We’ve completed another 12 month cycle and it is time to reflect and renew. As I do my own personal reflection I also took time to write down some of my favorite Healthy Discoveries from 2013.
1. Favorite Cookbooks- Practical Paleo and The 21 Day Sugar Detox: Bust Sugar Cravings & Carb Cravings Naturally by nutritionist, Diane Sanfillippo are a wealth of information, tasty recipes, great pictures and design (she was a graphic designer in her previous life). I also like, and recommend, The Paleo Slow Cooker: Healthy Gluten Free Meals The Easy Way. All three of these cookbooks came out in 2013 and I use them frequently.
2. Favorite Denver “Foodie” Restaurants – True Food Kitchen in Cherry Creek officially opened in late 2012 but I didn’t go until 2013. Andrew Weil M.D. started this restaurant chain based on an anti-inflammatory, healthy, whole food menu. It’s a favorite spot that I patronize with my co-workers and friends. It’s also no secret that I’m a self proclaimed “foodie” and have no shame in admitting that. Fortunately, Denver has great spots to choose from. Two of my favorite restaurants that I discovered this year are Central Bistro and The Populist. Nothing, and I mean nothing on their menus is subpar, everything is a mouth watering delight. It’s always a treat to dine at either one of these restaurants.
3. Favorite Paleo Meals – Caveman Cafeteria: Where The Hunters Gather – A food delivery service that provides healthy, homemade meals for people who don’t like to cook or don’t have time to cook and still want to eat healthy. They use only the highest quality ingredients, and never any grains, added sugars, or processed oils in a gourmet menu that changes weekly to make eating Paleo more enjoyable and easy. I tried this service in October. The food is fresh, tasty and healthy. Owner, Will White is very friendly and accommodating. He delivered the meals to my office and was easily accessible by email and text when I needed to change or adjust an order. Here’s a video about Will, his company and his business model.
4. Favorite All Purpose Tonic – Apple Cider Vinegar. This is one of those things I have known about but didn’t pay much attention to or personally use. But after my sister’s doctor recommended it to her and she loved it, I decided to give it try myself. Now I love it, and I am recommending it to anyone and everyone. I got one of my girlfriends hooked on it and she has already gone through a whole bottle. Apple Cider Vinegar balances your pH, detoxes the body, aides in weight loss, helps bowel function, diminishes allergies, sore throats, colds, flu and headaches. It clears skin problems like acne, and dermatitis. Helps lower blood pressure, kills candida, fungus, eases stiff joints, gout, arthritis and strengthens stomach acid. Sounds like a miracle cure, huh? Try it for yourself and see what you think. I take one tablespoon in the morning and one tablespoon in the evening mixed with a splash of water, approximately 1/4 cup. Be sure to buy Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar organic, unpasteurized, raw, unfiltered ‘With The Mother’ on the label. Substitutes and other vinegars won’t work, it must be this brand.
5. Favorite Emotional Health Resource– Susan Anderson’s books: The Journey From Abandonment to Healing and Taming the Outer Child. I found these through Baggage Reclaim this year and Susan’s work is fan-freak-ing-tastic! She has spent over 30 years working with abandonment issues and self sabotage (we all do it). Whether we act it out in relationships, addictions, compulsive overeating, over spending, procrastinating, depression the list goes on and on. Susan explains the very real biochemistry behind this and then gives a concrete healing plan for the inner child. I’ve always heard of inner child work but never really “got it” in regards to implementing it on a practical level. I can not recommend these books highly enough. They get to the root of negative patterns and give a plan for making healthy, sustainable change. I wish I would have known about her work years ago, it’s the real deal.
6. Favorite Blog Post – Surviving Whole Foods written by a stand up comedian from Boulder, Colorado. It made its way around the Internet and Facebook like wildfire in September, if you haven’t read it, you must. It is hilariously laugh-out-loud funny!
7. Favorite Meditation – HeadSpace.com – A FREE guided meditation and mindfulness app. I think this might be my favorite Healthy Discovery of 2013. It is awesome! I’ve tried a lot of meditation/relaxation CDs over the years but this is the best. I use it daily and honestly look forward to sitting down and meditating now (I’ve since purchased more meditations on the initial free app) and I recommend it in corporate wellness settings all the time. My other favorite Healthy Discovery in this category is Belleruth Naparstek. She is a psychologist who specializes in guided imagery for healing PTSD, infertility, panic attacks, depression, pain, grief, weight loss, headaches and much much more. Guided imagery (different yet similar to meditation) can produce remarkable results for people who struggle with stress and OCD, anxiety type brain looping. Guided Imagery gets to the part of the brain that our language, talk therapy can’t reach. I rediscovered Belleruth this summer and have become a HUGE fan of her guided imagery healing CDs and downloads.
8. Favorite Yoga Download- This morning I walked out of a yoga class at a popular athletic club in Denver. Yes, I’ve become a yoga snob. The teacher yammered non-stop. She would.not.stop.talking. It ruined the class. She ran us through the poses like a 1970’s Jazzercize routine. It was not relaxing. It was way too fast and gave no time to really breathe and hold a pose. I rolled up my mat and left 15 minutes into the class. I am telling you this because the teacher makes such a difference in creating a great vs. miserable yoga experiences. My favorite teacher is in L.A. so I can’t take her classes on a regular basis. BUT she has fantastic yoga downloads for $8.99 (60 minutes) or $12.99 (90 minutes) on her website. I’ve spent most of this year doing a home practice with Seane Corn. I throughly enjoy her teaching style, I get a good workout, I’m relaxed after practicing with her and she doesn’t talk incessantly! She’s a phenomenal teacher and I highly recommend her videos if you want to experience and practice great yoga.
9. Favorite Exercise DVD –My other home practice, a.k.a dancing in my living room, is Gabrielle Roth’s Wave, Power Wave and Inner Wave DVD’s – a great way to move through and shake off stress.
10. Favorite TEDx video- I wrote about it here, but it’s so good it is worth mentioning again: The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance.
11. Favorite 2013 quote-
12. Favorite (inspirational) YouTube video – God Made A Farmer by Paul Harvey which Dodge Trucks made into a commercial during the 2013 SuperBowl. I loved it, reminds me of my father, grandfathers and great grandfathers (says this fifth generation Colorado farm girl). It’s also kinda cool that the advertising agency that created the commercial was the same agency that my cousin worked for 10 years before leaving to raise her kids.
13. Favorite Gratitude Journal- I stumbled across this a couple weeks ago and bought it for a friend’s birthday. I liked it so much I bought one for myself. I write in it every night before bed.
14. Favorite Holistic Medical Intervention– Bio-identical hormones! I’m going to be 43 years old this week and when I had blood drawn for a complete hormone panel this fall I was more than a little DEFICIENT. Testosterone gel and progesterone cream have become welcome additions in my life. Ladies, listen up, regardless of your age or if you’re pre or post menopause, if you feel tired, low energy, low sex drive and mood, can’t lose weight, can’t sleep, etc your hormone levels might be low. I’m now a huge fan of bio-identical hormone replacement. Get thee to a good functional medicine doctor and get your levels checked. Suzanne Somers has written extensively about this and while she’s not a medical doctor, she interviews (functional) medical doctors and her books are fantastic resources. Sara Gottfried M.D. also writes about this in her popular book, The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive and Vitality Naturally. Do a little research. Take charge of your health and energy by balancing your hormones!
So that’s it. Those are some things I didn’t know about a year earlier but discovered in 2013. I look forward to what 2014 will bring!
What about you? What are some favorite, new, Healthy Discoveries that came your way in 2013?