It’s Midterms Week!

Hey everyone!

It’s midterms week for me coming up so I will be taking a hiatus from posting my usual Monday, Wednesday, Friday fun to maintain my sanity and personal health/wellness!

I will post updates and some tips on studying, test anxiety, and the like throughout the week though so you will not be completely without me and I will resume my normal posting schedule on Sunday, October 25!

STUDY TIP

Make a study schedule! 

When you have a lot going on inside and outside of school it can be hard to get everything done and just remember what everything is. I suggest making a study schedule according to priority.

For example, I have an exam everyday this week. So my study schedule has the things I need to study listed in order of what needs to get done first, second, third etc.

Also, make sure you have specific things you need to study on your schedule, do not make it too generic. You will forget/miss things and get overwhelmed.

I have to study for psychiatric diagnosis this week, but instead of putting “study psych” on my schedule, I broke it down by week.

Lastly, make your schedule doable! There will never be enough time to study everything! Make sure that your study schedule is something that you can complete and check off or cross off. You have no idea how good it feels to cross off items on a study sheet!

More study tips to come this week! Remember to stay calm, breath, and know that you will make it through! Happy studies!

Not in school…. this can be applied to accomplishing tasks at work, home, etc!
Study clothing crisis... daily struggles!

Study clothing crisis… daily struggles!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.
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Naturopathic Medicine Week

Hey everyone and Happy October! I took a day off yesterday to recover from my birthday weekend celebration, but I am back today like a bad habit. Thank you all for the sweet birthday messages! ❤

In honor of my future profession and medicine in general I wanted to post about Naturopathic Medicine today since it is Naturopathic Medicine week! I mean I celebrated National Coffee Day so it only seems fair!

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What is Naturopathic Medicine?

The AANMC (Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges) defines Naturopathic Medicine as a “primary care profession that combines the wisdom of nature with the rigors of modern science.” It is holistic medicine, meaning it encompasses the whole being and is centered around the patient and helping them to obtain optimum health! Sounds pretty good to me!

What is the Naturopathic Physician’s role in health care?

Naturopathic physicians (NDs or NMDs) are trained as primary care providers and can diagnose, treat, and manage patients with acute and chronic conditions. They care for all ages and genders of patients. Specific regulations and licensure laws vary from state to state. While there are NDs and NMDs practicing in all 50 US states, the licensure laws vary.

The states in blue are where Naturopathic Doctors are licensed to practice medicine.

The states in blue are where Naturopathic Doctors are licensed to practice medicine currently, while the states in brown are where laws are pending.

How is this different from the primary care provider (PCP) I have now?

Primary care or family practice doctors come in all shapes and sizes. You might not even realize that your family practice physician has different letters behind his/her name. Here are some common acronyms for PCPs:

  • MD – doctor of medicine (allopathic physician)
  • DO – doctor of osteopathic medicine (osteopathic physician)
  • ND or NMD – doctor of naturopathic medicine (naturopathic physician)
  • NP – nurse practitioner (RN nurse with masters or doctorate degree)
  • PA – physician’s assistant (masters degree)
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While this is “The Doctor”, this is not included in our list of primary care providers. I still wish I had my own tardis though. #nerdjokes

The ND practices as any other PCP (at least in the state of Oregon), but they attempt to address disease and dysfunction at the level of the body, mind, and spirit therefore treating the WHOLE person and attempting to find the underlying cause of a patient’s condition. An ND focuses on whole patient wellness through health promotion and disease prevention (i.e. preventive health)!

Essentially, an ND can diagnose and treat a patient using the standards of care applied by all PCPs. The goal of treatment for a Naturopathic Physician and most PCPs is to provide individualized evidence-informed therapies that balance the least harmful and most effective approaches to help restore the patient to health. The main difference in care is the additional treatment modalities that can be applied by an ND and the ultimate goal of treatment, which is not just to restore the patient to baseline health, but rather help facilitate the body’s inherent ability to restore health and achieve optimal health.

Naturopathic Medicine Principles!

