I make every year when summer starts. We all want to look and feel our best during the summer months, and my little mental checklist makes me feel at least a little more in control and prepared during swimsuit season. Here’s my list of healthy habits for summer-ready skin from head to toe.

Infrared Sauna

It’s relaxing, makes you drip sweat (and toxins!), and helps your skin glow. Need I say more? Infrared saunas also help to relax your muscles and improve circulation. Lately, after my workouts, I’ve been stopping by a little spot near my house that has one, and I’m quickly becoming addicted. My muscles aren’t as sore, my eyes and skin look healthier, I’m more relaxed, and most important, l just feel better overall.

Research has shown infrared saunas to help balance cortisol, your body’s primary stress hormone. They also go a long way toward relieving tension and relaxing your muscles. Plus, the heat generated by an infrared sauna will cause your core temperature to increase, which can also lead to an increased heart rate—the same increase in heart rate that you experience when exercising. Infrared saunas can penetrate the skin more deeply, increase metabolic rate, and help the body burn anywhere from 200 to 600 calories in a half-hour session! I know…sign you up?

That’s not all: These saunas will also improve skin tone and reduce signs of aging by stimulating better circulation, blood flow, and increased collagen production—all of which improve the look and health of your skin. The last thing you’d want to do after your sauna is apply skin care products that contain the toxins you just sweated out, so thank goodness for nontoxic Drunk Elephant! The C-Firma Day Serum contains anti-aging ChronoPeptide, which transforms into vitamin D and mimics the vitamin D we get through sun exposure. Which means, you guessed it: The infrared sauna and Drunk Elephant make quite the duo when it comes to fighting the signs of aging!

Dry Brushing

When I first heard about dry brushing I was intrigued, but I just couldn’t see myself taking the time to do something like that every day. It wasn’t until my husband gave me a gift certificate for a massage on my birthday that I finally decided to go for it and buy a dry brush while I was there. The woman who sold it to me said it would take care of everything from exfoliation to cellulite reduction. It sounded a little too good to be true, so I went home and did some research. As it turns out, dry brushing is the real deal. Our skin, the largest organ, is responsible for 10 to 15 percent of detox elimination, so dry brushing gives your kidneys and liver a break by helping the skin regenerate more efficiently. It helps to smooth and tone your skin, rid your body of dead skin cells, and boost circulation. And yes, it truly does help to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Suddenly, finding three minutes a day doesn’t seem like too much to ask, right? Happy brushing!

Skin Care

I use DE. What, like you’re surprised? I like to think of it as a juice cleanse for your skin. Since formulating the line, I’ve given up not just makeup, but also essential oils, fragrance, phthalates, chemical screens, and silicones. The difference is immediate, and it’s the perfect summer skin solution, because less makeup in the heat is a great thing. Plus, less to travel with!

Exercise

I like alternating between indoor and outdoor workouts. I like to switch things around and surprise my body, so I’ll lift weights and go on long, fast walks as well as do the StairMaster and do exercise videos at home. I switch it up, as long as it’s something I’m doing daily. It just feels better to put on a pair of shorts when you’ve been active, and it gives you that much more confidence and energy. Not to mention the natural mood-boosting effects!

Summer Diet

I like to keep healthy options on hand, so when I get hungry, I can reach for something fast. Some go-tos include: avocado for green smoothies, pre-cooked brown rice pasta, precut fresh vegetables and fruits, cooked chicken breasts, and almond and pecan milk. I’ll also make sure I have premade green juices , so if I don’t have time to make a smoothie from scratch, I can add raw protein powder on the go. Some favorite snacks include broccoli or brussels sprouts slaw with homemade vinaigrette, chickpeas in balsamic and olive oil, dark chocolate, and a big bag of frozen papaya and strawberries. I also always make sure to have grass-fed butter! I love it, and it can go in my coffee to make it bulletproof.

I try to avoid dairy and gluten for a flatter tummy, and I always load up on probiotics for glowing skin. A healthy gut contributes to a better mood, better sleep…better everything!

All in all? Summer beauty (which for me includes looking and feeling my very best) ultimately includes some serious self-care. And who couldn’t use a little more of that?

