1.- Oil Pulling. Lots of bacteria and toxins settle in our gums. Oil pulling is a way to help fight cavities, tartar buildup, and remove toxins that your body has been holding onto by drawing them out from your gums. Here’s how: Take one tablespoon of raw coconut oil, and swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes. 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time. Less than that won’t be as effective, and longer will allow the toxins to reabsorb into your system. It will feel thick at first, but will thin out over the course of a minute. The oil will draw out toxins from your gums and out of your body. Spit out the coconut oil in the garbage (not down the drain). If you do this every day, it will improve not only your oral health but the health of your whole body. You can do this while getting ready in the morning, reading, showering or gardening.
2.- Make your own deodorant. Most store bought deodorants contain aluminum and propylene glycol. Both of those nasties can cause cancer, and deodorant is applied in the underarms- right where there are a ton of lymph nodes to draw in whatever we are putting on our skin- that’s the pits! Here’s an awesome recipe my patients love: ½ cup coconut oil, ½ cup arrowroot, 1 tablespoon baking soda, 20 drops of essential oil. I like a combination of lemongrass and vanilla. The coconut oil nourishes our underarms, baking soda fights odor, and essential oils are antibacterial. The arrowroot is used as a thickening agent. Store this mixture in a glass jar, it keeps for several months in the bathroom cabinet. Double or triple the recipe for a large family.
3.- Brew pine needle tea. One cup of needles can have 5 times the vitamin C as a large orange. Pick your pine needles, rinse, and place in 8 oz of hot water, letting steep for 15 minutes. Add raw, unfiltered honey when cooled down enough to drink, and a squirt of lemon or orange. The needles have compounds that naturally boost your immune system, great for a time like this.
4.- Pillow between the legs. When you go to sleep tonight, place a pillow lengthwise between your legs. The healthiest position to sleep in is on your right side, which is best for cardiovascular function. Placing a pillow in between your legs takes pressure off your spine and hips, decreases inflammation, improves sleep quality, and allows your vertebrae to rest in a more natural position.
5.- Exfoliate your skin. Take a tablespoon of brown sugar into the shower with you, wet your face with warm water, and scrub in small circular motions. Get into all the nooks and crannies. Do this for 2 minutes, then rinse with warm water- there is no stickiness and you can rinse it right down the drain. Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells, decreases the appearance of wrinkles, evens out skin tone, increases circulation, and stimulates the synthesis of collagen.
6.- Choose 3 friends, text them a compliment. You looked great in those new jeans. I love your singing voice. You’re an awesome mom. I love the color of your hair. You inspire me to be a better person. I really admire your patience. You were my favorite teacher. You make the best homemade guacamole. Your haircut is adorable…. How would you feel getting one of those texts? It would release a bunch of happy chemicals in your brain called endorphins. Guess what? The same reaction occurs when you do something kind for someone else. Those friends will probably respond with gratitude and affirm you back in return. Connection and friendship are important right now, and always.
7.- Choose a family member or friend and thank them. For raising you right. For helping you move. For babysitting your kids. For helping you study. For believing in you. For their positive influence on your life. For helping you through a hard time. This will instill gratitude in you, and your friend or relative will appreciate your thankfulness.
8.- Get 15 minutes of sunshine a day. That should be a minimum. Sunlight is necessary for our skin to synthesize vitamin D. In regions of the world where there is little sunlight, such as the UK; rates of depression are higher. I often dose my patients on 5000 IU a day of vitamin D, and invariably, there overall health improves, as well as their emotional wellbeing. Even on cloudy days, some rays of sun get through. You can do this in a forest preserve, or in your own backyard. The longer you are outside, the better, just be sure to get your 15 minutes.
9.- Keep a consistent bedtime. Our bodies crave regulation. If you go to sleep at 8pm one night, and 3am another, this throws off your body’s ability to metabolize nutrients, produce hormones, digest food, regenerate cells, and even throws off our bowel movements- leaving us feeling crappy. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Also, going to bed at the same time will allow us to naturally wake up at the same time every morning, even without an alarm. The most productive hours to be asleep are between 10pm-2am. There is a specific gravitational pull the moon has during these hours, which allows us to fall into a deeper sleep, and our bodies to regenerate new cells at a faster rate, repairing tissue damage.
10.- Have a smoothie every day. Oftentimes the majority of our diets are made up of cooked food. Cooking food depletes it of vitamins, minerals, but more importantly, ENZYMES. Enzymes are needed for countless body processes including digestion. If you want to improve your digestion, load up on raw enzymes. The best way to do that is through a nutritionally dense smoothie every morning, made up of fruits and vegetables. Here’s an easy recipe: 2 cups organic, unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup spinach, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen mixed berries. Your body will thank you, and you’ll start your day off with loads of antioxidant power.