Is Instagram Good for your Health? 5 reasons I say “NO”.

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@zen_drjen

Instagram scrolling has become a full time job/obsession for some people. I have cautiously used instagram to grow my following, but primarily I use it to educate and inspire people to take better care of their health. Thank you if you follow me.

For this weeks blog, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at some things that may not be good for your health when it comes to instagram.

#1: Instagram can make you feel inadequate. This social media platform can be too much about “wanting what someone else has”. You may be knowingly or unknowingly in competition with others and yourself. This can create unnecessary stress on your mind and body. Now you may say that this does not bother you, but we are all humans and the effects of constantly seeing what others have and do can make you feel less than or wanting more, which breeds feelings of inadequacy. No matter how strong willed you think you are, it has some effect. This may make you feel anxious or even unhappy with your life. If you have made such a connection, then maybe it is time to “unfollow” some people who might make you feel this way and/or lessen the amount of time spent scrolling each day. I urge you to reconnect with yourself, your unique goals and stay focused on your well-being.

#2: Instagram has made people more sedentary. Instead of heading out to go to the gym or for a walk, most people have made instagram scrolling a hobby. Take a look at the daily average time you spend on instagram (found at top right of your profile page). If it is more than 30 minutes a day, I consider this excessive. Nevertheless, ask yourself if you can cut your time in half and use it to better your health and well-being. Some activities that I suggest are meditation, exercise, spending quality time with family and friends, picking up the phone and talking, going for a hike, reading, cooking healthy meals etc.

#3: Instagram can make one feel more anxious. As a culture, we have become technology obsessed. We want to be connected to the latest news, trends, videos and happenings in today’s world. This seems like a full time job. We already multi-task beyond our bodies capabilities and this can seem, for some, a chore to keep up and to be “in the know”. This can provoke feelings of anxiousness or addiction to the phone. Try taking an instagram holiday and see how you feel.

#4: Instagram scrolling can create back and neck pain. Looking down at your phone for an extended period of time can create improper posture and neck stiffness. If you suffer headaches and neck tension, you may want to consider how long you hold your head down in that position as it can be contributing to your pain.

#5: Instagram can affect your sleep. We all know the health damaging effects of not getting enough sleep. Most people like to scroll on instagram right before bed. Do you find you go to sleep later than you want because you are checking in with all your friends, celebrities and anyone else you follow? In addition, the bright screen on your phone decreases melatonin synthesis, which makes falling asleep difficult. I advise you to plan ahead and keep instagram out of the bedroom. The last thoughts before bed should be “Thank you God” not what other people are doing with their lives.

Now, I am not saying that Instagram is all bad, but I am noticing the damaging effects it can have on people when they are not conscious of their scrolling habits. I noticed some of the above effects personally and had to “check myself” to ensure that I was not affecting my health in any way. I hope this blog made you think about your instagram habits and if you find benefit in making any of the changes above, reach out and let me know.

In good health, Dr. Jen Cisternino, Naturopath

Are you getting enough Omega 3’s for your body?

Fish oil supplements and the phrase “eat more omegas 3’s” has become more common these days. This is also because more research has been directed at Omega 3 fatty acids in the human body and its impact on well-being.

In this article I would like to help you better understand what Omega 3’s are, why they are good for us and what foods are rich in omega 3’s. Contrary to some weight loss diets out there, fats are essential to our bodies and we needs fats in order to function. Not all fats are good for our body, but in lieu of this article, Omega 3’s get the spotlight and the praise!

Omega 3: The term omega 3 fatty acids refers to long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. The predominant omega-3 fatty acid in our typical diet is ALA, alpha linoleic acid, which is mainly consumed via plant-based sources (vegetable oils such as soybean and canola).

The omega 3 fatty acids that we can also consume are predominantly EPA and DHA. Since EPA and DHA are found mostly in fish/seafood, our low intake in North America, has most people walking around low in these anti-inflammatory fatty acids. Comparatively, people in Japan, whose intake is quite high, have higher levels and in contrast tend to be healthier. ALA, which is more commonly ingested in North America, can be converted to EPA and DHA in the human body by the liver; albeit, the conversion efficiency is limited and we must not rely on that for healthy amounts in the body. Thus, the most effective way to increase EPA and DHA is to consume them in fish, fish supplements, algae or algal oils enriched with EPA and DHA.

Heath Benefits:

Maintaining optimal levels of omega 3 fatty acids is important for a variety of reasons throughout life. Higher levels of EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids have been associated with a significantly lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease and increase in life expectancy.