NDs have 6 principles that they base their overall approach to patient care. I am not going to spend a lot of time on these today, because I have been and will continue to feature one principle per month. Here they are below to remind you!

  1. First Do No Harm (utilize the most natural, least invasive, and least toxic therapies)
  2. The Health Power of Nature (trust in the body’s inherent wisdom to heal itself)
  3. Identify & Treat the Cause(s) (look beyond the symptoms to the underlying cause)
  4. Doctor as Teacher (educate patients in the steps to achieving & maintaining health)
  5. Treat the Whole Person (view the body as an integrated whole in all its physical and spiritual dimensions)
  6. Prevention (focus on overall health, wellness, and disease prevention)

I have heard that Naturopathic Physicians practice homeopathy and I do not know if I believe/understand that. Is it true?

While it is true that some Naturopathic Physicians practice the treatment modality of Homeopathy, not all Naturopathic doctors are homeopaths! There is a DISTINCTION that I do not think people make often. An ND or NMD is a doctorate level degree program that produces licensed physicians. A homeopath or practitioner of homeopathy is NOT an ND or NMD. Do some Naturopathic doctors practice homeopathy in their practice… YES, absolutely, but not all do!

Some peoples views on Naturopathic Medicine... I wish I was as cool as Professor Dumbledore, unfortunately I am just a doctor in training. Sorry folks!

Some people’s views on Naturopathic Medicine… I wish I was as cool as Professor Dumbledore, unfortunately I am just a doctor in training. Sorry folks!

I myself have not decided if I am going to practice homeopathy in my practice based on a number of factors. On of the greatest things about naturopathic medicine is that Naturopathic Doctors have a whole arsenal of tools and treatment options to use for their patient’s including some of the following…

  • Nutrition
  • Vitamins & minerals
  • Botanical & herbal medicine
  • Physical medicine (i.e. chiropractic adjustments, massage, etc.)
  • Homeopathy
  • Hydrotherapy (i.e. physical therapy utilizing water)
  • Hygiene therapy (i.e. stress reduction, sleep help, etc.)
  • Physical and clinical diagnosis
  • Laboratory diagnosis and diagnostic imaging
  • Emergency medicine
  • Psychology
  • Pharmacology
  • Minor surgery
  • Acupuncture and Oriental medicine (depending on the physician and their training background)

 

Naturopathic doctors choose which therapies to apply to a patient’s condition based on the Therapeutic Order. A hierarchy of treatment that Naturopathic doctors use to make sure we are applying the least invasive treatments first, followed by increasingly more invasive treatments last!

Therapeuitc_Order_poster500

As NDs or NMDs, we start at the bottom of the therapeutic order and work our way up to the top! We aim to provide comprehensive, healing care to our patient’s with the least disruption to their own body’s healing process! Pretty cool right!

Want to learn more?

Check out some of these websites to learn more about Naturopathic Medicine, Naturopathic Physicians, and preventive health in general!

Or you can ask me!!!! I would be more than happy to answer any questions that you have about Naturopathic medicine or preventive medicine as a profession however silly they may seem! If I do not know the answer, I will find someone who does. 🙂

Ask me your questions! I will answer with the knowledge I have, the wisdom from others, as well as maybe a bit of wit and sass...

Ask me your questions! I will answer with the knowledge I have, the wisdom from others, as well as maybe a bit of wit and sass…

Stay tuned later on this week for a NEW core challenge, menu decoder of the month, and D.I.Y. using our Calendula oil from September!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. Please consult with your primary health provider before starting a new exercise regimen. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

Menu Decoder – Panda Express

Most of us strive to eat healthy, cook fresh foods, and eat out as little as possible! That being said, we all have those days where there is no time and grabbing something quick from a restaurant is the only option or maybe you want to go out to eat with friends and they pick a restaurant that does not have healthy food options! What do you do? What can you eat? This month I am decoding the menu to a popular quick “fast-food” Chinese restaurant, Panda Express.

