If we want to kick butt on our new year goals, dreams and resolutions, we’ve got some work to do.
Work that includes learning all that we can about women’s health over 50 – starting with tips for self-care!
Self-care encompasses everything and anything that makes us feel good and improves our quality of life. Physically, mentally or spiritually.
Feeling good increases the likelihood that we will fiercely attack our overall goal – which is (are you paying attention here?!) having our best year ever!
So to get us moving in the right direction, I thought we could all use a kick-start on improving our self-care habits from a holistic lifestyle, diet and nutrition perspective.
Personally, I prefer a holistic approach and the use of simple, natural products as a first option whenever possible (and affordable), so I decided to pick the brain of an experienced and respected local holistic wellness guru (my words, not hers!) who works out of my favorite local health food market in Vernon, NJ – Healthy Thymes. Thankfully, she was willing and super excited to share her advice with us!
Without further ado, I introduce Dani Segal, PhD, Certified Holistic Nutrition Educator and Counselor.
The following is Part One of a Two Part interview with Dr. Dani on holistic health and wellness tips for women over 50.
Q: Do you have any suggestions for naturally easing hormonal hot flashes?
DS: Although I highly respect the fact that every woman’s needs are unique to them, I do find that there are many wonderful safe and natural general supports that make a big difference in hormonal harmony. Some are the botanical herbs such as Black Cohosh, Maca, Sage and Vitex, and then there are the fatty acids in Sprouted Organic Flax Seeds and Evening Primrose Oil. In testing nutrient deficiencies, we find that some women need supports from the “stress vitamins and minerals”, such as the B complex or zinc and magnesium.
When we “fill in the nutritional gaps”, we see better nourished adrenals, better stress response, better sleep, thus better hormonal balance. I also like to test for Estradiol & Progesterone through saliva, and adjust this imbalance in some women with bio-identical organic creams.
Q: What vitamins and/or minerals you generally suggest for healthy women over fifty?
DS: Yes – I call them “Foundational Supports”, but, again, I really suggest testing for nutrient deficiencies that may be specific to each individual.
Basic “Foundational Supports” would be – A multiple vitamin / mineral (usually with methylated B’s) geared towards over 50, a restorative gut support, an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant / heart support and a bone support. Many women over 50 need an eye supportive supplement, brain / memory support and a hormonal / stress / adrenal (sleep) support.
Of course, I always suggest whole foods as the first “therapy”!
Q: What holistic advice do you have for reducing overall inflammation?
DS: Foremost I feel it is VERY important to test for any foods that may be causing a challenge (I recommend the Food Inflammation Test or FIT Test), as well as the Essential Fatty Acids Levels (OmegaCheck) in each person’s body, as well as the Heavy Metal Body Burden (Hair Analysis) that a person may have. Then we can discuss specific supports to either “put the flame out” or to keep inflammation from occurring.
Some important advice: Look at eating a diet that is mostly (if not all) Plant-Based, hydrating well, and include daily anti-inflammatory supports such as metabolic proteolytic enzymes, ginger, green tea, bromelain, Boswellia or turmeric.
Q: Your suggestions for a holistic alternative to traditional over-the-counter pain medicines?
DS: Again, testing for a person’s specific needs for anti-inflammatory DHA and EPA (Omega 3) in regards to levels of inflammatory Arachidonic Acid is important. That being said, depending on a person’s needs – I do suggest CBD (Hemp) Oil, BCM-95 Turmeric, E3 Live, Ginger, Boswellia (and other botanicals), Enzymes, Bromelain, Omega 3 EFA’s, and sometimes the natural analgesic support from the amino acid DLPA (DL-Phenylalanine) which help to increase neurotransmitters in the brain that help us to feel better and less pain. Some people will do well with Essential Oils, such as Lavender and Frankincense.
Q: In your experience, what is the most common nutritional deficiencies you’ve seen in women over fifty?
DS: Through inner-cell blood testing, I do see quite a few nutritional deficiencies in women over 50, unfortunately. Some more common deficiencies or imbalances are – Minerals used for bone and heat health (calcium, magnesium, and zinc); Iodine for thyroid and great immune health; Zinc for the immune system, digestive system and eye support;
Magnesium which helps with nervous system; bones and heart support; B12 (and many other B Vitamins) needed for great energy and essential for brain, stress support and nerve function; Probiotics for inspiring better digestion; and Ubiquinol (CO Q10) which is very important for cellular protection as well as heart and gum / teeth heath.
