Dr. Layne (D) discusses “Preventive Health and Wellness” with Ms. Anne (A)
A: Doc, I’ve decided to get healthy. I was really bad last year about managing my health and I just have to take better care of myself. I had lost almost 20 pounds at the beginning of the year and look at me – I’ve gained it all back. I need some help!
D: Anne. I’m really proud of you. But stop beating yourself up for God’s sake. The year is almost gone! It’s a cancelled check! By now, most of your friends have also broken their New Year’s resolutions, so this is a great time to get started again. Let’s focus on your future and let’s work together to set some realistic goals for the coming year.
A: But Doc, I have to be honest and tell you that I’ve spent most of my nest egg of savings for the year and I have little or no money left to join a Health Club or to buy health equipment. I’m feeling all depressed and guilty about putting my health on the back burner again.
D: Stop worrying Anne. You are fine and you don’t always need loads of “health equipment” to take good care of your health. I’m going to give you 10 Tips that will keep you looking Young, Healthy and Sexy for the New Year. These tips will cost you very little money and if you keep doing these things consistently, you’ll look and feel better than most of your friends. Then, when your budget improves, we can talk about buying health equipment.
A: That’s just what I wanted to hear Doc. I hope you don’t mind if I take some notes.
D: Not at all, Anne. Here are 10 key preventive health concepts that I would like you to understand:
- You are a good person! Stop beating yourself up and start feeling good about yourself.
- You can rejuvenate your body to Feel Younger and Live Younger!
- Detoxify Your Body to protect yourself from poisons in the air, soil and food.
- Discover the miracle of “Green Smoothies”**
- Yes, you can drop 10 pounds – without starving yourself.
- Look and feel Younger
- Strengthen your immune system
- Spruce up Your Smile – with healthy Teeth and healthy Gums
- Spice up your sex life.
- Update your Vitamins and Supplements
You Are a Good Person! Start feeling good about yourself:
D: Let’s start by getting rid of those feelings of guilt, worthlessness and unhappiness that may be plaguing you, so that you can feel better about yourself. These feelings stress your system, and stress will cause your body to age prematurely.
A: So how do I start feeling better about myself Doc? Do I need to see a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist?
D: No, Anne. You already told me that you don’t have that sort of money. 18 years of studies with over 18,000 subjects in Britain have shown that you can get rid your much of your stress and depression, and increase your sense of well-being by simply taking a brisk walk or riding a bike for about 15 to 30 minutes during the day. A stationary bike, or any other form of exercise will do and it doesn’t cost you a dime!
A: I can do that Doc. I have a girlfriend at work who walks regularly, and she has been asking me to walk with her on our lunch break.
Rejuvenate your body so that you Feel Younger, and Live Younger
D: The surest way to rejuvenate your body and feel more energetic is to get more restful sleep. Chronic fatigue is your greatest enemy! You can rejuvenate your body by simply getting an extra hour of sleep during the day or at night. You can start by sneaking in a 15 minute nap after your lunch and by going to bed a little earlier at night. You will feel much more energetic after one to two weeks.
A: But I get heartburn if I lay down after I eat, Doc – so what do I do?
D: You are right. It is not a good idea to lie flat in bed immediately after lunch or after meals as this can cause “reflux” of food from the stomach into the esophagus (“Heartburn” or “GERD”). I suggest you sit in a ‘recliner’ chair or in a regular chair with your legs elevated 12 or more inches off the floor. Lean back, close your eyes, and enjoy. (If you work from home and you want to nap in bed on a couch, put several pillows under your head).
If you can afford it, it is well worth investing in a “sleep number bed” that will allow you to elevate your head when you are sleeping. This will often cure GERD symptoms without the need for medicines. Water cannot run up a hill.
You can find some more tips on “Improving Your Sleep” on our website.
Detoxify Your Body to protect yourself from poisons in the air, soil and food
D: All of us need a good ‘body detox’ from time to time. Science has recently shown us that the normal bacteria that live in our gut [collectively called the Microbiome], do an excellent job in detoxifying our bodies when we take good care of these bacteria. Many of our grandmothers also used “Epsom Salts” (Magnesium sulfate) as a periodic “body cleanse.” I always tell my patients that “if your grandmother was stupid, you wouldn’t be around.”
A: But doc, I don’t really know that much about the Microbiome. I tried “Epsom Salts” once and I can’t stand the taste of that stuff.
D: I can give you some information on the Microbiome and I wasn’t suggesting the old fashioned “Epsom Salts”. You may want to try the more pleasant tasting version of your grandmother’s laxative, “Magnesium Citrate” (often called “Mag Citrate”), or “Milk of Magnesia”. You can find these at any drug store for pennies. Follow the directions on the bottle. Many of my patients prefer the unflavored version of Magnesium Citrate. They chill it and mix it with any juice of their choice. You may also want to try one of pleasant tasting “detox” teas.
