In past issues, we’ve asked several of our favorite health practitioners how they incorporate holistic therapies into their daily lives. Here are some of their answers.
Wake up, breathe, and meditate first thing. Exercise if possible, yoga or a short run, then set my sights on my lunch, because that’s where I want to stop and have a good meal. Once I have my big meal in the middle of the day I’m pretty well nourished. There’s always a lot of interaction and learning that goes along with being a dad with five kids, so dinner is light.
–John Douillard, Boulder, Colorado
I start out every morning with a cup of hot water and lemon. It’s something I learned from my grandmother. It’s very good for the liver. I eat a little bit of wild food every day. I always make my salads with wild greens. I wouldn’t even think of using lettuce. Even in the winter, I can usually find violets. I do yoga. I don’t know how to drive, so I walk everywhere. It relaxes me, and it’s more fun than exercise videos. I pray every day. I made a list of healthy things to do–take aromatherapy baths, eat seaweed, read something uplifting, take herbs and supplements. I try to do ten healthy things a day.
–Brigitte Mars, Boulder, Colorado
In addition to working out for about ninety minutes a day, four times a week (aerobic exercise, weight training, and stretching), I also do yoga and receive massage therapy. I’m currently taking a program of nutritional and herbal supplements that was designed for me through saliva testing.
–Elson Haas, M.D., San Rafael, California
I believe the fundamentals are a good diet, good nutrition, regular exercise, fresh air and sunshine, good water, avoidance of harmful substances and practices, rest and sleep, and spiritual influence. I practice all of these things. Beyond that, I use herbs on a frequent basis including mint, licorice, and ginger teas, and I take antioxidants and mineral supplementation on a regular basis. I’ll take other herbs and supplements as I need them.
–Tori Hudson, N.D., Portland, Oregon
I never take anything for an extended period of time–I take things as needed, not as part of a daily routine. I believe in food, exercise, and common sense rather than something in a bottle. I eat organically in tune with the seasons and in tune with the demands of my schedule. I love to run, garden, and hike.
–Amanda McQuade Crawford, Ojai, California
I try to practice what I preach. I have a very good diet based on whole grains. I try to avoid sugars and I try to eat organically grown food. I get plenty of exercise. I love to bike and hike, and I do yoga. I take a lot of herbs and rotate my plan according to what I need. I usually take more than what I need by incorporating them into my diet, since I use myself to understand the effects. For example, I eat lots of tonic herbs–burdock root, dandelion leaves, purslane–and constantly throw them into sauces and soups.
Northern California Sierra Nevada
When I wake up in the morning, I do between twenty and forty-five minutes of either yoga or some other workout–free weights, dancing to music, jumping rope–depending on my mood. I spend as much time outside as possible, and I eat really well. My diet is mostly vegetarian-based, but I will eat meat as needed. I might take nutritional supplements or Chinese herbs, but only on an as-needed basis. I find time to relax every day.
–Aviva Romm, Canton, Georgia
I do just about everything. I eat exceptionally. I love eating well–lots of whole, organic foods. I exercise almost every day. I do Pilates, and I walk, bike, stretch, and occasionally do some yoga. I schedule massages twice a month. I meditate and take herbal supplements. If something comes up in my life, I may look into acupuncture or counseling.
–Todd Nelson, N.D., Denver, Colorado
Lifestyle is huge for me. My daily routine includes some form of exercise every day, whether it’s biking, walking, or hiking in the mountains. I do yoga regularly and I stretch every day. I also believe in doing some form of ritual every day, such as journaling, meditation, or lighting candles and incense. I use aromatherapy. I eat almost entirely organic. I eat some raw foods every day–fruits, nuts, seeds, bitter greens, and I eat seaweed. I avoid caffeine. I take supplements on an as-needed basis, including minerals, B vitamins, and herbal teas.
I meditate in the morning–either with a tape or I sit quietly for ten to twenty minutes. I do daily exercise–twenty minutes on the treadmill and then I work with a personal trainer two times a week weight lifting. I eat as pure a diet as I can with quality fats and essential fatty acids. My diet is high in protein with slow-acting, low-glycemic carbohydrates.
–Ann Louise Gittleman, N.D., Bozeman, Montana