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Below you will find food guides to eating Gluten Free, Sugar Cleanse, Dairy Free, Low Glycemic Index, Low Sodium, & Caloric based! I did the work and math so you don’t have to!

Disclaimer, most food at fast-food chains like Panda Express is not really healthy or ideal, but this is a guide to purchase the best options if you are going to eat there and be smart with what you put into your body.

Gluten Free Options:

They are limited at best, but here is what you can eat if you are gluten free. Please note that there will be cross contamination, so if you have a severe gluten allergy, eat here with caution or do not eat here at all.

Brown or White Steamed Rice!

  • Eat with 1 of 4 gluten free sauce options: sweet & sour sauce, chili sauce, hot mustard sauce, or plum sauce

That’s it! Can you believe that their veggies have wheat cross contamination! Sad day…

Sugar Cleanse Options:

Unfortunately there are not many options here or at most restaurants for sugar cleanse or sugar-free folks! Below is your only meal option if you are cleansing.

Brown or White Steamed Rice! Only 1/2 cup per day of rice though if you are cleansing!

  • With chili sauce or hot mustard sauce!

Dairy Free Options:

There are more dairy free options here, but note there still can be cross contamination.

Sides:

Entrees:

Chicken…

  • Black Pepper, Kung Pao, Grilled Teriyaki, Grilled Asian, Teriyaki, Asian, Mushroom, String Bean (chicken breast), Sweet Fire (chicken breast), Sweet & Sour (chicken breast)

Beef…

  • Broccoli Beef, Shanghai Angus Steak
lower-calorie-panda-express-menu-food

Broccoli Beef

Appetizers:

Sauces:

  • Teriyaki, Sweet & Sour, Chili, Soy, Potsticker, Hot Mustard, Plum Sauce

Low Glycemic Food Options:

Let’s say you are not cleansing, but trying to eat only foods that are low on the glycemic food index scale. There are two easy ways of calculating a food’s glycemic index.

  • Sugar to fiber ratio… ideally 1:1
  • Carbohydrate to fiber ratio… ideally less than 10:1

Sides:

  • Brown/White Steamed Rice & Mixed Veggies

Entrees:

Chicken or Vegetarian…

  • Mixed Veggies, Kung Pao, Grilled Teriyaki, Grilled Asian, Teriyaki, Asian, String Bean (chicken breast)
String bean chicken breast

String bean chicken breast

Beef…

  • Broccoli Beef

Appetizers:

  • Crispy Shrimp, Chicken Egg Roll, Cream Cheese Ragoon

Sauces:

  • Chili, Soy, Potsticker, Hot Mustard, Plum Sauce

Low Sodium Intake Options:

Americans on average consume over 3300 mg of sodium per day. Ideally, you should consume less than 2300 mg of sodium per day! If you are 51+ y/o or have high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease, you should strive to consume less than 1500 mg of sodium.

This can be hard to do if you don’t know how much sodium certain foods contain. Unlike calories, this information is not listed anywhere easily accessible. I have created panda ‘meal’s below that contain less than 500 mg of sodium, which is the MOST you should consume per meal.

Panda Bowl:

Start with the side of Brown/White Steamed Rice (0-15 mg).

Then choose one of the following entrees: Mixed Veggies entrée (280 mg), Sweet Fire Chicken Breast (320 mg), Sweet & Sour Chicken Breast (260 mg), OR Honey Walnut Shrimp (440 mg).

Hungry for an appetizer? Check the Sodium levels first and decide if it is worth it!
  • Crispy Shrimp (400 mg)
  • Chicken Egg Roll (340 mg)
  • Chicken Potsticker (250 mg)
  • Cream Cheese Ragoon (180 mg)
Thinking about adding an additional sauce? This is where those sneaking Sodium mg hide! Look at the levels below in the sauces that contain less than 500 mg per serving.
  • Teriyaki Sauce (380 mg)
  • Sweet & Sour Sauce (115 mg)
  • Chili Sauce (125 mg)
  • Soy Sauce (375 mg)
  • Potsticker Sauce (290 mg)
  • Hot Mustard Sauce (115 mg)
  • Plum Sauce (55 mg)

Calorie Counter? This is for you…

I am not a big fan of counting calories! I think there are more important nutrition factors to consider (like the things I listed above). Also, if you learn mindful eating and how to enjoy your food, calorie counting is almost not important. That being said, if you are trying to keep track below are meal options that are less than 500 calories (the most you should eat for one meal, when you are on a 2000 calorie diet).