Q: Do you suggest the use of essential oils vs. perfumes and air fresheners and if so, why and for use in what ways?
DS: Oh my gosh, yes! I feel strongly about avoiding the perfumes, body care and household products that are loaded with chemicals and heavy metals. I have done 1000’s of heavy metal testing through hair analysis over the past years and have learned that we can live a much healthier life if we avoid toxic substances as much as possible, and that it really does matter! I have personally witnessed many people get better from many health challenges by detoxing heavy metals and avoiding a toxic body burden.
Essential Oils work well by offering a positive impact on our brains and our body. When essential oils are inhaled through the nose, there are tiny nerves that inspire an immediate signal to the brain and go directly to work on the systems that support our minds and bodies. When essential oils are added to carrier oils, like jojoba, and applied to the skin, their healing properties are absorbed into the bloodstream by our pores. Once inside the bloodstream, they disperse to specific organs and systems to do their healing work.
Essential oils are much more than perfumes or air freshener – they are actual healing therapy for our minds and bodies. These unique oils alter our physical, mental and emotional well-being by triggering and strengthening our bodies’ own natural processes.
Q: Are there particular nutritional supplements or products you recommend for keeping over 50 skin supple?
DS: I am very passionate about inspiring glowing, vibrant, healthy skin from the inside! First, I strongly suggest to test, through a special blood test, to see what important skin supportive nutrients may be deficient. I also recommend a hair analysis to test for heavy metals, and then offer detox supports as necessary.
Generally, I suggest botanical liver supports, such as: organic dandelion root, burdock and milk thistle, as well as the Essential Fatty Acids Omega 3 and Omega 7. The great moisturizer Hyaluronic acid is crucial to keeping skin hydrated and youthful.
When it comes to aging gracefully, natural anti-aging skin care topical products are important! Using organic, natural ingredients that are as close to their original state as possible offers “the wisdom of nature” and a much better response.
Q: What is your opinion on women adding matcha to our diets at midlife?
DS: I have suggested it to many people as a coffee alternative for many years now, but if someone is sensitive to caffeine (with symptoms such as restlessness, sleeping problems, or heart palpitations), I do recommend avoiding matcha, which does contain caffeine. Alkalizing, antioxidant-rich, Theanine-rich, organic matcha may be a good choice instead of coffee for many women at midlife who are challenged with GERD or other inflammatory, acidic issues.
Q: What is your general advice about the choices women can make regarding their best health over 50?
DS: I have a workshop called: “Wise Woman’s Holistic Tune Up”. In the workshop I express that there are only five choices you have when it comes to taking care of yourself: 1. You can do nothing and pretend a health challenge doesn’t exist. 2. You can choose pharmaceuticals, surgery and allopathic medical advice. 3. You can decide to follow the holistic, natural and nutritional path. 4. You can pray. 5. You can integrate or do a combo of these choices. Those are your five choices. It’s always good to know that you have choices!
Q: Any nutritional or lifestyle advice for the over fifty men in our lives?
DS: Men over 50 need to really look at their diet and diet lifestyle habits. I have found that most men choose to drink at least two cups of coffee a day, and at least one glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage daily in the evening. This may be causing some nutrient deficiencies, adrenal stress, inflammation (ACID!) and liver stress. I usually suggest avoiding the acidic foods / drinks and embracing a more anti-inflammatory diet – incorporating more enzyme-rich, alkaline plant based foods with more fiber, and a gentle exercise program.
Thank you to Dr. Dani for sharing your knowledge and experience.
Self-care needs to become routine if we want to live our best life and have our best year ever! Stay tuned for Part II of the Women’s Health Over 50: A Holistic Approach interview with Dr. Dani in a post coming in the next week or two!
Cheers to finding time for self-care and to rocking 2019!
*Disclaimer. This information is general and not a prescription. Understanding that everyone’s needs are unique, the best way to make the right choices regarding your individual health and wellness is by working directly with a holistic practitioner or your health care provider to learn what’s best for you.
Dani Segal, PhD (Certified Holistic Nutrition Educator/Counselor) HealthWorks and Healthy Thymes Market advocate a holistic approach to natural health & well-being. The body’s ability & power to heal depends upon the totality of diet, nutrition, lifestyle & environmental factors. No claims for the cure of any disease is intended, or implied. Always consult your health care practitioner when combating disease states. For more information about Dr. Dani, please visit her website at www.beforeyoutakeanotherbite.com
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