Kick-start the New Year with Healthy Eating Choices as you Shop the Co-op
By Naturopathic doctor, Julie Lachman, ND LLC
If you are overwhelmed by other people making intimidating New Year’s resolutions, resolve to simply shift the balance of things you do already. A simple walk around our co-op will give you the tools to make some small additions that can make a big difference.
1. Our co-op has a loose and bagged tea section. Adding a cup of green tea to your daily routine adds antioxidants and can help balance hormones. In fact, green tea blocks the hormone that causes baldness. Although coffee is a good source of antioxidants as is tea, it can cause hormonal disruption in women, and likely in men, as it has an effect on estrogen. Starting with a cup of tea instead of coffee can help you have more balanced energy and can add health to your body. If you use tea that contains caffeine, like green tea, remember to drink a cup of water for every cup of caffeine you consume to avoid dehydration.
2. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean we can’t get dehydrated. Activities like skiing and shoveling burn tons of calories, and can cause us to perspire. Even if you’re inside all day talking, you lose the water vapor from your speech and can get dehydrated. Caffeine makes this worse, of course, so if you have a job where you are inside talking all day and you drink tea or coffee, you’re bound to be more at risk for fatigue, poor concentration, dry skin, and dry hair. Remember that healthy people without kidney problems need to drink ½ their body weight in ounces of water daily, so that a 150lb person would consume 75oz of water, or about 9 cups.
3. Adding in omega 3 fatty acids is easy when you shop at the co-op. You will recognize your omega 3’s that are coming from cold-water fish, like salmon in the frozen section. But, did you know that other animals produce this oil also? All people need this oil, so in areas that historically didn’t have access to cold-water fish, they got this nutrient from free-ranging (grass-fed and grass-finished) animal products, including eggs and meats. When animals eat their normal diets, they produce omega-3 fats from the vegetation they eat. This also includes deer and other game animals. You’ll also find canned salmon to be a good, convenient source of omega 3s that can help keep our skin healthy, along with adequate water intake, would be recommended to prevent dry skin from cracking in the winter.
4. Coconut oil is the new olive oil, and you’ll be seeing more and more of this in 2015. Coconut oil has a number of different benefits versus olive oil: it can be heated to high temperatures, so it is good for making stir fries and for cooking eggs and French toast. Coconut oil supports immune function and can support memory. This is because it contains a type of fat that is easily and quickly absorbed by the body and which directly supports brain function. It’s for this reason that Alzheimer’s patients and others with dementia benefit almost immediately from eating coconut oil (For more information see the book by Mary Newport, MD.). Food for thought!
Julie Lachman, ND, is a licensed Naturopath and a Bucks County native. Her office is located in Doylestown, where her practice includes homeopathy, nutrition, and botanical medicine. She can be reached at 267-895-1733 or online at www.drlachman.com.