In adults, higher blood levels of EPA/DHA omega 3 have been associated with a significantly lower risk for psychological distress, depression, cognitive impairment, age-related dementia, certain cancers and various other inflammatory disorders.

Try consuming more of these foods each week which have a high amount of omega 3 fatty acids:

Fish such as mackarel, salmon, cod liver oil, herring, sardines, anchovies have high amounts.

Vegan options would be: seaweed and algea, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts.

Get your Omega 3 Levels Tested:

With research advancements, there is a way to test your body’s omega 3 levels, among other fatty acids in your blood. The level at which you score (high or low) is a very strong indicator of the risk for sudden cardiac death based on published studies from the Harvard School of Public Health in the New England Journal of Medicine. If you are interested in learning more, reach out.

Dr. Jen Cisterinino, ND

416-301-3477

[email protected]

Could Stress be affecting your Thyroid Health?

Could Stress be affecting your Thyroid Health?
What you need to know to help you.

We are all aware of how chronic stress is bad for us, but most do not consider the implications it has on the thyroid gland specifically. Let me explain this process in your body.

Hormones are molecules released from one area of the body to carry messages to another area of the body. The main job of the thyroid is to produce the right amount of thyroid hormone to tell your cells how fast to burn energy. When the body is under stress, the adrenal glands are primarily responsible for producing the right amount of stress hormones that allow you to respond to stress.

When the body is under stress, the brain releases a hormone called corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH). This hormone tell the pituitary gland in the brain to send a message to the adrenal glands to make cortisol (the stress hormone). Both cortisol and CRH can inhibit thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and the conversion of T4 to T3. Every cell in the body uses T3 for healthy functioning. A decrease in T3 would yield these symptoms:

Fatigue, cold intolerance, weight gain, memory loss, poor concentration, depression, infertility, hair loss and more

This inhibition of your thyroid hormone takes place quietly, “behind the scenes”, for years without causing overt symptoms and change to your TSH. This is why so many women are caught off gaurd when they are diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. Everything seems to be going fine until they wake up and feel horrible. The reality is, if you have been experiencing chronic stress for years, stress hormones may have been inhibiting your thyroid. Some patients that I see remain in a subclinical hypothyroid state. This is a state in which your lab results are within normal but you appear to have all the symptoms. Thankfully there are ways to reset your stress response and re-establish healthier connections between your adrenals and thyroid gland.

The common test I order for my patients is a Comprehensive Thyroid Panel: This involves a reading of TSH, T4, T3, rT3, Thyroid Antibodies.

Reach out to get tested, so you may begin my thyroid recovery program.

Thank you for reading. Knowledge is Empowerment!

Dr. Jennifer Cisternino, ND

416-301-3477

[email protected]

9 signs you need a Detox

I have learned and intuitively felt that spring was a great time to help your body rid itself of toxins and chemicals that may have accumulated over the winter months. For some people, not all, the winter season can bring inactivity and an increase in comfort foods, which is a breeding ground for toxicity. Listed below are some signs your body is asking for a detox.

Weight gain is an all too common complaint for most people. Weight gain is a sure sign you need a detox. With added weight, it is safely assumed that increased sugar, fat and processed foods have been consumed which is placing excess stress on the body and is being stored. A detox is always a fresh start and kick start to weight loss.

Headaches or “brain fog” is also a common sign that there can be an overload of chemicals/toxins in your body. I once had a patient that had symptoms of “brain fog” and found it difficult to function each day. I did a heavy metal test and found high amounts of the heavy metal mercury in her body. Once we cleared this out of her system, she reported increased clarity, focus and memory.

Constipation is another sign that your body needs a detox because it is not removing excess waste from your body. Sluggishness of the bowels can be rooted in many underlying conditions, and after this is sought out, regulating the removal of waste is important. A healthy detox is a great way to stimulate the bowels and push out toxic waste.

PMS and Hormonal Imbalance is another reason to detox. Did you know that a healthy liver promotes healthy excretion of hormones? Estrogen excess, a common hormonal concern, can be caused by an over-stressed liver and an excess of exposure to xenoestrogens- estrogen linked chemicals. Most women who come to see me with hormonal imbalances are started on a gentle cleanse to reset the body and it works beautifully.

Fatigue and Stress is a common complaint for most people. We live in a fast pace world. We have become busier and busier and most find it hard to relax and de-stress. Stress on the body places stress on the organs which makes it harder for detoxification. I attended a recent lecture on detoxification and the take home message for all the physicians listening was “make sure your patient is focusing on relieving stress for any detox to work”.