Discover the miracle of “Green Smoothies”**
D: As we all grow older our bodies need more Greens and Fruits and Vegetables.
A: I’ve tried to do that Doc, but it’s hard for me to get in all those fruits and vegetable during the day. I feel like a rabbit!
D: I agree with you Anne. I just can’t eat 14 fruits and vegetables a day either, so I cheat by throwing little bits of my fruits, veggies, berries and greens into a “Ninja™” or a “Vitamix™” and making a delicious smoothie. A regular “blender” may not generate enough power to release the nutrients that your body needs from the fruits and veggies
A: So what do you put into your Smoothie?
D: You can click here to to find my “Smoothie Recipes.” If you are trying to lose weight, I suggest you start with a “green smoothies”. There are lots of good recipes for “green smoothies” on the web. Find one that taste good to you and stick with it.
A: And how do you use your smoothie?
D: I use my smoothie like a breakfast meal. I drink some of the smoothie for breakfast and take the rest to work with me to use during the day.
Yes, you can drop 10 pounds – without starving yourself
D: I have not forgotten that you said you wanted to lose those 20 pounds of weight that you put on during the course of the year. So, let’s talk about that.
A: So, what do I have to do? Eat butterfly wings for every meal?
D: No Anne. You don’t have to starve yourself to control your weight. The trick is to change your eating pattern. By that, I mean the timing of your meals. Eat a large breakfast, a satisfying lunch and a very small dinner. Whenever possible, your dinner should consist of not much more than a bowl of soup and a small roll. It is best to avoid large dinners and to try to eat your dinner not later than 6:00 PM. Intermittent fasting (not eating for 12 hours at a time) also works.
A: We all grew up eating large dinners, doc. Why should I give up my dinners?
D: You are much more active during the day and you will burn up most of the calories that you ingest for breakfast and lunch. You are much less active at night and most of the calories that you eat for dinner will not be used and will be stored as fat. Many of my patients have found that they will lose one pound of body fat every two weeks or so by just changing their eating pattern.
A: So what do I eat for my regular meals during the day?
D: Your main source of calories for breakfast and lunch should be meals that consist of fish (or lean protein of your choice) and lots of leafy green vegetables. The leafy green vegetables should make up about 2/3 of your plate. If you are a practicing vegetarian or vegan, you already understand how to add vegetable sources of protein do your meals.
A: What if I get hungry while I am on this diet?
D: Go back to Tip #4 above: “Green Smoothies.” Try using small amounts of Green Smoothies and lightly cooked veggies as snacks to quench your hunger. If you get hungry during the days that you are on Green Smoothies, you can snack on freshly shelled Pistachio nuts in the shell, almonds, a small “chef salad”, or a small piece of tasty protein of your choice to satisfy you hunger. I suggest you go off your diet once a week and have a meal that you want. Just don’t “pig out” on junk food and ruin everything that you did for the past week
A: That’s sounds easy enough, Doc – and I won’t have to feel guilty about having a regular meal from time to time.
A: So what can I do to make my face and my skin look younger?
D: Here are 3 tips to make your face and skin look younger:
1. Water, 2. Coconut Oil, and 3. Suntan Lotion.
1. Water: You can make your face and your skin look wonderful by simply drinking more clean water to “hydrate your skin”: Try to drink at least six glasses of clean water every day. You should also decide to increase your intake of low-calorie, non-acidic fluids while you are awake, especially during the winter months. These include vegetable soups and “green smoothies”. If you start to see a few wrinkles appearing on your face, it is OK to consult with your primary care doctor or a dermatologist to see if you may be a candidate for Botox injections to smooth out the wrinkles and maintain your youthful appearance.
2. Coconut Oil: Many of my patients use the following tip to increase the “youthful” appearance of their face and skin: rub a little “100 percent extra-virgin, organic coconut oil” on your face and your skin daily after your shower, or after washing your face with a gentle soap and warm water. You should see and feel the difference in your face and skin within days. Make sure that the label on the coconut oil states that it is “pure, unrefined, cold-pressed, hexane-free, and free of chemical additives).
3. Suntan Lotion: If you are going to be vacationing at the beach or on the ski-slopes or if you are exposed to bright sunlight during the day, use a Suntan Lotion to protect your exposed skin from damage by excess Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Choose a Suntan Lotion with a high “SPF” (greater than 10) and follow the directions for use
Strengthen your immune system
A: What is my “immune system”, and how can I strengthen it, Doc?
D: Your immune system defends your body against Cancer, cold and flu viruses, bad bacteria and other infections. Most of your immune system is located in your gut. You control what you put into your gut and therefore you control the health of your immune system.
A: So how can I strengthen my immune system?
