10 Tips for a Healthy Spring

Dr. Elson Haas
written by
Dr. Elson Haas

Sep 19, 2016
  1. Become Current in your Life in this inspiring Spring season. Embrace yourself honestly as you look at all of your habits and areas of your own life. Even with all the worldly concerns, care for yourself and your loved ones. Assess the various aspects of your lifestyle to see where stresses or weaknesses exist with special attention to what I call The Five Keys to Staying Healthy – your Nutrition, Exercise, Stress, Sleep and Attitude. Focus on those areas that need improvement.
  1. Choose Three Habits that inhabit you and likely undermine your current and future health and life.
  • How and when did these habits begin, and are you ready to let any of them go?
  • Which ones are most important for you to change to create a healthier you?
  • Do you need help, or can you do this on your own?

Then decide on what you can do for the change you want. Here’s my list that I have seen affect my day-to-day health and energy:

  • Eat more lightly at night so that I can digest more fully to be ready for sleep.
    • Take more time for stretching and yoga.
    • Create a nutritional plan with some other medical experts to reverse some plaque build-up I have and to help clear my coronary arteries.

Remember that it’s easier to give up old habits if you start something new, like breathing and relaxing more, walking, dancing, romancing, and overall, making more time for health.

  1. Look at your Dietary Choices. What do you choose to put in that mouth of yours? And what do you fuel your other mouths with; those areas of energy intake, like your eyes, ears, skin, and heart? Write down a few days of your typical diet, then assess it and write a new plan based on your knowledge of what is right for your body. You may also wish to take a break from the TV, news, violent movies, and stressful people while you are purifying your life. It is good to have a reference point by taking a break, even with substances like caffeine and sugar (as in my book, The Detox Diet, Third Edition), to see how you feel and assess your level of dependence on your favorite substances. I can assure you that it feels good to release yourself from those habits. Remember, Better Choices create Better Health!
  1. Do some Cleansing or Detox Program for 1-3 weeks this Spring. This could include juice cleansing, the Detox Diet, Nutritional Smoothies, or a period off sugar, chocolate, sodas, milk products, wheat, or whatever you believe undermines your health. To do this successfully, it helps to write out a plan and focus more on what you will eat and less on what you’re not. Make a list of your good foods, shop for them, and have them available whenever you are hungry. And drink lots of good water. At a minimum, take a break from the Big Five: Sugar, Caffeine, Alcohol, Wheat and Dairy.
  1. Now let us look at your Nutritional Supplements. What are the best ones to use during a detoxification diet? During a food-based Detox Program I suggest a simple age-and gender-appropriate multivitamin/mineral along with additional antioxidants that include Vitamins C and E (mixed natural tocopherols), and selenium as the basic supplement plan. Also helpful for most people are herbs that stimulate bowel function such as aloe vera capsules or ones containing herbs like Cascara sagrada or senna leaf. Blue green algae, like Chlorella or Spirulina, can be used for energy and detox support. I also suggest drinking plenty of water and herbal teas. Calcium and magnesium before bed can help with relaxation and sleep, or a buffered vitamin C formula with those minerals (plus potassium) help to alkalinize and cleanse the body. For sleep support, we can use amino acids 5-HTP (100-200mg) or L-Tryptophan (500-1,000 mg) at bedtime.
  1. Clean and Organize your Home. Spring is the season for clearing out the old and bringing in the new. I love this feeling of looking at my desk, my closet, and every nook and cranny around my house and office, and wanting to freshen them all. And it is a good way to stay out of the kitchen (which also gets cleaner along with my fridge) and look at other areas of my life. Of course, after all my years of accumulating and with all the communication and medical/health journals I receive, it is harder to handle everything in my life than it was in my earlier years of cleansing. Yet, I do what I can and sometimes have my support team keep moving things forward and recycling what we can. Then, my life feels and looks cleaner and lighter at the end of my Spring Cleaning, and has space for the new to land. What can you do to help clean up your home space and your life?
  1. Get Outdoors and Exercise — move your Body! Stay Fit and Stay Healthy. Friluftslivis a Norwegian word for healing and de-stressing by going outdoors and exercising in the free and fresh air. Hike and explore your neighborhood and extended community, or find a place you have heard about and want to visit. I love the lightness and easiness I feel when I am cleansing, and my body feels more flexible and able to do my aerobic exercise. A yoga class is also a good experience for expanding our flexibility. Breathe and relax as well. Play music, dance, and make time for romance. Remember, this is the Spring season!
  1. Next look at your Emotional and Spiritual aspects. How do you usually feel? Are you low or depressed, or more positive and energetic? Ideally, we can feel a wide range of emotions based on our daily life experience and not dwell on one particular emotion, which is the real problem. I can tell you that many factors ranging from your diet and digestive health to your early childhood behavior patterns influence your mood, energy level, and emotions, and thus your Spiritual Well Being. Embrace the whys of moods and energy levels with greater honesty about your true feelings, which is the beginning of healing feelings. Review your personal relationships and how they affect you and how you affect them. Invite your significant other, friends, or relatives to go along with you on your Spring Cleansing diet for their own good and for mutual support. In my cleanse groups, I find that personal support is extremely valuable for many people to achieve the success they want.
  1. Let’s become more Earth-aware and Earth-friendly as the beauty of Nature’s renewal inspires us this season. Be conscious of where things come from and where they go – and the real cost of products you use – such as plastics and chemical products. Re-use and Re-cycle. Support more earth-conscious businesses and products. How do you vote with your dollar?
  1. Make your Overall Plan and Commitments. Once you have reviewed the key areas of your life and made your list of some specific changes you want to make, don’t forget the Big Picture. If LOVE moves into all those areas, that’s all the better, as you will care for yourself and your life, plus your relationships, in a more positive way. Human love is temporary for many, yet love in the Spirit is everlasting. We are all blessed to share this garden, this Earth, which needs our Love and Protection. We must take the time to Nurture Nature, in order to be Nourished and Flourish in return. Stay Healthy!

