“Detox diets range from total starvation fasts to juice fasts to food modification approaches and often involve the use of laxatives, diuretics, vitamins, minerals and/or ‘cleansing foods,’” writes Hosen Kiat, Head of Cardiology at Macquarie University Hospital and the Australian School of Advanced Medicine, and Dr. Alice Klein from the Cardiac Health Institute, in a review about detoxification diets published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.
Ditching the habit and instead focus on good-for-you foods, says Frank Lipman, MD, integrative and functional medicine physician, founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center and author of The New Health Rules. Instead of how many calories, ask yourself where the food came from and if it's nutritious. "Healthy, nutrient-rich foods will keep hunger at bay, help maintain stable blood sugar levels, minimize cravings, and help your brain signal your belly when you're full," he says. In other words, you don't have to go through all the trouble of counting.
Supplements can't substitute for a healthy diet, which supplies other potentially beneficial compounds besides vitamins and minerals. Foods also provide the synergy that many nutrients require to be efficiently used in the body. Still, for many people a basic multivitamin/mineral pill can provide some of the nutrients they may fall short on. Certain people may also need supplements of folic acid, vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D (see next slide).
Psychologists have been studying "expressive writing," or journaling about difficult moments in your life, for a few decades. They've found that a few minutes journaling improves everything from your mood to immune system to sporting performance. Psychology researchers have repeatedly found that keeping a "gratitude journal" can improve well-being.
Pay attention to your own needs and wants. Listen to what your body, your mind, and your heart are telling you. For instance, if your body is telling you that you have been sitting down too long, stand up and stretch. If your heart is longing to spend more time with a special friend, do it. If your mind is telling you to clean up your basement, listen to your favorite music, or stop thinking bad thoughts about yourself, take those thoughts seriously.
There are so many health benefits to ensuring that you get the proper vitamins and minerals every single day, that they’re too long to list. Ensure that you’re taking at least one daily supplement to receive the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs every single day. These are necessarily for all types of optimal mind & body functioning.
Exercise. Moving your body helps you to feel better and improves your self-esteem. Arrange a time every day or as often as possible when you can get some exercise, preferably outdoors. You can do many different things. Taking a walk is the most common. You could run, ride a bicycle, play a sport, climb up and down stairs several times, put on a tape, or play the radio and dance to the music, anything that feels good to you. If you have a health problem that may restrict your ability to exercise, check with your doctor before beginning or changing your exercise habits.
Those for whom the imperative to “do you” feels like an unaffordable luxury may take some solace from Svend Brinkmann’s book “Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze” (Polity), first published in his native Denmark, in 2014, and now available in an English translation by Tam McTurk. Before “Stand Firm” came out, the author’s note tells us, Brinkmann lived “the relatively sedate life of a professor of psychology at Aalborg University.” Then the book became a best-selling sensation. Brinkmann now lives the life of a successful European public intellectual, appearing on TV and radio and travelling the world to lecture “on the big questions of modern life.”
After a while, Storr says, this rational response to economic pressures became instinctive habit: “Neoliberalism beams at us from many corners of our culture and we absorb it back into ourselves like radiation.” Like reality television before it, social media frames human relationships as a constant competition for popularity and approval. Donald Trump, with his greed-is-good hucksterism and his obsessive talk of “winners” and “losers,” is in the White House. (“Selfie” was published in England last year; Storr is adding a chapter about the President for the American edition.) Meanwhile, parents continue to feed their children the loving, well-intentioned lie that there are “no limits” and they can “be anything,” which leaves the kids blaming themselves, rather than the market’s brutality, when they inevitably come up short.
With that in mind, take a stab at creating some kind of artwork. It's going to take some time — we're asking for at least 90 minutes. If you have some sketching skills, you could draw a still life on your kitchen table. If you're less practiced, use pastels to create some abstract art. If you're prefer to stay linguistic, write a poem describing a scene you witnessed recently.
The important thing, in any case, is the word “collective.” Brinkmann doesn’t care so much how we feel about ourselves. He cares how we act toward others. His book is concerned with morality, which tends to get short shrift in the self-improvement literature. He likes old-fashioned concepts: integrity, self-control, character, dignity, loyalty, rootedness, obligation, tradition. Above all, he exhorts us to do our duty. By this, I think he means that we are supposed to carry on with life’s unpleasant demands even when we don’t feel particularly well served by them, not run off to the Dominican Republic.
Alex ordered a glass of red wine and I had my standby- Ice tea. The customary question-answer transpired as I deigned to order alcohol. “I don’t ever drink.” I said, smiling. “How long has that been your choice?” He asked. (BTW – that’s a nice approach to glean info without sounding critical.) I answered, and we moved on from the subject; no awkward silences, no need to press the issue.
Similarly, podcasts are a great on-the-go news source. And a lot of the time they’re just what you need to unwind without completely wasting away in front of the TV (not that I have anything against relaxing that way). I’m a big fan of tackling one podcast during my commute—half of it on the way to work, half on the way back, and the stories always bring out some real emotions. (For reference, my favorites are This American Life and You’re the Expert.)