50 Tips for Healthy Living by Cormac Coyle, MD

  1. If you are currently healthy, do not take it for granted.
  2. Establish a bonding relationship with your Primary Care Team of Physician(s) and Nurse Practitioners /Physician Assistants. If you can’t do this- change the team!
  3. Try to stay positive in outlook and don’t sweat the small stuff.
  4. Exercise 7 days a week in some form (including walking). 10,000 steps a day will help you stay trim. ZUMBA will make you happy. Swimming is the best exercise of all (if you know how to swim that is)!
  5. Eat as many healthy meals a week as possible. Breakout once in a while just to prove you are human. I love The Daily Paper in Centerville.
  6. Eating lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, salads, fish, grains, olives and white meat (n small quantities) is good for you.
  7. Avoid Red Meat as much as possible, but if you do eat it, make it organic and infrequently – once a month.
  8. Do not smoke. If you currently smoke try to give it up.
  9. Drink 2 drinks of alcohol or less a day for a man and 1 drink or less a day for a woman.
  10. Be your own Advocate in all matters related to Healthcare and do not be a shrinking violet in the presence of Physicians.
  11. Volunteer your time and money to worthy causes. This helps you become a more complete person and less focused on yourself. Give to your library.
  12. Read about the Mediterranean diet and The Engine 2 Diet. These are not diets at all- that’s what makes them so great. They are fabulous lifestyles.
  13. Until further notice, have Mammograms, Colonoscopy, and routine vaccinations as per guidelines in consultation with your Physician.
  14. You can’t take it with you and leaving it all to the kids may not be healthy for you or them. Be generous-money equals time. The more you give, the longer you’ll live.
  15. Give a wide berth to fast food joints except in an emergency. Even then avoid them! But if you do go in, whatever you do, don’t eat anything.
  16. Turn off the Boob Tube.
  17. Try to live every day as if it is your last. That does not mean I’ve gone soft on number 15.
  18. Try to listen more and speak less.
  19. Keep the volume down and hear the birds.
  20. Walk through your community regularly. Go to the beach.
  21. Have one PSA (Prostate specific antigen) before age 50 and discuss the result with your Primary Care Physician.
  22. If you have a very strong family history of Breast Cancer then get good advice about screening for BRCA 1/ 2 from a specialist.
  23. If you are a heavy smoker (1 pack per day) consider having a CAT Scan yearly. It looks like this will save lives. It is not settled medical law yet.
  24. The biggest killer of all is heart disease and high blood pressure. Way more than all cancers combined. Modify what you can. See 1-20 above.
  25. Diets high in saturated fats can also cause Cancer of Colon, Prostate, Breast and others (in addition to causing heart disease). Hey! Why you want to do that now!!
  26. Omega 3 fatty acids lower triglycerides and cut the rate of thrombosis in those with stents.
  27. Get your daily Vitamin D by walking outside for 15 minutes + no sunblock first 20 minutes.
  28. Try not to drink more than 4 cups of coffee a day.
  29. Read. Go to your Library and be part of your community. Libraries are not just for reading! They are the center of the community.
  30. Anything with a very long shelf life is probably not that great for you.
  31. Honey does not have a shelf life. It’s good for you. It’s also good for wound care in the form of medical grade honey.
  32. Honey, agave and maple syrup are better sweeteners than processed sugar.
  33. Avoid artificial sweeteners. You can’t fool the brain. The brain relies on sugar for fuel primarily. Artificial sweeteners will make you gain weight and have other issues.
  34. If you are a Diabetic on pills or Insulin, the biggest short term threat to your health is Hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar is especially dangerous for those > 75 years old.
  35. Laugh a lot. You might as well. Why are there 239 beans in Irish Bean Stew? One more and it’s too farty.
  36. Ask your Doctor what supplements she/ he takes…and why?
  37. High sodium diets cause large swings in blood pressure and can trigger stroke or congestive heart failure as well as elevated blood pressure.
  38. If you have symptoms of Stroke (Slurred speech, weakness of the face, weakness of arms or legs, sudden blindness) get someone to take you to the Hospital. Call 911.
  39. Support your local Hospital. We need it. It is a fantastic asset to this community.
  40. Get an Annual Physical that is thorough, meaningful and answers all your questions. Go to your Doctor’s visit prepared to get the most out of it.
  41. Sleep enough. Practice 7 -8 hours for most people. You can’t fool the brain.
  42. Never let “not covered” mean that you are going to forego necessary treatment. Always ask for discounts if you have high deductible insurance.
  43. Ask your Emerald Physician for “The Medicare Allowable Rate” for all visits, tests and procedures if you have no insurance or if you have a high deductible. YES!
  44. Celebrate others and their achievements. Say it. Truly it’s not all about you. How many times do I have to tell you that?
  45. If you are unhappy with any aspect of your care contact an Advocate. It might save your life.
  46. Avoid decongestants over the counter containing phenylephrine. These can cause Strokes and Heart attacks.
  47. Stop saying Medicare equals Socialism. We can do better than that and we will. Medicare is awesome-for patients. It will be better if we keep it away from Politicians.
  48. Call around and ask for the best price for an M.R.I/ CT SCAN/ LABS ETC…..ALWAYS.
  49. Pass on compliments you have heard about others. It will make everyone happy. Even you!
  50. “Ain’t Momma happy, ain’t nobody happy “. And that’s a tip!
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Meditation and health