Irritability is another sign that you and your body are overwhelmed with toxicity. When the body is overwhelmed, it shows us signs that we need to take a break and take better care of ourselves, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

Skin Reactions (hives, acne, psoriasis, eczema) to name a few are sure signs that your body needs to detoxify. Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of elimination. Sweating is a great way to release toxic buildup. The more toxins you have, the more likely you are to suffer with skin problems.

Insomnia is another sign that your body is in need of a cleanse. Toxic buildup can sometimes create anxiousness and restlessness which can impact sleep. I had a patient come in with a complaint of insomnia and very little hope that it would ever go away. I put her on a 3 week detox regimen and when she returned to the office, post detox, she was amazed at how well she was sleeping.

Tics and Hyperactivity are signs that the body may be burdened with heavy metals. I have seen on several occasions, especially with children, that heavy metals such as aluminum and copper can affect the nervous system. With detoxification and removal of these metals, the body can restore balance and this is seen in the removal and lessening of tics as well as a calmer affect.

If you are interested in having yourself tested for Heavy Metals, we can get you tested with a Hair Mineral and Heavy Metal Test in the office. It is a very simple test, yet very effective.

If you have any of the concerns listed above and would like a detox, it would be my pleasure to meet you and help you.

Dr. Jennifer Cisternino, ND

416-301-3477

Let’s Save the Planet

 

Today I was driving to work, and I saw from afar, a tree falling to the ground. It shook me. Looking at this happening made me feel sad and something in me wanted to save it. It was too late. I did drive past the area and saw that people dressed in work clothes, seemed to be chopping down the trees because it seemed that they were impeding on the electrical wires that were beginning to run through the branches.  It just got me thinking……what are we doing to our planet? Are we caring enough about our home? I got a strong sense that we can do more and it is our obligation to do more as a community.

Today sparked some inspiration in me. I always felt connected to the trees. Growing up, being is forests and hugging trees and even speaking with them was so natural.  I know that I am being called to save the trees and the planet. How? Where do I begin? I am not exactly sure, but I thought writing a blog about my experience and desire is a great place to start and continue.

I will list 5 ways that we can start today to make this world a cleaner place:

  1. Stop using plastic (bottles, bags, cutlery, containers etc.) Instead buy glass and reusable water bottles and bags when you go shopping.
  2. Try to reduce the consumption of animal products you are eating. Meat production plays a big role in the global warming crisis. Cut back or go vegetarian/vegan. Always consult with someone like myself when making these changes to ensure that you are getting all your vitamins and minerals and proteins.
  3. If you smoke, please stop throwing your cigarettes on the floor.
  4. Buy less processed foods. Increase intake of local fresh fruits and vegetables.
  5. Do not litter. Pick up litter.

I am going to strive to do my part in making this world a better place and if you want to join me, the world today and tomorrow will thank you!

 

Saving the planet,

Dr. Jen Cisternino, ND

Why a Salivary Cortisol Test can help you feel better

It seems as though everyone is stressed these days and chronic health conditions are on the rise. Most conventional therapies do not aim to address the fundamental root cause of illness, which in most cases, is stress. In my practice, I help people understand the impact of stress on their body and get them to see it with the use of different testing. I feel that once people see the effects of stress manifesting in their bodies, they are more motivated to change.

Let us have a look at the body‘s stress response. It starts in the adrenal gland. We have two glands that sit on top of the kidneys. These amazing glands are made up of an adrenal medulla and adrenal cortex. The adrenal medulla releases catecholamines such as adrenaline and noradrenaline which help us with our fight or flight response.

The adrenal cortex secretes a lot more hormones. It releases glucocorticoids and cortisol which acts as an anti-inflammatory and also creates sugar for quick energy in the danger of “running from a bear”. It is also responsible for releasing androgens such as testosterone and DHEA. In addition, it releases mineralcorticoids and aldosterone which increases blood pressure and maintains a healthy sodium/potassium ratio in the blood.

Let me now explain the general adaptation syndrome (GAS) as developed by Hans Selye. The GAS has proven useful for many years by providing a model of how stress induced illness arises and by giving clinicians like myself insight into how to manage stress related conditions in the patient. According to Hans Selye, there are three stages of the stress response.

Stage one, alarm phase, which is acute stress.
Stage two, resistance phase, which deals with chronic stress.
Stage three, exhaustion phase, which is synonymous with burn out.