**These meals also have less than 500 mg of sodium & are on the low glycemic index scale!
Panda Bowls:
The gluten-free and sugar-free menu ideas listed above have less than 500 calories to them, so they are included in this list as well.

Brown Steamed Rice**

  • w/Mixed Veggie entrée
    • Add Chili, Potsticker, Hot Mustard, or Soy Sauce

White Steamed Rice**

  • w/Mixed Veggie entrée
    • Add chili, potsticker, hot mustard, or soy sauce
  • w/Hot & Sour Soup (cup size)

Mixed Veggies

  • w/Black Pepper Chicken
    • Add crispy shrimp OR hot & sour soup (cup size)
  • w/Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
    • Add hot & sour soup (cup size)
  • w/Kung Pao Chicken
    • Add crispy shrimp OR hot & sour soup (cup size)
  • w/Grilled Asian Chicken
    • Add hot & sour soup (cup size)
  • w/Teriyaki Chicken
  • w/Asian Chicken
  • w/Mushroom Chicken
    • Add hot & sour soup (cup/bowl size) OR any appetizer
  • w/Orange Chicken
  • w/String Bean Chick Breast
    • Add hot & sour soup (cup/bowl size) OR any appetizer
  • w/Sweet & Sour Chicken
    • Add cup of hot & sour soup
  • w/Sweet Fire Chicken Breast
  • w/Broccoli Beef
    • Add hot & sour soup (cup/bowl size) OR any appetizer
  • w/Shanghai Angus Steak
  • Crispy Shrimp
    • Add cup of hot & sour soup OR Chicken Potsticker
  • Honey Walnut Shrimp
2 entrée plates:

Mixed Veggies

  • w/Mushroom Chicken & Broccoli Beef
  • w/Mushroom Chicken & String Bean Chicken Breast
  • w/String Bean Chicken Breast & Broccoli Beef
  • w/Broccoli Beef & Crispy Shrimp

Summary:

If you are going to eat at Panda Express, use the above information as a guide. For a list of all the dietary info, Panda has a nutritional & allergen info sheet, which is fairly user-friendly compared to most restaurants! Here is my 5 step guide to eating “healthy” here!

  1. Stick with a panda bowl
  2. Choose Steamed Rice or Mixed Veggies as a side
  3. Pick your entrée from the “Wok Smart” list or my Low Glycemic Index list from above
  4. Add a cup of hot & sour soup if you need some more calories (soup is filling & will help you slow down and enjoy your meal)
  5. Avoid adding additional sauces or a drink outside of water (extra sodium, sugar, & empty calories)

Interested in making your own Chinese Food that is healthy! Check out this website for a list of paleo friendly (therefore also gluten free) Chinese food recipes!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

Sugar Cleanse Update!

Day #12! I am more than halfway through my 21 day sugar cleanse and I am symptom free! Yesterday I did a lot of meal prep for the week including a vegetable, ginger crock pot soup using my left over veggies from the week!

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Veggie Ginger Crock Pot Soup!

Veggie Ginger Crock Pot Soup!

Acne – Using the Therapeutic Order

We all know the feeling too well… you wake up, look in the mirror, and BAM! There is a massive pimple right in the middle of your face on your nose. Of course today is the day where you wanted to talk to the cute person at work, have your photo ID picture taken, or just really did not want to deal with Acne.

Acne Vulgaris, is a skin condition that affects more than 80% of people between the ages of 12-21 y/o and is increasing in frequency with adults. Acne rates are lower in “non-Western” societies, which supports evidence that there is a diet/lifestyle factor at play. Some people have more mild versions, while others, the unlucky ones like myself, have what seems like a constant struggle between them and the pimple face. Typical ‘conventional’ treatments include harsh topical lotions, prescription drugs, and antibiotics. Don’t get me wrong, when I have a zit, I want it gone ASAP, but these treatments often leave my skin red, dry, scaly, and sensitive.