Many people practice meditation for a number of health-related purposes. A 2007 national government survey found that 9.4% of respondents had used meditation in the past 12 months.

What is meditation?

The term meditation refers to a group of techniques which may be practiced for many reasons, such as to increase calmness and physical relaxation, to improve psychological balance, to cope with illness, or to enhance overall wellness. Most types of meditation have four elements in common:

A quiet location. Meditation is usually practiced in a quiet place with as few distractions as possible. This can be particularly helpful for beginners.

A specific, comfortable posture. Depending on the type being practiced, meditation can be done while sitting, lying down, standing, walking, or in other positions.

A focus of attention. Focusing one’s attention is usually a part of meditation. For example, the meditator may focus on a mantra (a specially chosen word or set of words), an object, or the sensations of the breath.

An open attitude. Having an open attitude during meditation means letting distractions come and go naturally without judging them.

How can meditation affect my health?

It is not fully known what changes occur in the body during meditation; whether they influence health; and, if so, how. Research is under way to find out more about meditation’s effects, how it works, and diseases and conditions for which it may be most helpful.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)External Web Site Icon is the federal government’s lead agency for scientific research on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). It is 1 of the 27 institutes and centers that make up the National Institutes of HealthExternal Web Site Icon within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.External Web Site Icon Some recent NCCAM-supported studies have been investigating meditation for relieving stress in caregivers for elderly patients with dementia and for relieving asthma symptoms. A study published in the April 2009 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease researched use of meditation and other complementary and alternative practices in patients suffering from arthritis. See full article.

Is meditation right for me?

Meditation is considered to be safe for healthy people but if you are thinking about using meditation practices to prevent asthma attacks, to control high blood pressure, to reduce arthritis pain, or for any other medical reason, be smart.

  • Do not use meditation as a replacement for conventional care or as a reason to postpone seeing a doctor about a medical problem.
  • Look for published research studies on meditation for the health condition in which you are interested.
  • Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
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Video:Shauna Childs, Centerville Yoga and Wellness Studios

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50 Natural Antidepressants to Beat the Winter Blues

 retrieved 3/4/2011 NursingSchools.net

1.  Natural sweeteners: Sweeteners like agave nectar or maple syrup are great alternatives to refined sugar, which has been linked to depression.

2.  Poultry: Tryptophan and B6 help produce serotonin and other amino acids are good antidepressants.

3.  Water: Dehydration can cause fatigue and depression, so be sure to drink enough water.

4.  Eat lightly and often: Prevent dips in blood sugar that can bring down your mood by eating often and lightly.

5.  Cheese: The tyrptophan in cheddar and swiss cheese can release serotonin.

6.  Walnuts: Try walnuts as a snack for omega 3 fatty acids and uridine that can elevate your mood.

7.  Spinach: Turn to spinach for a good source of folic acid, which can help you maintain proper physical and mental health.

8.  5HTP: The 5HTP supplement can be a precursor to increase serotonin levels.

