If you’re interested in becoming a healthier, happier you, this article will show you how. During a recent Live. Love. Engage. podcast episode, Emily Gold Mears talked about the benefits of adopting small, incremental steps to achieve sustainable health optimization. By exploring the intersection of functional and allopathic medicine, Emily learned the value of crafting a unique path to wellness tailored to her needs. In this post, I’ll outline the process Emily followed, and how you can implement small daily choices to achieve holistic wellness and improved health in your life.
About Emily Gold Mears
Emily Gold Mears is a former attorney turned citizen scientist, biohacker, and author, who has been passionate about health and wellness for years. After recognizing the need for better science literacy and understanding the importance of individualized healthcare advocacy, Emily began her journey to optimize her own health and help others do the same. Her book, “Optimizing Your Health: An Approachable Guide to Reducing Your Risk of Chronic Disease,” focuses on the intersection of functional and allopathic medicine and offers insights on how to improve one’s health through lifestyle and environmental changes. Emily believes that by adopting small, incremental steps, anyone can achieve a greater sense of overall wellness.
In today’s fast-paced world, achieving and maintaining optimal health is more important than ever. A healthier you not only means a better quality of life but also improved productivity and success in your personal and professional ventures.
Here are 5 steps Emily recommends to improve your overall well-being while staying informed on healthcare innovations and trends that cater to your personal needs. And remember, sharing your health journey with others can not only provide support but also inspire those around you to join you in your quest for optimal health.
1. Embrace functional medicine for personalized care
Functional medicine is a way of approaching healthcare where patients work together with healthcare professionals to achieve the best possible health outcomes. This means that patients are no longer just passive recipients of care, but active participants in making decisions about their health. This approach involves ongoing education, so patients have the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions about their well-being. This can lead to a stronger sense of self-advocacy, personal responsibility, and empowerment.
By working closely with healthcare practitioners, patients can improve their understanding of their bodies, gain confidence in their decisions, and ultimately achieve better outcomes and satisfaction with their care. Integrating functional medicine into a person’s healthcare strategy can help prevent and manage chronic diseases by prioritizing a deep understanding of an individual’s unique biology, lifestyle, and environment. Partnering with healthcare practitioners enables people to take control of their own health, make meaningful changes, and achieve lasting improvements to their overall well-being. Let us embrace and harness the power of functional medicine for the most effective, personalized care possible and transform our health journeys to improve our quality of life.
2. Prioritize sleep for overall health improvement
Sleep plays a crucial role in maintaining our mental and emotional health, as well as our overall physical health. A consistent lack of quality sleep can lead to increased irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and even depression. Furthermore, poor sleep can negatively affect our cognitive functioning, memory, and decision-making abilities. Recognizing and addressing sleep problems is essential for maintaining mental balance and emotional resilience, which can ultimately improve one’s relationships, professional performance, and even self-esteem. It is vital that individuals seeking holistic wellness understand the interconnected nature of sleep and mental well-being and make the necessary adjustments to prioritize and improve their sleep quality.
It is essential to acknowledge that improving sleep habits does not happen overnight – it requires commitment and consistency. If you want to prioritize sleep, it is crucial to establish a nightly routine that supports a relaxing and conducive sleep environment. This may include minimizing screen time before bed, engaging in relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, and creating a consistent bedtime schedule. Moreover, addressing lifestyle factors that may be interfering with your sleep, such as excessive caffeine consumption or stress, can also contribute to better sleep quality. By making sleep a priority in your life and taking actionable steps to improve it, you are taking a significant stride towards achieving holistic wellness and enriching your overall quality of life.
3. Focus on gut health and balanced nutrition
rioritizing wellbeing from the inside out can positively impact your physical, mental, and emotional health, enabling you to engage vibrantly and energetically with the world around you. Eating a balanced diet and incorporating probiotics and prebiotics into your daily routine are an excellent way to support gut health. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that help restore balance to the gut microbiome, while prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that act as food for the beneficial bacteria in our gut. By including foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and kefir in your diet, you can ensure a regular intake of probiotics to support gut health. Likewise, consuming prebiotic-rich foods like bananas, asparagus, garlic, and onions can promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. Consult with a nutritionist or healthcare professional to determine the appropriate amounts of probiotics and prebiotics for your specific needs.