Doctors have Acne too! Morning wake up, make up free, no filter selfie! #loveyourself

Doctors have Acne too! Morning wake up, make free, no filter selfie! #loveyourself

Why does Acne happen?

While the cause of Acne is multifactorial (multiple factors contribute to getting it), studies have shown that hormone disruption and imbalance play a strong part. During times of hormonal imbalance there is…

  1. Increased production of sebum (oily lubricant that’s secreted through sebaceous glands to the skin and normally helps protect the skin from the elements). Overproduction, blocks pores and can lead a pimple.
  2. Overproduction of keratin (protein that has protective properties for the skin), which when increased, can block pores leading to pimples.
  3. Increased sebaceous gland creation, so there are more locations for acne to develop.

All of these factors and more can lead to pore blockage and possible infection, which results in increased bacteria and yeast growth. This leads to increased inflammation to the skin, which causes pustule formation and skin redness as well as cysts, nodules, and in bad cases scars!

Which hormones are to blame?

For males: testosterone as well as enzyme 5-alpha reductase which converts testosterone to DHT.

For Females: the male hormones as well as estrogen and progesterone.

The hormones involved with stress reactions also come into play especially in adult acne.

But I’m not an adolescent, why do I have acne?

There are many other reasons/causes for acne. Some other causes involved with hormone dysfunction are:

  • Pregnancy
  • Menses
  • Menopause
  • Medications: oral contraceptives
  • Increased emotional stress

There are also other related factors including genetics, nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities, poor digestion, yeast overgrowth, and stress.

Lastly, another common related factor to acne is poor nutrition. Fat, sugar, and processed foods increase skin inflammation, which in turn can increase acne and other skin eruptions. They also can lead to constipation due to a variety of factors including lack of fiber in the diet. This can lead to a back up of toxins and waste in the body, which the body tries to expel in other routes, including the pores. Gross!

Natural Treatment Options!

There are many ways to treat acne. As a Naturopathic Doctor we typically start with the least invasive treatment and move up in intensity as needed. Today we are going to focus on the first step in the therapeutic order, removing obstacles to provide a cure and improving the external/internal environment for the body to heal itself.

Lifestyle Modifications

Hygiene:

Wash your face! Remove make up, dirt, and other grim at night before you go to bed and in the AM when you wake up.

If you wear make up, try to use make up that does not contain harsh toxins. If you don’t want to change your make up routine, it is VITAL that you remove the make up at night before bed to allow your face and pores time to breath!

Diet:

Fresh produce from the farmer's market yesterday. All this for $20! Increase your produce intake, improve your health.

Fresh produce from the farmer’s market yesterday. All this for $20! Increase your produce intake, improve your health.

Sample diet ideas:

Simple diet of basic, unprocessed foods is recommended! Ideal acne diet breakdown: 45% protein, 35% carbohydrates, 20% fat!

Ideal acne diet macronutrient breakdown!

Ideal acne diet micronutrients breakdown!

NERD OUT MOMENT: This diet will produce less 5-a-reduction of testosterone and enhance cytochrome P450 hydroxylation of estradiol (which are therapeutic goals of acne drug treatments). Essentially a diet lower in carbs will help balance hormones, specifically testosterone and estrogen. 

Also high carbohydrate diets lead to chronically high insulin levels, decreased levels of IGF-1, and increased inflammation. Decreased carbohydrate diets do the opposite!

Other diet suggestions:

Eat more dark-green or orange veggies (raw/lightly cooked to keep nutrients and fiber). The Carotenoids in these foods help to maintain and repair the skin

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Garlicky collard greens #eattheleaf

Increase your fiber and drink lots of water to ensure proper elimination of food and waste! Try ground flaxseed (1/4 cup) with water (8 oz) every day to be more regular. If you need more help, drink a glass of water every 2 waking hours.