Please remember that stress does not only include psychological stress, but any insult to the body that may put extra pressure on the adrenal glands to function. This may include chronic infections, allergies, chemical toxins, stimulants like nicotine and caffeine, poor nutrition, physical trauma, poor sleep habits, steroid use and pharmaceutical drugs.

Alarm phase
The alarm phase occurs when a stress is first encountered and an alarm sounds in the body. This alarm is sometimes called the “fight or flight” response. It is associated with an increase in sympathetic nervous system response. Hormonally, we see an increase in the release of cortisol and also epinephrine. This phase is meant to last 24-48 hours and is accompanied by a rest period after the initial stressor. Continued stress, as in PTSD and anxiety disorders, can lead to weight loss, ulcers and autoimmune disorders. This highlights the importance of the rest period.

Resistance phase

Due to the challenge of modern life for many people, perceived stressors are not short term but chronic. In the second phase of the GAS, the organism is still reacting to a perceived stressor or stress. Although the person may appear to be functioning normally, this is not the case because immunity and inflammatory responses are lowered thus increasing ones susceptibility to infection‘s, neoplasia, arthritis, allergies and autoimmune conditions. In addition, chronically elevated adrenal hormone levels may lead to depression, hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis, hypertension, insulin resistance, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other general diseases.

Exhaustion phase

Chronic stress can eventually lead to an exhaustion phase characterized by deficient glucocorticoid and mineralcorticoid production. Adrenal exhaustion is associated with decreased resistance to stress, premature aging, and even death. Conditions that are common in people in this phase include allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, hypoglycemia, multiple chemical sensitivity‘s, irritable bowel syndrome, infertility, hypotension, insomnia, hypothyroid, lack of motivation and anxiety disorders.

Lab testing can be very helpful in diagnosing adrenal insufficiency and in what stage. In my practice, I use salivary cortisol measurement. Salivary cortisol is likely the best single test. Saliva hormones indicate the amount of hormone inside cells and the testing is simple, noninvasive and easy to do. The best way to use a saliva test is to measure cortisol levels at least four times per day- waking, noon, afternoon and evening, which increases the chances of detecting a failure of adrenal reserve. DHEA and Testosterone levels can also be measured with saliva testing and if lowered are considered to be indicators of adrenal exhaustion or if high maybe indicate adrenal resistance phase.

Once the levels are examined and a report is created, I am then able to sit down with my patient and explore in which phase of the GAS they are living in. This insight would give us a great platform to begin treatment.

Treatment may include any of the following:

Exploring emotional and physical stressors. Beginning a mindfulness based practice such as meditation, prayer, yoga, acupuncture and/or Reiki. Supplementing with adaptogenic herbs such as Ashwaghanda, licorice, American ginseng, Siberian ginseng, Astragalus and Rhodiola.

Nutrition deficiencies can also lead to adrenal insufficiency. Some of the most important minerals for the adrenal gland are vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium and omega 3 fatty acid‘s.

A healthy diet should focus on consumption of a whole foods, natural, preferably organic diet. Meals should combine fats, protein and complex carbs. Non-starchy vegetables should be eaten in 6-8 servings per day. Eating smaller meals more frequently while being aware of the glycemic index in food is necessary. Beverages conducive to adrenal recovery include good quality water, herbal teas, green tea, fresh organic veggies and alternatives to dairy such as nut milks, rice milk’s etc. All stimulants should be avoided including caffeine, ephedra and nicotine. Soft drinks should be avoided due to the high amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners or caffeine.

If you are interested in having this test done, reach out. I am happy to help you heal your body and decrease stress so you can live a more youthful life!

Dr. Jennifer Cisternino  Naturopath, Reiki Master
416-301-3477

Are you giving your JOY away?

One of the reasons people are not happy is because they keep giving away their joy.

What does this mean? Example: You are waiting for a parking spot and as soon as the car pulls out, a car comes in from around the corner and takes the spot you were waiting for.  You start yelling and cursing and even get out of your car to scold them and find out why they would do that. Your heart starts to beat faster and your face gets red and your whole body gets tense. Do you think you are feeling joy?  This is an example of someone giving away their joy. The alternative would be this…I will give you my parking spot but I will not give away my joy. You calmly find another spot. Which sounds more like your reaction?