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10 Hacks for Better Living http://www.drfranklipman.com/10-hacks-better-living/ http://www.drfranklipman.com/10-hacks-better-living/#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:00:15 +0000 http://www.drfranklipman.com/?p=27218 As a holistic psychiatrist, I would love for my patients to forage for wild greens in an old-growth forest and meditate an hour a day. But I practice in New York City, so most of my patients push back on that plan and say they can dedicate about 90 seconds per day toward wellness. To help out, I’ve identified a few life “hacks” that pack the most bang for your buck. Give some of these a try, and you’ll be feeling better with minimal effort.

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Life Hacks
As a holistic psychiatrist, I would love for my patients to forage for wild greens in an old-growth forest and meditate an hour a day. But I practice in New York City, so most of my patients push back on that plan and say they can dedicate about 90 seconds per day toward wellness. To help out, I’ve identified a few life “hacks” that pack the most bang for your buck. Give some of these a try, and you’ll be feeling better with minimal effort.

1. Stand Up For Two Minutes Every Hour

Sitting is toxic. The healthiest people in the world have never been on an elliptical—they’re just a little bit active all day long. Even if you sit at a desk, approximate an active lifestyle by building micro activity into your day. Walk to the bathroom every hour, stand up to change the channel, take the stairs, or just stand up and sit back down after a minute. Any movement at all will be much better than uninterrupted sitting.

2. Get A Squatty Potty

Humans evolved squatting to poop. Sitting to have a bowel movement is a recent phenomenon, and I feel it contributes to modern gastrointestinal woes like constipation, IBS, and hemorrhoids. The Squatty Potty is safe, affordable, and potentially life-changing. This is my favorite kind of medicine, and I recommend it to everyone.

Step 1: Go to www.squattypotty.com, and pay about $25 for a 9” Squatty Potty.

Step 2: Experience the revelation of an effortless and complete evacuation.

Step 3 (the hardest step): Explain to curious houseguests what that stool is in your bathroom.

3. Eat Real Food

What’s the right diet: paleo, Mediterranean, vegan, raw? In a world of conflicting research and opinions, here’s a simple way to think about the right way to eat: Eat real food and avoid fake food. Full stop. Pay less attention to the parade of contradictory headlines—fat is bad, butter is good, carbs are bad, eggs cause heart disease (oops, now they’re healthy)…. From now on, just ask yourself: Is it real food? And a good follow-up question is: How do I feel when I eat this? Pay special attention to foods marketed as health foods. Is it real food? Probably not.

4. Count Chemicals, Not Calories

You may hear experts say a calorie is a calorie. Wrong. What you eat affects your hunger, satiety, metabolism, gut flora, insulin sensitivity, fat distribution, inflammation, and stress levels. Diet soda, with zero calories, is much more likely to send you on the path toward metabolic syndrome than a piece of grass-fed steak or veggies doused in olive oil. Chris Kresser put this best: “Count chemicals, not calories,” and you’ll make the right choice.

5. Get A Water Flosser

The bugs living between your teeth affect the health of your whole body. To floss more effectively and reduce inflammation throughout your body, use a water flosser. I used to hate flossing; now I use the H2Oral shower flosser and enjoy it. If you need more convincing, water flossing was part of a protocol that successfully reduced cognitive decline in subjects with dementia.

6. Shut It Down And Sleep Eight Hours

OK, this one is easier said than done. In my practice, I come up against every explanation for why we don’t get enough sleep—we don’t have time, we can’t fall asleep, long work hours, long commute, baby crying, etc. There are factors we can and can’t control. But one thing is for sure—most of us look at screens at night. If you do that, it’s affecting your sleep. Give yourself the following gift: Pick a time in the evening, maybe 9 p.m. or 10 p.m., when you shut down electronics and wind down for bed. If you can consistently get about eight hours of sleep, this will transform your energy, mood, and immunity. It’s probably the most effective thing you can do to improve your health.  

7. Install A Water Filter In Your Home

The effort involved here is purchasing a water filter, installing it, and replacing the cartridges every six months. The benefit is removing some of the chlorine, fluoride, and perhaps pharmaceutical residues and other contaminants in our water. The water filter I use is called Aquasana: www.aquasana.com.

8. Take A Spoonful

So much of human suffering could be avoided with steady blood sugar. When our blood sugar crashes, we pick fights, feel overwhelmed, panic, and despair, and our brains feel fried. Take a spoonful of organic coconut oil or almond butter (Artisana brand is great) to help keep your blood sugar stable. Take it upon waking, before bed, in anticipation of your 3 p.m. energy slump, and before you head out for a networking event, a presentation, happy hour, or the cocktail hour at a wedding.