Increase your intake of essential fatty acids and vitamin E, both of which help to maintain beautiful skin! Do this by eating nuts & seeds (i.e. pumpkin, walnut, almonds, etc.).

Eat healthy protein like beans, peas, lentils, eggs, etc. as well as protein rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fresh cold-water fish (i.e. salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines). You can still eat meat, but make sure it is antibiotic and hormone free.

Helpful Tip! If you are on antibiotics for your Acne try to eat live, unsweetened yogurt daily. This acts as a probiotic and will help reintroduce health bacteria back into your gut. Add some honey or fresh fruit to make the yogurt more palatable. 

Foods to Avoid:

These vary person-to-person, but are things to try! All the things listened below increase inflammation in the body. By avoiding all or any other these foods you can decrease overall inflammation and decrease acne flare-ups.

Bacon is still ok, because we all love bacon!

Bacon is still ok, because we all love bacon!

  • Junk food & processed food (i.e. refined grains, colas, candy, etc.)
  • Processed sugar & sugar substitutes like Saccharine & Aspartame. Sugar is my personal trigger, so I do periodic sugar cleanses (2-3 per year for 21 days each) to help decrease my overall inflammation levels. Every time I cleanse, my acne decreases/disappears. 
  • Saturated fats, hydrogenated fats, trans fatty acids, and high fat foods. Especially fried foods, solid fats,  margarine, lard, and vegetable shortening. These are hard to digest, increase inflammation, and disrupt sebaceous gland secretion.
  • Foods that create an acidic internal environment (alcohol, sugar, chocolate, fried foods, soda, and meat). No you do not have to give these up for life, but if they are your acne trigger, eliminating them or decreasing them in your diet may help your symptoms.
  • And this last one pains me to say, due to my own personal addiction, but coffee and other caffeinated beverages can cause problems for some. Try an herbal tea or decaffeinated coffee instead.
All the coffee for days!

All the coffee for days!

Food sensitivities

This will vary from person to person. If you have stubborn acne that will not go away, considered trying an elimination diet to see what your food sensitivities are. The most common culprits include dairy, wheat, sugar, chocolate, potatoes, and corn.

Physical Activity:

Exercise every day! People that exercise tend to have less overall inflammation. Also, exercise tends to lead to sweat, which can help expel toxins and build up in pores. Just DO NOT wear make up when you workout if at all possible, especially the thick stuff! Trust me your face will thank you!

Stress:

Anything that reduces stress will help to improve acne, especially if it is stress based. Exercise, prayer, meditation, reading, yoga, and many other techniques can help to decrease stress. Sunlight can also help by decreasing bacterial growth. 15 minutes a day is recommended, but never let your skin burn!

SUMMARY!

Overall, Acne Vulgaris is a multifactorial condition that affects the majority of us throughout our lifetime. Genetics, hormones, stress, and diet are all factors that contribute to Acne and its severity. Lifestyle changes like diet, physical activity, hygiene, and stress reduction are treatment areas that can be easily modified to help decrease the severity of Acne and possibly eliminate it. Other areas of natural treatment include supplements like vitamins/minerals/botanicals, physical medicine, and topical treatments. We will come back and explore these other treatment options at a later time.

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.
Sugar cleanse update day #5
Sugar cleanse day #5 selfie! Feeling pretty good today. Yesterday I had a mild headache all day, but so far I am feeling more energized today.

Sugar cleanse day #5 selfie! Feeling pretty good today. Yesterday I had a mild headache all day, but so far I am feeling more energized today.

Back To School – The Stress Free Guide

The beginning of September unfortunately marks the end of summer and the start of another school year. To help combat the end of summer time blues, use the start of school as your chance to organize your life and yourself. I don’t just mean cleaning out your car or organizing your desk; I am talking about organizing your body, mind, and spirit. Below I have laid out a plan to a stress free (or at least more stress free) start to the new school year.

