Taking care of yourself is very important. Joni Kamlet from The Kamlet Laboratories (www.thekamletlaboratories.com) sat down with RAHU Co-Founders Dr. Barbara Royal and Dr. Natasha Lilly at RAHU’s Wild Health Nutrition Course. Here are her 12 Steps to Surviving your Profession. Will you take join pact to take better care of yourself with us?
1) Gratitude – While you are still in bed- think of 5 things you are grateful for. This gentle reminder of what is GOOD in your life can help to get you started off on the right foot.
2) Meditate – even for 5 minutes (affirmations) meditation can reduce blood pressure, lower pain response, modulate stress hormone levels and support cellular health. Plus, new research shows that those who meditate regularly have younger brains.
3) Drink a full glass of warm water with lemon first thing in the morning – This simple practice hydrates the system and stimulates peristalsis – This is especially helpful for those who need coffee to have a bowel movement. Adding a squeeze of lemon will support good lymph flow.
4) Make sure your first meal includes protein and fat– Many of us start the day with granola, fruit, sometimes just coffee. This wreaks havoc on our blood sugar and our adrenals. A better option is to eat the following foods: avocados, nut butters, eggs, and fish(like salmon and sardines). Consider making a smoothie with avocado and arugula, Add some Himalayan salt to show your adrenals some love. Add some local honey will give you a nice immune system boost. I like to keep hard boiled eggs in my fridge so I can eat them on the run in the morning.
5) Take Echinacea every day – Consider it health insurance! Echinacea tonifies the immune system and should be taken daily long term. There is a belief that it is for short term support when you feel a cold or flu coming on. This is just plain wrong. Look for Echinacea root, not leaves. Also, make sure it is a combination of Echinacea Angustifolia and Echinacea Purpurea. Both of these contain high levels of Akylamides-you want these Akylamides because they support your immune system through the affinity they have with endocannabinoid receptors (CB2) in your body. Here is the best Echinacea product on the market with a link to current research: www.standardprocess.com/Products/MediHerb/Echinacea
6) Love your adrenals! – Your adrenals are getting slammed daily. In addition to the stressors of daily life, DVM’s have issues that NO OTHER PROFESSION has to deal with. The challenge of going from a new puppy exam to a euthanasia to a belligerent client takes its toll. You can’t have a healthy immune system without healthy adrenals.
Herbs that support adrenal health and the HPA axis- Ashwaganda, Rehmannia, Licorice, Rhodiola, Korean Ginseng, Shisandra, Astragalus, Eleuthro, Echinacea, Holy Basil
Try to eat these top superfoods for adrenal health a few times a week:
• Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.)
• Fatty fish (e.g., wild-caught salmon)
• Chicken and turkey.
• Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds.
• Seeds, such as pumpkin and chia.
7) Digestion – How is your digestion? Are you bloated? Taking antacids? Do you avoid eating meat because you don’t digest it well? Digestion is exhausting if your system is not functioning properly. Digestive enzymes, herbs that stimulate bitter receptors, changes in diet can all help.
8) Poop! – Be sure you are having a bowel movement at least once a day. Ideally, you should be having a BM after every meal. Consider this your goal. If you are not pooping daily, it is important to remedy this. Diet change and supplementation can help.
9) MOVE your lymph!! – The lymph system aids the immune system in removing and destroying waste, debris, dead blood cells, pathogens, toxins, etc. Lymph flows “up” and is dependent on physical exercise to flow correctly. Rebounding (jumping on a mini trampoline) is an excellent way to move the lymph plus gets your endorphins flowing.
10) Turn off your TV – Seriously. Just turn it off. If you cant stop completely, limit your consumption of news. You have enough on your plate
11) Don’t be an island – One of the biggest challenges in Integrative Vet Med is that most of us are alone out in the field. We may be the lone vet in our own practice, do housecalls or are the lone holistic DVM in a western practice. It can be isolating. Compounding this is the fact that most of us are introverts-hell, that’s why we work with animals, right? Reach out! Find community! Your life may literally depend on it. Find integrative vet community on Facebook, go to seminars, attend AHVMA, join RAHU. If you can’t find community, start one.
12.) Sleep – If you are not sleeping well, figure out why and fix it. Keep your electronic devices (cell phone, laptop, etc) out of your bed. Herbs like Kava, Valerian, St. Johns Wort are all good for insomnia.