9. Pack Snacks When You Travel

Travel throws a wrench in so many good habits. A little easy prep will help you treat yourself right while you’re in the air or on the road. Here’s what I do: Before a flight, I order good-quality takeout (usually a bunch of veggie sides) and have it delivered right before I leave. It’s already packed with plasticware and napkins, and this becomes my in-flight meal. Meanwhile, I keep portable, shelf-stable snacks stocked and pack these in my carry-on. Good options include nuts, individual packets of coconut, cacao, and almond butter, and grass-fed jerky. Avocados (pack a knife and spoon) and apples also make great plane snacks.

10. Throw Out Your Canola Oil And Iodized Salt

The industrially processed seed oils (canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, etc.) are highly processed and inflammatory. I have a hunch these oils are a critical factor in our epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and autoimmunity. If you own canola oil, follow these steps: Play Beyoncé’s Lemonade very loudly, take aim, and hurl that oil into the trash. What should you cook with instead? Grass-fed ghee, expeller-pressed coconut oil, beef tallow, lard, maybe a little organic red palm oil. Be conscious of the fact that when you order takeout or eat in restaurants, you’re almost certainly consuming vegetable oil. Give your business to the few places making enlightened choices around cooking fats (e.g., Hearth restaurant in NYC). Ask about oil to start the conversation and put pressure on restaurants to serve you food that isn’t hurting you. The second part of this is easy: Replace your iodized salt with pink Himalayan sea salt. For iodine, add some dulse or other sea vegetables to your diet.

Extra Credit: Relax

Ha! After this list, you’re thinking, “Great, I’m doing everything wrong…now I’m feeling more stressed than I was before.” Well, the next step is to discern which steps will improve your well-being and which will drive you crazy. Do what you can, and never compromise what makes your life fulfilling. A wonderful way to round out this plan is to build in any form of daily relaxation. Try meditating at least one minute per day. There’s no more powerful medicine.

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What’s the Story with Dairy? http://www.drfranklipman.com/whats-story-dairy/ http://www.drfranklipman.com/whats-story-dairy/#respond Tue, 21 Jun 2016 09:00:26 +0000 http://www.drfranklipman.com/?p=27200 Here at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, we believe that there is not one diet that is right for everyone, which means we encourage patients to get curious about how certain foods make them feel to determine if they work well with their body. Although not all foods follow this individualized plan (things like gluten and sugar are generally no-nos), dairy is one of the foods we spend time talking about with patients, and that is because there are a few things to consider when deciding if dairy is a good choice.

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By Be Well Health Coach Amanda Carney

Here at Be Well, we believe that there is not one diet that is right for everyone, which means we encourage patients to get curious about how certain foods make them feel to determine if they work well with their body. Although not all foods follow this individualized plan (things like gluten and sugar are generally no-nos), dairy is one of the foods we spend time talking about with patients, and that is because there are a few things to consider when deciding if dairy is a good choice.

Not All Dairy Is Created Equal

Choosing good-quality dairy is incredibly important, not only because it is richer in nutrients, but also because it doesn’t contain all of the hormones and antibiotics that factory-farmed dairy contains. Things such as growth hormones and antibiotics used in conventional farming methods are transferred over to us when we eat such products, which can lead to hormone imbalance, a compromised microbiome, and systemic inflammation.

Good-quality dairy can include local dairy products found at your farmers’ market, such as sheep-milk yogurt and raw goat cheese. It may also include grass-fed butter and ghee, organic cheeses, and unsweetened kefir. These types of foods are a good source of healthy fat and protein and can make up part of a healthy diet.

When it is an option, we always recommend choosing full-fat dairy products that have not been sweetened. Sheep- and goat-milk dairy is generally easier for the body to digest when compared to cow-milk products.

Dairy Is A Common Food Sensitivity

One of the best ways to determine if dairy is a good choice for you is to cut it out for two weeks and then reintroduce it, watching to see if you have any reactions. If dairy is a problem for you, you may feel some digestive upset, such as bloating, gas, or heartburn, or you may notice that your stool is loose and you have the need to run to the bathroom. Other sensitivities may include stomach pains, headaches, skin irritations, or feeling fatigued.

For this reason, we remove dairy on our 2-Week Cleanse. It gives participants the opportunity to feel for themselves if milk products are a good choice to incorporate into their diet.