Organize your body…

Now that phrase sounds awkward, but here is what I mean. Let’s make your body the healthiest and happiest it can be so that you can maximize your energy and focus it on accomplishing other things. We can accomplish this by doing 3 things:

  1. Start a workout/exercise/fitness routine

You do not need to become a gym rat, but add some physical activity to your life (or become more consistent about it if you already do workout). Last Wednesday I posed a 15-minute workout that can be done just about anywhere, if you currently are not doing any physical activity that is a good place to start. This Wednesday I will post a core challenge; try to add that to your workout routine just 3 times a week.

How much physical activity per week? (for adults)

2 hours & 30 minutes ~ moderate aerobic activity per week (i.e. brisk walking, cycling, etc.)

OR

1 hour & 15 minutes ~ vigorous aerobic activity per week (i.e. running, basketball, swimming laps, etc.)

AND

2 x per week ~ muscle strengthening activities (i.e. weight lifting, yoga, etc.)

Don’t feel bad if you do not meet these exercise goals, most Americans do not! Click here to see some stats, they are not pretty, so let’s change that!

2. Improve your diet

The change of seasons from summer to fall can be a great time to overhaul your diet especially in preparation for all of the holiday goodness to come in the next couple of months. If you are interested in doing a bigger diet change consider a “Sugar Cleanse” or trying a “Paleo” or “Gluten Free” lifestyle.

Basic Sugar Cleanse Foods List

Basic Sugar Cleanse Foods List

Um hello, I am not crazy and I like my bread…

If you are not feeling extreme, but still want to improve, start with increasing your intake of fruits and especially vegetables. The goal should be 5 servings of fruits and/or veggies per day!

Last Friday I posted What’s Fresh for the month of September. Here is my challenge to all of you!

During the month of September, try to eat all of the foods on the What’s Fresh list at least 1 time this month. By doing this, you will get 56 servings of fruits & veggies. 

Post your fruit and veggie filled meal pictures to your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the #thisispreventivehealth

#thisispreventivehealth #eattheleaf

Stay tuned, this Foodie Friday will have fresh Mason Jar salad ideas to make your meal planning easier while getting your daily 5! #thisispreventivehealth #eattheleaf

  1. Try Ecotherapy (aka get your butt outside)

Even though the weather will not stay sunny and hot forever, especially in the NW, fall is a beautiful time to get outside and explore nature. Increase your time outside to daily or as much as possible! A new study by the University of Essex displayed reduction in stress and depression in participants who spent more time outdoors. Also, more research has been done that gives evidence that nature not only decreases stress and improves wellness, but can also combat heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and more!

Columbia gorge hiking! #ecotherapy

Columbia gorge hiking! #ecotherapy

Organize your mind…

It is extremely hard to be at your physical best when your mind is not in the right place. It is also difficult to plan a workout routine or nature time without knowing what your own schedule is. Some of the largest hurdles to beginning a new wellness/fitness routine are ‘lack of time’, but most people do not have a lack of time, they just do not know where they are spending it.

Map your time this September using my “Weekly Hour Tracker”!
Click here for PDF form.

Organize your spirit…

Now that you have organized your mind and made a concrete plan to organize your body, the last piece to that puzzle is organizing your spirit or emotional well-being by creating a routine that helps you to relax and wind-down at the end of the day.

Sleeping the correct amount of hours a night is vital to your health, but it can be difficult getting that necessary sleep when you have a hard time winding down at the end of the day. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following amount of sleep per night based on age group.

Check how much sleep you need based on your age group!

Check how much sleep you need based on your age group! Remember that sleep times change based on the person.

I suggest starting a nightly routine, like 10-15 minutes, where your sole focus is relaxing, reflecting, and preparing to rest. This routine should be personalized to you and what you need to wind down after a long day. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Start by doing some light yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
    • This will slow down your heart rate and focus your mind on something other than the tasks you need accomplish tomorrow
  • Follow this up by getting into bed and reading a book or journaling.
    • This does not mean reading a memo from work, constructing a speech, or studying for school. I am talking about reading a book for fun (remember when you used to do that) or something to help you reflect on your day.

