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Happy Healthy New Year!

Hi its Dr. Jeffrey Mark.  One of the most challenging years in all of our lives is almost over. We had to deal with COVID, wildfire and smoke, and political unrest with riots and a contested election. Needless to say everyone cannot wait for 2020 to end and move forward to 2021 and a new decade. 


I wanted to offer the opportunity for you or your loved ones to get healthier physically, mentally, and spiritually this coming new year. There are 5 keys to health and six healthy habits I’d like to share with you. I’ll give you an educational opportunity to learn from one of my online courses as well. Lastly let me give you a preview of things to look for in 2021.


One of the most important keys to health is finding your purpose in life and being part of a community. Studies of cultures and societies that live in the “blue zones” where the healthiest, longest lived, and happiest people on earth reside, show us that these people have a sense of purpose and that they support the old and young alike in a close knit community. So in 2021 take time answer the question of why you are here and what is you purpose both for yourself and to others. How can you better support your local community whether it be family, friends or religious organization? How can they provide support for you in 2021?


We all need to eat. Some eat to live and others live to eat. In truth we all do a little bit of both and food is central to our wellbeing not just as calories for fuel but also for enjoyment and an experience to be shared with others. We need a healthy gut to absorb the nutrients and to maintain a healthy barrier and support healthy microbes that bolster our immune health. We need a wide variety of food to get enough nutrition and in today's ’s environment we need supplementation to get enough key nutrients. What were your favorite foods in 2020? What are the foods that you know you should eat more of in 2021? How do you plan to make this a reality in 2021?

Our bodies are meant for motion.  Stagnant water is without vitality. White water rapids are clean and represent a high state of energy flow. Exercise stimulates more mitochondria and energy. It gives us vitality and maintains the flexibility and strength in our muscles and joints. The right cardiovascular exercise also creates a strong parasympathetic system so that we can rest and repair. How much exercise have you gotten in 2020?  What challenging cardiovascular activities can you do daily for thirty minutes? How can you implement this exercise routine in 2021?


We’ve known since 1989 that rats will die with a total lack of sleep and in June this year we found out through a fruit fly study that death occurs without sleep by the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the gut.  While most of us do not have total sleep deprivation and there are only anecdotal reports of humans dying from total lack of sleep, sleep is essential. When we sleep, our bodies do a lot of preventative maintenance and repair to our gut and brains including removing toxins and ROS, repairing neurons and organizing the new connections and thoughts that we accumulated during the day.  Our immune system also is reset and optimized. How much sleep did you average a night in 2020?  How can you get to bed by 10:30 PM and get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night in 2021?
 
All living things need a little stress for growth and survival. However, as many of us found out this past year too much stress can be detrimental to health. We need cortisol to survive and your body will shunt everything else in order to be sure you have enough cortisol. Stress demands cortisol production from components like cholesterol. Cholesterol is also the basis for your hormones and key components of nerves like nerve sheaths and a good part of your brain.  Your hormones will be out of balance if you have too much stress. You may gain weight, develop diabetes, or eventually burn out and get exhausted. How stressed have you been in 2020? Mindset often dictates most of our stress so how will choose to see things? Is the glass half empty or half full? What changes will you make in 2021?


Six habits that you can try to begin your day with might be as follows. Wake up and silently meditate or clear your mind for the day’s activities.  Make positive affirmations of who you are, what you’ve done, and remember the things you’ve learned. Visualize your goals that you need to accomplish for the day, the week, the month, and the year. Exercise first thing in the morning if you can to get your heart going, mind alert and awake, and muscles active. Read a book, the newspaper, or online journals. Exercise your brain by learning something new every day. Finally ,don’t forget to journal and write things down that you’ve learned or new thoughts or funny things you want to remember and reflect on at a  later date.
 
In this new year and decade, I will be showing you how to optimize your health with all of the topics I’ve mentioned above and more. We started in 2020 with the Optimize Your Immune Health program and you can click here to see testimonials and enroll at 50% off as a New Year’s Special to help you before the highest peak of the pandemic hits us in mid to late January. 

On the slate for this year will include the SOS Stress Recovery Course with group support, Optimal Detoxification, Optimize Your Gut Health, and many more courses. Join us for group visits and support groups like one we'll have for those of you who have food intolerances. Learn and stay up to date on the most important health topics through our blogs and a new member only area for exclusive content.  I hope we can provide you the tools, education, and support to stay healthy for the upcoming New Year and into the next decade. May you have a blessed, rewarding, and happy new year.
 
Take Care. Stay Healthy,
 
Jeffrey Mark, M.D. 

Author
Jeffrey Mark, M.D. Helping clients with compassionate and comprehensive medical care for over 25 years with 4 board certifications in functional medicine, gastroenterology, internal medicine, and anti-aging/ regenerative medicine . IFMCP, ABIM Gastroenterology, NPAS Internal Medicine, ABAARM.

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