Dairy Can Cause Inflammation

Even if dairy doesn’t cause any physical reactions for you, we don’t usually recommend having it in large quantities or with every meal. After all, dairy comes from lactating cows and therefore contains hormones, which when taken in excess can cause imbalance in the body.  

Instead of having a big glass of milk with meals, try a little goat-milk cheese in your salad, or instead of purchasing a yogurt parfait at your coffee shop, reach for a local sheep-milk yogurt and add your own toppings (see the recipes below).

Here are a few ways you can incorporate good-quality dairy into your diet in just the right amounts:

Sheep-Milk Yogurt With Nuts And Berries

  • ½ cup unsweetened sheep-milk yogurt
  • ¼ cup berries
  • 1 tablespoon walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

In a small bowl, place yogurt and top with berries, walnuts, chia seeds, and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Summer Salad with Goat Cheese

  • 2 big handfuls arugula
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 4 strawberries, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon local goat cheese
  • ½ avocado, chopped
  • rganic chicken or grilled wild shrimp (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

In a large bowl, combine arugula, sunflower seeds, strawberries, goat cheese, avocado, and chicken or shrimp, if using. Top with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Bulletproof Coffee

This may sound strange, but adding grass-fed butter to your morning coffee could be a great idea, especially if you’re someone who doesn’t usually eat breakfast! Read our Bulletproof Coffee blog post to learn more.

  • 1 cup organic coffee
  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter
  • 1 tablespoon MCT oil or coconut oil

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until frothy.

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8 Ways to Fight Jet Lag http://www.drfranklipman.com/8-ways-fight-jet-lag/ http://www.drfranklipman.com/8-ways-fight-jet-lag/#respond Mon, 20 Jun 2016 09:00:25 +0000 http://www.drfranklipman.com/?p=27194 One of summertime’s greatest joys? Travel to faraway places. One of its biggest headaches (other than the TSA lines)? Jet lag. It’s the traveler’s equivalent of a hangover, with the main difference being that you probably had no fun getting it, and the pain will last longer than the alcohol-induced kind. And why does jet lag still have such power over us?

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jet lag
One of summertime’s greatest joys? Travel to faraway places. One of its biggest headaches (other than the TSA lines)? Jet lag. It’s the traveler’s equivalent of a hangover, with the main difference being that you probably had no fun getting it, and the pain will last longer than the alcohol-induced kind. And why does jet lag still have such power over us? Well, for starters, rapid time-zone hopping is something our species has been doing for only a matter of decades, so few (if any) of us have fully adapted to this body clock–disrupting aspect of the miracle of flight (and it may take a very long time before anybody does). While jet lag is irritating and enervating, keep in mind it’s simply the body’s way of telling us that we’re far away from home and our rhythms are out of sync with the local time. So how to help close the gap and tame jet lag’s disruptive effects? Grab your eyeshades and consider the following jet-lag wisdom:

Let The Sunshine In, Strategically

Our circadian rhythms, aka our internal clock, impact a myriad of essential bodily functions, such as blood pressure, when we sleep, when we wake, when hormones (like melatonin) are released, when we poop, and so on. So when we cross multiple time zones, our internal clock—which takes its cues from internal and external factors like light, darkness, temperature, etc.—needs time to adapt to the new location. Research has shown that controlling your light exposure before, during, and after you fly can help speed the process. But keep in mind, westbound travelers will adjust more quickly than eastbound, and the over-40 set tend to get hit harder due to age-related melatonin-level dips. On the other hand, jet lag seems to have less impact on regular exercisers, so maintain your fitness routine at home and away.

Pick Your Plan

A week or two before you go, you may want to try your own body clock–shifting experiment by adjusting your bedtime and rising time by a few hours to start closing the time-zone gap. For example, if you’re headed east from NYC to Western Europe, try moving bedtime and rising time up by an hour or two over the course of several days prior to departure. If you’re headed west and hopping more than three time zones, you may want to try delaying bedtime and rising time. For those who prefer a more rigorous approach or are crossing numerous time zones, there’s Jet Lag Rooster, which generates free step-by-step, customized jet lag–prevention plans, plus suggests best times for bright light exposure based on your usual sleep times, flight length, time of year, and home and destination locations. Another option many travelers swear by, is the simple but austere (for some), Anti–Jet Lag Fast, which involves not eating at all for 12 to 16 hours before breakfast time in the new time zone.