HELPFUL TIP! Stay away from the electronics at least 30 min prior to sleep time (even electronic readers)!

Let’s Wrap It Up!

Regardless of whether September marks a change in your life or schedule, all of us can use a little more organization in our lives. If you take control and organize your body, mind, and spirit it will make the transition from summer to fall easier overall and it will improve your health and quality of life! Who knew!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.

This is Preventive Health

What is preventive health or preventive medicine? The word prevention is thrown around today in all sorts of conversations with what seems like an infinite amount of definitions. Ultimately, what does it look like?

Medline Plus, describes preventive health as a set of screening exams including:

  • Disease screenings like high blood pressure or diabetes
  • Future disease risks like high cholesterol or obesity
  • Alcohol use and resources on how to quit smoking
  • Healthy lifestyle including healthy eating and exercise
  • Vaccination updates
  • Maintaining a relationship with a healthcare provider

Apple Stethoscope

They also mention the following lab tests:

  • Blood pressure, blood sugar,
    blood cholesterol
  • Colon cancer screening and genetic testing for breast/ovarian cancer
  • Mammogram and pap smear
  • Osteoporosis screening
  • Depression screening
  • HIV and other STI tests

The Center for Disease Control (CDC), describes preventive health through the lens of the Healthy People 2020 objectives, which include pretty much everything:

Access to health services Immunization, Infectious disease
Age focused health (i.e. healthy aging) Injury & violence prevention
Blood disorders & safety LGBTQ health
Disability and health Mental health & disorders
Education & community-based programs Nutrition, weight status, physical activity
Environmental health Occupational safety
Family planning: maternal, infant, child, adolescent health Oral health, Sleep health, Vision
Safety: food & medical products
Genomics Public health & preparedness
Global health Social determinants of health
Health communication & technology Substance & Tobacco abuse
Hearing, sensory, communication disorders Wellness & quality of life

As well as a multitude of diseases & disorders…

Arthritis Osteoporosis Chronic back conditions
Cancer Chronic kidney disease Dementias
Diabetes HIV Heart disease
Stroke Respiratory disease STIs

Phew! Are you tired of reading yet? Lastly, the American Association for Naturopathic Physicians describes their stance on prevention like this:

“Naturopathic medicine is a distinct primary health care profession, emphasizing prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals’ inherent self-healing process… Naturopathic physicians emphasize the prevention of disease by assessing risk factors, heredity and susceptibility to disease, and by making appropriate interventions in partnership with their patients to prevent illness.”

All of these things are preventive health... including many more

All of these things are preventive health

Preventive vs. Preventative?

I am in no ways a word smith or grammar pro, but here is difference between the two… there is NONE! Both preventive and preventative mean exactly the same thing and share all definitions.

Preventive: designed to keep something undesirable such as illness, harm, or accidents from occurring

If you want to be exact, preventive is the ‘original’ adjective and preventative is the variant, but who is counting! I choose to use the sleeker and simpler preventive, but it is personal choice.

In Summary…

There is no right or wrong way to describe preventive health. It encompasses many parts of health care, but it is not just up to the physicians and health care professionals. The best part about preventive health is that you, the patient, have more control than ever about how healthy you are and about how healthy you can become! Most of us are already doing things in our lives that are considered preventive medicine and are taking steps towards becoming the best, healthiest version of ourselves. We all can achieve optimum health and it does not need to be accomplished through huge life changes, but rather small baby steps. Let’s start building the best, healthiest, and happiest version of you today!

Every week I will post 3 tips and tricks to improve your health and well-being. You can use some or all of the tips depending on how they fit in your life. The tips will be in the following categories: Motivational MondayWorkout Wednesday, and Foodie Friday. I also will post weekly on Sunday about a health/wellness/fitness topic that is close to my heart. If you have any health questions or topic areas you would like me to focus on feel free to send me an email and I will try to highlight them for you.

Blogs not your thing? Follow me on Twitter to get the weekly tips in the media format that fits best in your life!

My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.