10 Tips for Staying Healthy in Autumn

Dr. Elson Haas
written by
Dr. Elson Haas

Sep 17, 2016

1. This is Harvest Time, and the foundation and fortification of our foods and diet are an important focus now. There are a great many available foods — apples and walnuts, sunflower seeds, zucchini and other squash, cabbages, peppers and tomatoes, plus many grains and beans. Learn some new recipes and enjoy good foods. Most of us need more protein and heat generating foods in the colder months, even the energizing spicy peppers such as cayenne and chilies. This will keep our blood and energy moving.

2. Exercise activity is crucial now as in any season. As the weather cools, stretching is even more important. It is good to have indoor exercise options. Yoga and other flexibility-enhancing movements are helpful at keeping us youthful. Remember, we feel as young as our spine is flexible. Our weight work and aerobic activities are crucial to staying fit, toned, and strong to support our immune function and circulation. A vital body rarely gets sick.

3. Nutritional supplements are often useful this time of year. Many of my patients add some nutrients that support immune function so as not to pick up whatever is going around. Taking some Echinacea now is helpful as is the Chinese herb, Astragalus. Maintaining daily Vitamins C and E along with Selenium and Zinc is also immune protective and clears our body of certain toxins. Roots are helpful for toning our body at this time. Ginseng is quite good for building strength and endurance. Burdock root is good for the skin. See the Autumn section of Staying Healthy with the Seasons for further information.

4. Detoxification is the word for early Autumn. I often lead a 3-week Detox group in September, but not this year, so we are all on our own to clean up our lives and habits. Doing an effective Detox Diet or avoiding sugar, wheat and dairy for a couple weeks (as I discuss in The False Fat Diet) is often quite revealing and helps us to feel better – lighter and more youthful with greater energy. Since it is getting cooler, we will need to exercise and sauna or steam as a means to sweat to clear toxins. Regular sweating is important to health and longevity.

5. Prepare for the cold season. Gather your fuel and food, breathe, and exercise, as you should. In Chinese medicine, the fall season focuses on the lungs and large intestine. Overdoing it can lead to congestion and toxicity, as well as constipation and the clogging of the nose and sinuses. This can lead to upper respiratory infections as the germs grow in the mucus and then inflame the membranes. Try a facial steam and breathe in the herbal mist (you can use mints, rosemary, chamomile, lemon verbena, and other herbs) to help clear the sinuses. Staying clean and clear this season along with a healthy immune system will help keep you well.

6. If you get a cold or the flu, it is best to take action immediately. I start with hourly vitamin C of about 1000 mg, increased doses of vitamin A (not beta-carotene) 25,000-30,000 IUs 3 times daily for just 3-4 days and then lower that dosage to 10-20,000 IUs twice daily for about a week (then take a break since vitamin A can be toxic if taken too long). I also use fresh garlic taking several cloves at a time dipped in honey and chewing them; I may repeat this several times the first day. That is a spicy and aromatic natural antibiotic and immune defender; as an alternative you can use the odorless garlic caps, several 3 times daily if you do not want to smell, but this is not quite as effective. You can press several cloves of garlic into your bowl of soup before you eat, instead of eating the garlic straight. Echinacea and goldenseal alcohol extract can also be used to support immunity and cleanse the membranes. Some help may be achieved with olive leaf extract as a mild anti-viral herb. Of course, drink lots of water, herbal teas, and hot soup as the weather cools.

7. On an inner level open up to the Harvest of your year and be willing to work hard and discipline yourself as you head into a new season. If you are a student (we are all students of life), get back to your studies. Yes, it is time to shift from the playful and relaxed days of Summer. Food is so plentiful in the gardens. Nature is so giving, and it helps to be receptive to her and what the Earth has to offer. What do we have to give to life for all the energy, love, and beauty I hope we all receive?

8. Relationships are important to all of us. This is a good time to deepen and clarify our love and family connections. This helps us discover more about our own needs and those of others close to us, as well as learn to listen to them (both the needs and the people). Also, learn to be alone and listen to your inner guidance and truth. Some folks focus relationships on their computers and TV’s, cars or other electronics. Can you still your mind chatter, and let your body breathe deeply to your soul? Give it a try and your spirit will be calmed and can also fly free of the burdens of time.

9. Open to the Creative Spirit. We can receive new ideas and actions necessary to fulfill our purpose and move us forward in our life. This can help to improve motivation with new energy and excitement for life. This could be writing about past experiences or our future goals, working on a book or personal story, reading a self-help book and applying it to improve our life, or taking up a new exercise. In other words, start a program now that you can develop and work on in the colder, darker months.

10. Take a rest now because the demanding holiday season is just around the corner. Do not burn your batteries out before November. Kindle your inner flame and firepower, which will protect you from the invasion of harsh climates and germs. The Winter blues come partly from a loss of this fire energy. Shifting and balancing with the Seasons is vital to Staying Healthy.