In life, you can’t control what people say or do. You can try but it never works out to be the case. You can only control how you respond.  Whether you find yourself in the same car situations or with someone in the office or family you may be giving away your joy. You need to understand that the person in your office may not change. If you see yourself working there for long, it is in your best health to change your reaction. This is where your power is.

Having your joy dependent on the approval of others is another block to feeling joy.  Unfortunately people will talk and not always talk positively about others. The reality is, the people that are going places are talked about more commonly- not the ones who hide in the background.

I had to deal with this as I became more public and had more eyes looking at me. I didn’t always have people saying positive things about me. It hurt me because I just wanted to be liked by everyone. As I was watching T.V  one Sunday, Joel Olsteen started talking about this topic and here is what he said. I felt like he was talking directly to me:

They can see you are going places. What they say cannot keep you from your destiny. Don’t let them distract you.  Some people can’t handle your success. They will make remarks to put you down- to distract you, but don’t allow it, don’t get involved in battles. Most conflict is a distraction.  Not everyone is supposed to like you. It is said in many religious stories that some people are ordained by God to not be for you- not everyone will accept you. They may be integral to your growth in this life, taking you to the next level of your destiny. Your job is not to make sure everyone likes you, your job is to do what God put you here to do.

Amen to that!

I hope to have inspired you to protect your JOY and your individual journey.

Wishing you love and support!

Dr. Jen

Are you Happy? Try these 7 activities….

Over my years of practicing and helping people, I have come to realize that at the root of every call for help is a deep desire to be happy. You do not need to be diagnosed with “depression” to want to feel happier.

The reality is, most people don’t know how to be happy. Some define happiness as having more money… a nicer car… a new relationship…more children…..a career change etc.  Although these may contribute to happiness, they may not be the true solution. Unfortunately, as a culture, we have been taught from a young age a model for happiness that is completely backwards.

It  looks like this…

GREAT WORK —————– BIG SUCCESS——————–HAPPINESS!

You see, we have been programmed to believe that we have to “achieve” something in order to be happy. Most research today is actually proving that those who end up “achieving” are actually not that happy. Why? Because once one goal is achieved, another goal is set and until that goal is realized, happiness is put on hold. It becomes a never-ending search for happiness. Why not reverse the model? BE HAPPY FIRST! Watch your success soar!

So what can you do to be happy today? Adopted from the book, The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha, there are 7 proven activities that make all people happier. It is an instant happiness that requires “no achieving.”  I would like to share them with you so you can get on the happiness train!

Three Walks
Thank goodness the weather is warming up! Research shows that going outside for a walk for 30 minutes 3 times weekly improves happiness. Movement releases endorphins that make you feel good. Be sure to leave your cell phone at home.

The 20 Minute Replay
Writing for twenty minutes about a positive experience dramatically improves happiness. This is because you are actually reliving the experience and remembering what you like about people and the world.

Random Acts of Kindness
Carrying out 5 random acts of kindness a week dramatically improves your happiness. Buy a stranger coffee. Write a kind letter to a friend or bake cookies for your neighbor.

A Complete Unplug
The richest, happiest and most productive people are able to disengage periodically and seek renewal. Unplug your phone after dinner. Leave your phone at home on vacation.

Hit Flow
This is when you are completely absorbed with what you are doing. It means you are being challenged and demonstrating skill at the same time. Your whole being is involved and you are using your skills to the utmost. This is usually a passion you have. What is yours? Get in the flow….

2 Minute Meditation
Brain scans showed that meditation can “permanently rewire” your brain to raise levels of happiness. After meditating for a period of time, brain scans showed that parts of the brain associated with compassion and self-awareness grew while parts associated with stress shrank. Awesome! Get meditating!

Five Gratitudes
Get a journal and start noticing all the things that you are grateful for. This is sure to make you happier.

There you have it! Which ones are you going to try this week? Let me know how it goes. Would love to hear from you!

“Happy people don’t have the best of everything. They make the best of everything.

* Please share this email with those you love*

 

Dr. Jennifer Cisternino

Naturopath,  Spiritual Teacher

5 Rules To Help you Achieve Your New Years Resolutions

New year, new you! I am sure you have heard that over and over again. “What is wrong with the old me?”- you wonder. This time of year can elicit anxiety and stress in people, especially if you are wanting to change everything about yourself.  For example- you want to change how much you weigh, what you eat, how often you exercise. You want to have a more positive mind set. You want to attract a new partner or get rid of people that are bringing you down.  You may have career goals or financial goals you wish to achieve…AWESOME! The only downfall is that you maybe adding more stress to your life OR you may be going about achieving your goals the wrong way.  Let me help you achieve your goals by highlighting 5 rules you must follow.