9.  Whole wheat: Wheat bread with whole wheat can help you produce healthy amounts of serotonin.

10.  Sushi: Fish oil offers a way to increase omega-3 fatty acids in your system, which can help fight depression.

11.  L-tyrosine: L-tyrosine is a precursor to norepinephrine, and it’s good for those who don’t respond to most antidepressant drugs.

12.  Eat lean protein: Protein offers a great feeling of alertness, as well as productivity.

13.  Oranges: The Vitamin C offered in oranges and citrus fruits can help your body produce dopamine.

14.  Dark chocolate: Boost your spirits with a dark chocolate treat.

15.  Red pepper: Red peppers have good Vitamin C for producing dopamine. 16.  Limit refined carbs: Soda, white flour, cookies, and other foods high in carbohydrates can cause you fatigue and depression.

17.  St. John’s Wort: Researchers believe that St. John’s Wort may be able to help lift depression.

18.  Phenylalanine: This amino acid can help the body make norepinephrine, an essential neurotransmitter for the brain and happiness.

19.  Calcium citrate: Prevent a calcium deficiency, which can cause irritability, insomnia, and anxiety, with calcium citrate.

20.  Vitamin B-12: B-12 can give you great energy and a mood lifter.

21.  Sam-e: This coenzyme enhances cognitive function, and can treat depression as well as other psychiatric illnesses

22.   Fish oil: Some instances of depression can be from a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids, and fish oil can help treat the nutritional roots of this deficiency.

23.  Folic acid: A deficiency in folate can cause depression and other mood disorders, so make sure you’re getting enough of this supplement.

24.  Kanna: This medicinal herb is part of a class of compounds that can treat depression, anxiety, and more on an as-needed basis.

25.  Ginseng: Ginseng can improve your energy levels and cope with stress.




26.  Read inspiring quotes and jokes: Keep a list of inspiring jokes and quotes to refer to whenever you need them.

27.  Maximize light: Use natural daylight or full-spectrum lighting to inspire happiness.

28.  Call a friend: Reconnect with a favorite friend for an uplifted mood.

29.  Aerobic exercise: Aerobic exercise can offer a natural mood lift.

30.  Get some sunshine: Spending time in the sunshine can help you get the Vitamin D you need to increase serotonin in the brain.

31.  Fake a smile: Pretend you’re happy, and it just might happen.

32.  Light Therapy: Light Therapy with bright lights like a fluorescent light unit can be used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder.

33.  Avoid stress: Staying away from prolonged periods of stress can help you avoid imbalances that lead to depression.

34.  Reminisce: Look through old journals or albums for an uplifting walk through memory lane.

35.  Vital energy exercise: Exercise like yoga, t’ai chi, or dance can offer a natural mood lift.

36.  Meditation: Meditation’s health benefits include improving mood, as well as reducing anxiety and stress.

37.  Gardening: The act of gardening, as well as friendly bacteria in soil, can increase levels of serotonin and improve your mood.

38.  Make something: Using your creative mind can feed your soul and make you happier.

39.  Acupuncture: Acupuncture may be able to improve your mood, and depressive symptoms.

40.  Inspiring music: Music that inspires you can give you a better mood.

41.  Eat a healthy diet: Taking in enough protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals can keep your nutrition on track to a positive mind.

42.  Cheer someone else up: Do something thoughtful for someone else, and you just might feel better yourself.

43.  Take a bath: Use essential oils to kick back and enjoy a bath for a natural happiness boost.

44.  Burn frankincense: Frankincense can create a peaceful environment and activate channels in the brain that help depression.

45.  De-clutter: Take on a small de-cluttering job for a sense of accomplishment that can make you happier.

46.  Get some good sleep: Well rested people tend to lower their risk of depression.

47.  Laugh: Having a good laugh can reduce stress hormones that typically cause depression.

48.  Exercise: Getting active can boost your mood and reduce the risk of depression, as well as trigger positive feelings with endorphins.

49.  Taking a time-out: Meditation can reduce the likelihood of depression, allowing you to treat your thoughts as just thoughts.

50.  Consider depression’s source: Using depression to make you stronger and solve problems can improve your outlook overall.

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