Adopting healthy lifestyle habits beyond diet can significantly impact your gut health as well. Prioritizing regular exercise, getting adequate sleep, and managing stress through mindfulness practices like yoga or meditation can collectively contribute to enhanced gut health and overall wellness. Research shows that these lifestyle habits can directly influence the diversity and balance of our gut bacteria, ultimately strengthening our overall state of wellbeing. When you focus on gut health and balanced nutrition, you’re setting yourself up for long-term success in living a holistically healthy and fulfilling life.
4. Reduce processed foods and sugar consumption
You can take a vital step toward holistic wellness by committing to eliminating processed foods and excess sugar from your diet. This action demonstrates that you are investing in your long-term health and paving the way to a more fulfilling and vibrant life. Incorporating healthier alternatives to processed foods and sugars does not have to be a daunting task. Start by becoming more aware of the ingredients in the products you consume and opt for whole, natural, and nutrient-dense ingredients whenever possible. Gradually phase out processed foods by making conscious decisions to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your daily meals. This incremental approach to adopting a healthier diet allows for sustainable lifestyle changes that are more likely to stick.
Additionally, making simple swaps like choosing water, herbal tea, or sparkling water over sugary beverages and snacking on fruit or nuts instead of processed sweets can also contribute to a significant reduction in your overall sugar consumption. Remember that nurturing holistic wellness is a journey, and it begins with making intentional choices that positively impact your health. Reducing processed foods and sugar consumption is just one of the many stepping stones towards attaining a balanced and healthier lifestyle. As you progress, you will likely find that these dietary changes lead to improvements in other areas of your life as well, such as physical activity, mental clarity, emotional well-being, and even stronger relationships. Embrace the journey and remember that every mindful choice you make in the present contributes to a healthier and happier future.
5. Minimize exposure to harmful blue light
Another crucial strategy for optimizing your health involves reducing your blue light exposure which we get from television screens, phones, computers, and LED light bulbs. Studies have found that this high energy blue light has been linked to biological and sleep disturbances, and it also damages the retina. You can reduce your exposure to blue lights by taking frequent breaks when using electronic devices, especially during long periods of work or leisure involving screens. Adopting the 20-20-20 rule, which recommends taking a 20-second break to look at something approximately 20 feet away, every 20 minutes, can help alleviate eye strain and minimize the impact of blue light exposure. Additionally, creating screen-free zones in our homes and practicing screen-free activities, such as reading a physical book, engaging in mindfulness practices, or developing hobbies that don’t require devices, can further decrease blue light exposure and promote a more balanced lifestyle.
It is essential to emphasize the importance of educating ourselves, our families, and our communities about the potential health risks associated with excessive blue light exposure. By spreading awareness about this issue and its consequences, we can collectively foster a culture that values health and well-being above reliance on technology. Encouraging individuals and institutions to make informed choices about the technology they use, like selecting LED bulbs with lower blue light or investing in digital screens with built-in blue light filters, can lead to a more health-conscious society that recognizes the significance of harmonizing technological advancements with the safeguarding of our physical, mental, and emotional health. In incorporating these small yet meaningful changes into our daily routines and broader societal discourse can help mitigate the harmful effects of blue light and set the stage for a healthier and more mindful connection with the technological world we inhabit.
For individuals like you who are passionate about leading a healthier, more balanced life, embracing small, incremental steps towards sustainable health optimization is essential. By adopting the strategies shared by Emily Gold Mears, you’ll not only be able to prioritize your well-being through personalized care, sleep, nutrition, and self-care but also actively collaborate with professionals, stay informed on trends, and share your experiences for support. As you pursue your path to holistic wellness, let these practical and empowering suggestions serve as a reminder that change is possible and that every step you take brings you closer to becoming the best version of yourself.
What other steps are you taking towards achieving holistic wellness? Comment below and let me know.