Rule #1: Visualization

Spend some time each morning and night, visualizing yourself reaching success. If weight loss and eating healthy is your goal, then see yourself in as much detail having actualized your goal. What are you wearing? Are you smiling? What are you doing? What are you eating? Imagine it and feel the emotions of having already achieved it. This is the power of the mind. It will keep you focused and it will draw to you that exact experience. Trust it! Have fun with this exercise.

Rule #2: Affirmations 

Say a statement that already affirms you having reached your goals. The statements usually start with “I am”. Example for weight loss.

I am fit

I am healthy

I love the way I look in my jeans

I am eating healthy foods

I am energetic etc…….

I ask that you create your own, specific to your goal(s), and write them down. Repeat saying them each day- morning and night.

Rule #3: Clean up your Diet

Getting rid of sugar and fried foods and increasing vegetables and fruits does something magical to the mind and body. It invigorates the cells in our body and raises our vibration. When you are vibrating high, energetically speaking, you are able to manifest all your desires quicker and with more ease. Try eating better and drinking more water. See how much lighter you feel.

Rule #4: Exercise 

Moving our bodies does something magical to our cells. It sends a message of “I love you and I want you to be strong”. Taking time to exercise, helps release stress and it boosts happy hormones that makes us feel lighter and more motivated to achieve our goals.

Rule #5: Dont’ Give Up. Forgive yourself.

Let go of the idea of “perfection” or “all or nothing”. Each day try to follow rules 1-4. If you happen to fall off track, don’t fret, look at yourself in the mirror and say “I LOVE YOU, I FORGIVE YOU. LET’S DO BETTER TOMORROW”. This act of self love and care will keep you going.

If you wish to further accelerate your healing with myself- In person, or via skype, reach out. It would be my pleasure to help you be your best self.

Much love!

Dr. Jennifer Cisternino

Naturopath

Spiritual Healer

 

 

 

 

Beat That Holiday Stress!

 

The Holiday Season is among us. While it should be a joyous occasion and may be for some, this time of year can bring upon anxiety and stress for many. Often this is accompanied by unwanted weight gain and/or fatigue and a general feeling of mental and physical imbalance. In my opinion, it is not a great way to end the year and start a new one.

It is my aim to help you find a balance of peace, love and gratitude over the holidays. A BONUS may accompany this…WEIGHT LOSS! (or at least no weight gain). I have done it every year and I can help you do the same.

Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season.

1. Remove all white refined sugars from your daily diet and only indulge when you have a function. Yes you heard me, when you are in the company of others if that is what you choose… guilt free.

2. Do Not Skip Meals. I know it can be easy to skip meals the busier you get, but trust me, this will do you no favours when it comes to weight loss. Balanced meals will help regulate your blood sugar levels which will ward off cravings, overeating and moodiness.

3. Keep a Food Journal. A food journal can help make you more aware of what, when and how much you are eating. Try it yourself and see what happens.

4. Keep a Gratitude Journal. This puts you in a positive mindset and focused on all the good things in your life.

5. Stay Active. If you are someone who loves to exercise (yes, there are those who love to exercise..lol) stay with it! Try to stay committed to your routines. If you are someone who thinks that they should start exercising, don’t wait until January. Start the routine NOW. How about a 20 minute walk each day?

6. Daily Meditation. I have devoted a lot of my time to creating meditation recordings for my patients. Meditation can be seen as a “time out” to help you relax and refocus.

7.  Forgive everyone for everything- including yourself. The holidays is a time where families come together. It can bring up feelings of anger or resentment from past hurts, etc. It can also be a good opportunity to put the past in the past and move forward with more love and peace. Forgiveness is the gift you give yourself and others.

8. Donate your time and energy to making a difference in people’s lives. Do not be so fixated on the material aspect of Christmas. It is a time to share in love, peace and joy. Volunteer your time at a food sheltor, give to the less fortunate or host a Food and Toy drive.

9. Follow me on Instagram: dr_jen_cisternino where I share inspirational and positive quotes each day. These are gentle reminders that nudge you in the direction of peace and love.

10. Gift YOURSELF with a healing session with myself. Seek my counsel to help you get healthy in mind, body and spirit. As a Naturopathic Physician, most of my services are covered by extended health care plans. Many will expire in one month, so reach out and find out what can be covered.

 

Much love and light,

Dr. Jen Cisternino