D: I would begin by taking a good “Probiotic” every night to help restore your Microbiome, the normal bacteria that live in your gut. You also want to eat foods that keep your body slightly “alkaline” (as opposed to “acid”). Your immune system works best when the body is slightly “alkaline”
A: I used to take a “Probiotic” but I stopped. I can start that again. So, what does “alkaline” mean and what sort of foods are we talking about?
D: “Alkaline” is the opposite of “acid”. Eating Greens and Fruits and Vegetables that we discussed in Tip #4 will help to keep the body in the “alkaline” state. Eating lots of meat and meat proteins help to keep the body in an “acid” state.
The bottom line here is that you need to eat lots of greens, fruits, and colorful vegetables every day if you want your body to fight off the bad guys – cancer, viruses and other infections.
Spruce up Your Smile – with healthy Teeth and healthy Gums
D: Sure, you want to have a gorgeous smile, but there is much more to your dental health than your beautiful smile. You can make yourself feel better and possibly add many years to your life by taking good care of your teeth and your gums
A: How so?
D: The mouth is really the dirtiest part of the body! Bad bacteria hide between the teeth and the gums and get into your system every time you eat. Your immune system has to fight these bad bacteria all the time and this stresses your immune system. Some of these bad mouth bacteria can even increase your risk of developing certain types of heart disease.
A: That’s not good. So how do I get rid of these bad mouth bacteria? Do I have to use a mouthwash?
D: Not really. The simplest way to manage your dental health is to get frequent “dental checkups” and let your Dentist show you the correct way to do daily brushing and flossing of your teeth and gums
Spice up your sex life.
D: This year, you also need to pay some attention to your sex life, Anne.
A: Please tell me how I can improve that, Doc?
D: Well, you should know that chronic fatigue and “tension” (stress) at home and at work are two of the biggest killers of your sex life. You first need to catch up on your sleep to improve your sexual energy (see Tip # 2 above). To help relieve your stress, I suggest that get involved with some sort of group activity outside of your work – a recreational sport like tennis, jogging with friends, or a Zumba™ class. Some people get stress relief from volunteering in a church group or other community activity. The recent Blue Zone studies are also showing that you will live longer if you engage in social activities with friends.
A: I can do that doc. I used to enjoy playing tennis and I can start again.
D: That’s the spirit, Anne. These same principles applies to your mate. I should also remind you that minor pelvic infections in the female and prostate infections in the male are common problems that can reduce your enjoyment of sex. You may want to ask your doctor to check and treat you and your mate if you suspect these infections.
A: How do I know if I have low hormone levels, Doc?
D: Sure, that can be a problem. If you have done all of the above and you and/ or your mate find that you still have low sexual energy, then I would certainly suggest getting your hormonal levels checked. It is fairly easy for your doctor to do that.
Update your Vitamins and Supplements:
D: You may want to consider adding some Vitamins and Supplements to your daily regimen
A: I already take a multivitamin every day, Doc. Why do I need to take more vitamins?
D: Like most of us, you work indoors, and you work in a high-stress occupation, Anne. Chances are good that you are not getting enough sunlight during the day to generate the Vitamin D that your body needs. We all need a certain amount of sunlight on your skin every day to generate Vitamin D and Vitamin D is critical to maintaining good health.
A: I’m sure I don’t get enough sunlight Doc, so what should I do?
D: Ask your primary care doctor to check your vitamin D level and if it is low, ask your doctor if you can benefit from taking a daily supplement of vitamin D-3 (usually 1,000 – 2,000 IU or International units)
A: I’ll do that. My girlfriend at work just turned 40 and she started taking vitamin B-12. Should I be taking B-12 as well?
D: Vitamin B-12 is another critical Vitamin that is used by every cell of your body. Vitamin B-12 is normally stored in your muscles but any form of continuous stress will rapidly deplete your stores of vitamin B-12.
A: But I am always stressed out, doc! Who isn’t stressed out in this society?
D: You make a good point, Anne. I advise many of my patients who are over age 50 and those that work under very stressful conditions to take a regular supplement of sublingual vitamin B12
A: Why did you say over age 50 and what do you mean by “sublingual”?
D: Many older people are not able to absorb vitamin B12 from their stomachs as well as younger people and so many seniors may need to take a vitamin B12 supplement.
“Sublingual” means that the tablet in placed “under the tongue”. The Vitamin B12 that you will find in most tablets consist of large molecules that cannot be easily absorbed from the stomach. Scientists have recently found that we can modify the B-12 molecule so that it can be absorbed from the lining of the mouth. That is why we use a tablet that is put under the tongue [sublingual]. You allow the tablet to dissolve in your mouth and the vitamin B12 is taken into your body through the cells that line the inside of the mouth.
A: Thanks a million Doc. And watch out for the Young, Healthy and Sexy Ms. Anne!
D: Now that’s the spirit, Ms. Anne. That’s what I want to hear!
**See Questions & Tips on Dr. Layne’s MyPH Smoothie Recipes