Friday, December 6, 2013

The Perfect Storm

by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

So what is the perfect storm?

The holidays of course!

I know, we like to think of the holidays as a time for giving, spirituality, joy, love and so on. Think about it though. What do you often recognize during the holidays? Stress, less sleep, poor nutrition and far too much alcohol. Now I'm not asking you to not enjoy yourself, but let's look at how we can quiet this storm a bit.

Let's look at the stress first. During this time of the year, one of the biggest issues is that many of us over commit and make promises that are almost impossible to keep. This is the most important time of the year to use the power of "NO." I "get" that you want to make everyone happy and make every gathering, but one of two things will most often occur. Either you do not keep your integrity of being somewhere that you have committed to or you are so completely stressed out because it ends up being another thing that you have to do. Yikes to both!

A reality during this time of year for all of us is the fact that there will be more stress than other times of the year. To assist with dealing with this stress I would recommend visiting and registering for the complimentary 4 part video series on the home page. The fourth video will provide easy to use yet powerful tools to assist with the stress of the holidays.

The next area is lack of sleep. Very often during the holidays we just simply do not get to bed early enough. I would suggest setting some boundaries for the times you are going to leave your holiday parties and of course, honor those boundaries. If you have an agreement with yourself to leave the parties at 9:00PM you will still have time to be in bed soon after that and get a full nights' sleep. The challenge for most is that they do not set a leaving time. Just show up a bit earlier and hold your integrity to the boundary you set.

Another factor is trying to fit "things" in late at night. I would suggest that instead of adding extra work at night, which ultimately lead to a lack of quality sleep, simply get up earlier. This will still allow some extra time to accomplish your tasks, but this will also mirror more of a natural sleep cycle and likely provide you more energy and mental clarity through the day. Understand that it is healthier to sleep from 10:00PM to 6:00AM than it is to sleep from Midnight to 8:00AM. Got it?

Poor nutrition is often an issue for most during the holidays. This is not only poor choices such as too much sugar, gluten and alcohol, but also typically far too much of all of these. Now for those that know they have a gluten intolerance or other cross reactive food intolerance, the holidays are not a time to "sneak" some in. Remember that if these foods are an issue for you, eating them will lead to inflammation in your gut, a weakened immune system and adrenal fatigue. Now as far as the sugar and alcohol are concerned, if this is not a huge issue for you, go ahead and indulge. Understand though that having one piece of fudge or one drink will typically not be an issue for most, but have several drinks, many sweets and throwing in some gluten can be a HUGE issue for so many. To assist with proper absorption and assimilation of your food choices during the holidays, make sure you are using your 1,2,3 of Digestion.

Also, when you are thinking about alcohol specifically, the timing is very important. The worst thing you can do is walk into your party and start with a glass of wine or a cocktail. If you have this on an empty stomach, watch out! This is an issue because alcohol is actually absorbed right through the stomach wall and an empty stomach allows a quick trip to the blood and the brain. All I can say is, not good! So if you are going to drink, make sure this is after you eat and not before. One more trick is to also eat fat when you are drinking, such as nuts, cheese or guacamole. The added fat will slow the release of the liquid sugar you are drinking and help to normalize blood sugar for you.

I would also add the focusing on all your fundamentals of health during this time will assist you in quieting this perfect storm. Remember that you can easily receive the complimentary 4 part video series for your fundamentals of health on the home page.

Here is a late entry info for you...

A study, led by University of California at San Diego sociology professor David Phillips, looked at 57.5 million death certificates from 1979 to 2004. It found 42,325 more people died of natural causes -- which make up about 93 percent of all deaths -- during the two-week Christmas/New Year holiday period than would normally be expected, given the typical winter increase in deaths.
There also were increases in every major disease group of 1 percent to 10 percent and in every demographic group of 3 percent to 9 percent. In particular, the study looked at deaths from natural causes in which the patient either was dead on arrival (DOA) at a hospital or died receiving emergency care, and it found significant spikes throughout the holiday period. In fact, the three days when the most people die of natural causes in either a DOA situation or in an emergency setting are Dec. 25, Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.

Thanks to Dr Dan Yachter at for sharing this info.

Begin your focus on quieting the storm today and you may survive the holidays like never before. Here's to a happy and healthy holiday season!

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