There is more than one way to design a grand plan to upgrade your sense of well-being. Here are answers, regimens and lifestyles to choose from. When custom-built to your preferences, they are sure-fire ways to help you be well and look well.
Q: Though I am not an insomniac, I am a restless sleeper. Can you recommend anything natural?
Do you know that the brain’s pineal gland produces an antioxidant hormone called melatonin during sleep? Its main responsibility is to control and maintain the body’s natural biorhythms—the body clock (or sleep-wake cycles). As one ages, melatonin levels decline.
Melatonin has also been found to reduce the incidence of headaches and can boost the immune function by stimulating and activating cancer-fighting cells to help stop malignancies from spreading.
Tomato is a food that contains melatonin, which is a hormone, so it can also be sold as a supplement.
For jet lag — 5-10mg capsules, 1 ½ hour before bedtime
For insomniacs — 10-20mg before bedtime
For restless sleep — 5mg, 1 hour before bedtime, another 5 mg should you awake in the middle of the night.
Here’s a sleepy-time tonic:
1 glass of non-fat milk
½ tsp raw wild honey
½ tsp cinnamon
In a blender, mix all the ingredients, and drink as warm beverage one hour before sleeping.
Melatonin is a neuro-hormone and must be taken at the lowest dose. Find the dose range effective for your body. You can start from 1mg and work your way upwards. Consult your doctor, of course.
Also, try practicing meditation or meditative prayer before sleeping. Simple things like releasing your stress with an after-dinner stroll, watching a happy movie (no violent horror flicks please!), chatting over the phone with a friend are easy regimens to follow.
Whatever you do, turn off all electronic gadgets and remove them from the sockets. Their electrical overflow still affects your energy and body, thus contributing to your interrupted sleep.
Warning: MSG (monosodium glutamate) has been shown to actually block the enzyme in the pineal gland that produces melatonin. Watch the MSG content of the food you’re eating.
Q: Tell me what delicious medicine is all about.
It was mentioned in passing in Suzanne Somers’ book “Breakthroughs,” in the chapter on Dr. Eric Braverman. This expert on anti-aging medicine combines conventional wisdom with his expertise on the workings of the human brain.
In his book “Younger You” he explains how type 2 diabetes is almost always reversible by losing weight, change of mood and attitude, sleep improvement and a high fiber diet. His rainbow diet combining fruits, vegetables and spices is intriguing.
For example, he recommends putting cayenne pepper on brown rice, turmeric in eggs and cinnamon in yoghurt. Each time you add spice to nutritious food, you expand and improve its nutrient value and density, and thus becomes a super food and delicious medicine.
Q: I am obese. How can I shed 50 lbs in 6 months?
Short of auditioning for a weight-loss TV show, you can actually sign up at a gym and get a personal trainer. Obesity is now considered a neuro-psychiatric disorder. This is a condition where a person becomes addicted to certain eating habits and then becomes food-intolerant because of a brain disorder. This situation then triggers the wrong food choices that can contribute to a cycle of allergy and illness.
This is a new paradigm in considering obesity. The brain chemistry is in a state of imbalance when one is eating wrong. The result—fat cravings and lack of portion control, sugar and salt cravings, carbo-loading.
Each one of the cravings corresponds to a brain imbalance: dopamine to sugar, acetylcholine to fat, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to protein and potion, serotonin to salt.
Example: Even if you know you shouldn’t be dipping your hand in a big bag of popcorn or a large spoon in a half-gallon of ice cream at midnight, you still succumb to the craving. If you simply follow your taste buds and forget the vitamin-mineral content of food, you will be forever obedient to the demands of your mouth.
Try to give yourself naturally healthy remedies. Herbal tea cuts the appetite significantly; a host of spices can do the trick, too. Consult a nutritionist on this.
Q: Why are many people suffering from fibromyalgia?
Because depression is a condition people don’t want to accept as an affliction. If you don’t treat your source of emotional pain, it will manifest in your body. Pain is the body’s warning signal to you that something urgent needs addressing, whether it’s physical or emotional.
Fibromyalgia is an emotional disease (and so does hormonal loss to a certain extent). It is connected to a chemical imbalance which responds to serotonin. See your endocrinologist and psychiatrist now.