Before You Go, Put The Brakes On Stress

Easier said than done, but try to start your trip in as relaxed a physical and mental state as possible. No matter what age you are, air travel is a physical stressor, so be kind to your body in the week or so prior to departure. Get more rest, eat healthy and clean, get a massage, spend time in the sauna at the gym, and ramp up your meditation practice to prep the body for the challenges ahead. Maintain your usual exercise routine, but downshift just a bit so as to prevent overtaxing the energy reserves you’ll need to tap into as your journey begins.

En Route, Boost Your Nutrients

One more reason to eat a plant-centric diet: It can help fend off jet lag–related digestive troubles, whereas low-fiber, carb-heavy meals tend to stress the digestive system, even more so when you’re crossing multiple time zones. In the air, traditional comfort foods slow your body’s ability to adjust by using up valuable energy (which could be used elsewhere) to tend to the business of breaking down your food. In other words, keep food as simple and healthy as you do on the ground, with lots of veggies, good fats, and protein. Trouble locating healthy food while in transit? Then try keeping a few Sustain or powdered Greens packets in your carry-on so you can shake up an instant plant-based protein snack that’ll stave off hunger, replenish nutrients, and keep your digestion on track.

Circulate, Don’t Vegetate

On long-haul flights, blood tends to pool, particularly in the legs and feet, increasing the likelihood of painful swelling and, for some people, more serious health problems like deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The best drug-free way to keep problems at bay is to keep circulation moving, as in getting up and walking around the cabin frequently—once an hour is a good rule of thumb. You can also aid circulation by wearing clothes that aren’t constricting or binding; the goal is to encourage circulation, not cut it off at the pass. Got turbulence? And have to remain seated? Trying a few of these 18 airplane yoga poses periodically throughout the flight can also encourage healthy blood flow.

Deprive Your Senses

OK, so you want to get some rest on the plane. Fair enough, but please skip the sleeping pills, which can worsen jet lag problems, leaving you groggy and disoriented for hours after landing (particularly if you don’t time it right), and increase DVT risk. Instead, try a few of these jet lag–disrupting, health-supporting travel tips:

  • Take advantage of the low cabin pressure. The cabin pressure is lower than what you’re used to, similar to what you’d find at the summit of Mount Washington. The upside is that you’ll likely fall asleep faster than you would at sea level, so make yourself comfortable.
  • Ditch the backlit electronics. Create an electronic sundown in the air by avoiding blue-light-emitting/backlit electronics like your laptop, tablet, or in-flight movie screen. The brightness tricks your brain into releasing wakefulness hormones and making it tougher to sleep. Instead, read light-free old-school newspapers, books, and magazines while in transit.
  • Tune out. Wear an eye mask and earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to block light and noise so you can doze or meditate more easily. Add a neck pillow to keep your head comfortable, and wrap yourself in a light blanket to stay cozy as your body temperature falls and rises.
  • Wear sunglasses. Sure, you’ll look a little eccentric (or possibly famous), but dark shades can help your body reset its response to light. If you’re headed overseas on a night flight, wear sunglasses on the plane to minimize light exposure. On day flights, try to get as much light exposure as you can to help advance your body clock.

Supplement Your Body Clock

Melatonin can be quite helpful for resetting the body clock instead of pharmaceuticals. I take it myself to prevent jet lag as do many of my patients who travel frequently. If you’re not familiar with it, melatonin is the hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycle. It’s released at night, when it’s dark, inducing sleep. In supplement form, it can help travelers reset their body clocks a bit more quickly. Though everyone’s needs vary, usually a 1 to 3 mg dose (taken for no more than two weeks at a time) is adequate, but do talk with your doctor first as melatonin can interact with certain drugs, such as blood thinners and antiseizure meds. If you need additional support once you get to your destination, try the Be Well Sleep Formula, which has melatonin along with the relaxation and sleep-promoting herbs valerian, lemon balm, chamomile, and passion flower.

Underindulge For A While

When you return home, be patient with your body and expect at least one day of recovery for each time zone crossed. In other words, don’t waste energy trying to fight it. Do expose yourself to as much morning light as you can, and get back to your normal exercise routine to help reset and return your body clock to normal. One final note: Some jet lag is totally normal, and the good news is that it does go away. With every passing day you’ll feel more and more like yourself, so take things slow and enjoy the journey.

For more travel-friendly ideas, check out these 9 Ways to Send Jet Lag Packing.

Happy travels!

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Movement: Can You Read the Signs? http://www.drfranklipman.com/movement-can-read-signs/ http://www.drfranklipman.com/movement-can-read-signs/#respond Fri, 17 Jun 2016 09:00:40 +0000 http://www.drfranklipman.com/?p=27170 It’s time to move.

It doesn’t matter if you are reading this from your bed or your chair or from the line outside of your favorite lunch spot.

The time is now, because any time, really, is the time to move.

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Movement
It’s time to move.

It doesn’t matter if you are reading this from your bed or your chair or from the line outside of your favorite lunch spot.

The time is now, because any time, really, is the time to move.

I didn’t learn this until a few years ago when a yoga studio opened nearby. I had never been to a gym, nor had I ever dedicated myself to any kind of exercise. But I guess it could be said that I saw a sign. Literally. It was hanging in a nearby shopping center, and I stopped in for a class schedule. It took me three more months until I signed up, but I finally made it to my first class.

I didn’t know that day would be the first day that I would start moving and never stop. I had no idea when I unrolled my mat that the practice would completely energize me, setting my wheels in motion from that day forward.

Everyone is eligible to reap the benefits of yoga. You don’t have to be flexible or muscular or have a certain body type; rather, you just have to be willing to try. There’s no question that your body will benefit, and, by default, so will your mind and spirit.

So start looking around now for your sign to move. Maybe this post is your sign! Or maybe your sign has been inside you all along, and you just can’t see it. For each of us is walking around with seven of them, and they can come into view at any time. All it takes is a little movement.   

Yoga teaches us about seven chakras, or energy centers, located along the spine. Energy moves through our bodies, and if all is going well spiritually, physically, and emotionally, each center spins in a wheel-like fashion, and our energy flows smoothly. We feel good! But when life presents its inevitable challenges, our energy centers become blocked, and it’s the yoga poses that get them spinning smoothly again.

Even if you are doubtful about these energy centers, there’s no denying that it feels better to move. Maybe it’s not something you can put your finger on, but movement shifts our perspective, clears our minds, and strengthens our bodies.

The following list outlines the benefits of the practice, as framed by the chakras.

First Chakra

The Root Chakra is located at the base of the spine and is tied to our most instinctual and innate emotions, like survival. Movement affecting the first chakra includes grounding poses, such as seated Lotus, squats, and forward folds, along with Mountain pose, Warrior One, and Bridge pose. When this chakra is energized, we feel safe and secure with a strong foundation.

Second Chakra

The Sacral Chakra is located under the belly button and is tied to our desires for pleasure and well-being. Movement affecting the second chakra includes hip-opening poses, such as Pigeon pose, Double Pigeon, Happy Baby, and Frog pose. Even the fluid motions of Sun Salutations impact the second chakra. When this chakra is energized, we feel sensual, creative, and free.

Third Chakra

The Solar Plexus Chakra is located above the stomach and is tied to our self-esteem. Movement affecting the third chakra includes poses that strengthen the abdomen, such as Boat Pose, twisted Chair Pose, Bow Pose, and Warrior Two. When this chakra is energized, we believe in ourselves with an enhanced sense of trust. Even our digestive system is happier!  

Fourth Chakra

The Heart Chakra is, of course, located at the center of the chest and is all about love. Movement affecting the third chakra involves heart-opening poses, such as Wheel, Camel, and Cobra. These poses can wake you up, so think twice before back bending at an evening practice! When this chakra is energized, we are better able to love and care for ourselves and for others, and we are better able to receive love and care, too.

Fifth Chakra

The Throat Chakra is located at the throat and is tied to communication and truth. Movement affecting the fifth chakra involves poses such as Fish pose and Shoulder Stand. The back-bending poses also activate this chakra. When this chakra is energized, our levels of communication are heightened. We speak the truth more easily, and we are better listeners, too.

Sixth Chakra

The Third Eye Chakra is located at the center of the forehead and is tied to our intuition. Movement affecting the sixth chakra involves poses such as Child’s pose, Plow pose, and Tree pose. Warrior Three is also a strong pose for this chakra. When this chakra is energized, we are connected to ourselves with calm minds and clear insight.

Seventh Chakra

The Crown Chakra is located at the top of the head and is connected to our spirituality. Movement affecting the seventh chakra involves poses such as headstand and, coming around full circle from the first chakra, seated Lotus. Meditation also activates this chakra. When this chakra is energized, our spirituality is sparked, and we feel connected to something larger than ourselves.

Remember that these poses and more all work to strengthen all parts of the body and not just those located around a specific chakra. You may think you are building muscles in your legs without realizing that you are strengthening your abdomen. Or, you might think you are exercising your glutes and not even realize you are strengthening your arms!

But the best part about moving through the practice is that it doesn’t require you to think about the chakras or remember which ones are where. All you have to do is move through the shapes of the poses to get strong on the outside and start your wheels spinning on the inside.  

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Are “Natural” Deodorants Safe and Nontoxic? http://www.drfranklipman.com/natural-deodorants-safe-nontoxic/ http://www.drfranklipman.com/natural-deodorants-safe-nontoxic/#comments Thu, 16 Jun 2016 09:00:21 +0000 http://www.drfranklipman.com/?p=27162 In my private consulting work, I often encounter frustrated clients who are in search of natural deodorant that really works.

You probably know that conventional deodorant and antiperspirants contain ingredients that may come with health risks; these include phthalates in the fragrance blend, parabens as preservatives, aluminum chlorohydrate to block your sweat glands, triclosan for antibacterial action, propylene glycol to soften the product, and talc to sop up wetness.

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Deodorants
In my private consulting work, I often encounter frustrated clients who are in search of natural deodorant that really works.

You probably know that conventional deodorant and antiperspirants contain ingredients that may come with health risks; these include phthalates in the fragrance blend, parabens as preservatives, aluminum chlorohydrate to block your sweat glands, triclosan for antibacterial action, propylene glycol to soften the product, and talc to sop up wetness.

While all of these ingredients are linked with human health problems, they also are part of what make conventional deodorants so effective! So if you’ve finally found a natural or organic deodorant that’s actually keeping you from sweating and/or smelling, you probably plan to use it forever.

Nontoxic Deodorant Is Important

The good news is that anything you get in a health food store is almost certainly better than what you’d get in a drugstore. The bad news is that some “natural” deodorants aren’t entirely natural, and even those that are might contain concerning ingredients—after all, just because something comes from nature doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe (think arsenic or tobacco!).

In general, I’m concerned about deodorant and antiperspirant because we usually apply these products every day and leave them on for long periods of time. Also, more of the product’s ingredients can penetrate the skin thanks to little nicks left behind after shaving.

What To Avoid In Natural Deodorant

When shopping for a natural, nontoxic deodorant, here’s what you want to stay away from:

1) Fragrance. As with many other skin care products, “fragrance” or “parfum” is often the most concerning ingredient in deodorant, as it’s generally a clue to the presence of hormone-disrupting phthalates. Not all “natural” deodorants use natural fragrance, and even phthalate-free deodorants often contain synthetic fragrances, which have unknown phthalate replacements in them. Your best bet is to always opt for unscented deodorants or those that specify that they are scented only with 100 percent natural essential oils.

2) Propylene glycol. A softening agent linked to cancer and reproductive damage, propylene glycol is surprisingly found in many natural deodorants. The good news is that there are a growing number of brands that don’t contain propylene glycol, so this ingredient is easy enough to avoid.

3) Potassium alum. This is the primary ingredient in the popular crystal-style deodorants (including the one that’s just a big rock). Aluminum-based compounds like potassium alum block your sweat glands and are effective antiperspirants. Unfortunately, they may be linked to an increased risk of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s as well as breast cancer—although evidence for both is not conclusive.

4) Neurotoxic natural oils. There are a handful of natural or naturally derived ingredients that are implicated as neurotoxins and are often found in natural deodorants. Some to look out for include geraniol, linalool, limonene, and coumarin.

Safe Deodorant Ingredients That Work

Avoiding specific toxic ingredients will ensure that your deodorant isn’t threatening your health. But that’s only half of the problem, of course; you also want a deodorant that will prevent body odor! So what should you look for in a nontoxic deodorant?

Some ingredients that are both safe and effective include arrowroot powder, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), coconut oil, cornstarch, tea tree oil, hops extract, kaolin clay, witch hazel, and zinc oxide.

When it comes to natural deodorants, what works for one person may not work for another, and it’s often a process of trial and error to find the perfect formula.

If you want to learn more about choosing a safe, effective deodorant and see the specific nontoxic brands I recommend, you can check out the Safe Deodorant Guide on gimmethegoodstuff.org.

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