Healthy Hair – Naturally

Washing your hair with unfiltered tap water can not only make your hair hard to manage, but it can cause big damage to it as well. Additives in the water can adversely affect the health of your hair even by preventing further growth while leaving you with dull, flat hair.

Long, beautiful locks were much more common before cities began to put chemicals in the water. Beginning in the early 1900s, cities started permanently adding chlorine and various other chemicals to the public water supply to disinfect and “purify” the water in use. Regular exposure to chlorinated water can cause significant damage to hair by stripping hair of oil. The oil in hair is what protects it from over drying and in turn prevents cracking and splitting easily. With the right approach, healthy hair can once again be possible.

Identifying what kind of hair is most at risk for chlorine related hair damage can help you figure out what home remedy is best to add the healthy glow back into your hair.

· Color and chemically treated hair, dry hair, fine hair, and previously damaged hair face the largest risks for chlorine damage. People with this type of hair definitely use a filter to remove chlorine, should not be wash their hair often, and should eat plenty of protein rich foods and vitamins.

· For those with oily hair, unfiltered water strips your scalp on a daily basis of natural oils. This leaves your body thinking it needs to make up for the oils lost and it does so by producing more oils to protect the scalp and hair, leaving you with over oily hair.

· Long hair is particularly at risk for hair damage, as the effects of unfiltered water will leave hair vulnerable to split ends. Instead, using natural oils in your hair will help keep hair healthy and long.

· Curly hair is difficult to manage and keep healthy even without the chemicals in water. It should not be shampooed on a daily basis to prevent too many minerals from situating themselves into the dense hair fibers.

Below is a list of healthy habits to get glowing, perfect hair:

1.  Massage your scalp: Massaging your scalp will increase your blood circulation levels going to your hair follicles and will help your hair grow faster and smoother. Try the Aquasana Shower Filter with Massaging Wand to get the best results.

2.  Filter your water: Filtering water with the Aquasana Shower Filter will take the chlorine, chloramines, and hardness that contributes to the stripping of oils out of your water while leaving in the healthy minerals that help your hair grow strong. The water will also help your shampoos and conditioners work better on your hair, as the products will also be stripped of their abilities when paired with the harsh chemicals in tap water.

3. Eat healthy: Eating the right amount of proteins, minerals, vitamins, and nutrients to keep your hair strong are vital to begin taking care of your hair. For example, hair is mostly composed of protein, making it an important factor in how fast and long your hair grows.

4.  Use natural remedies: Using natural remedies over store bought products to treat your hair will leave your scalp and hair thanking you. Just as eating healthy can provide the right nutrients for your hair, homemade cleansers can help boost hair growth. Try the remedies below for a refreshing new cleanser that won’t dry out your scalp and will jumpstart your road to beautiful hair.

·  For dry scalp: Eggs are high in protein and they provide vibrancy to dried out hair. In a large bowl, mix two egg yolks with 1/8-cup water and two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil. Beat until it is well mixed. Apply the mixture to damp hair after a shampoo and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and let dry naturally.

·  For oily scalp: Lemons are high in vitamins and minerals that keep excessive oils away. Squeeze one lemon for it’s juice and dilute it with one cup of warm water. After mixing it, apply to your scalp and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and an all-natural shampoo. Let dry naturally.

Here’s to a beautiful you!

 

Drink Your Way to a Healthier You!

If you’re serious about dropping a few pounds and getting in shape, make sure water is part of your overall plan.  Drinking enough water to stay hydrated can have a huge impact on your body’s ability to burn fat and calories.  It is estimated 75% of all Americans are chronically dehydrated and 37%  have such a weak thirst mechanism, thirst is often mistaken for hunger.  Drinking enough water will fuel your body’s fat-burning process and help you stay energized to burn calories.

Everyone needs a different amount of water depending on weight, activity, environmental temperature, and type of diet. In a study by the Institute of Medical Technology, it is recommended that we consume as much as one gallon of water a day to stay adequately hydrated.

Drinking water when aiming to lose weight will enable you to control your calorie intake, decrease fatigue, prevent cramping, regulate your body temperature, and carry oxygen to your cells. Water will not only aid in weight loss but also has a wide range of benefits for your body. Drinking it at the correct time maximizes its effectiveness on the body by lowering blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, increasing brainpower, and protecting your heart.

Here are a few more reasons to make water intake a priority for a healthier you:

 Water Weight

The weight you first lose while on a diet is mostly due to the loss of water. The belief that water weight causes bloating is a myth. Drinking water on a regular basis will keep your body from retaining it.  Bloating occurs when your body feels it needs to compensate dehydration. The more water you drink, the less bloating will occur.

A Healthy Diet

Drinking water will help reduce cravings for high calorie foods. A healthy diet of non-caloric beverages and water-based foods high in nutrients will make you feel full sooner and leave you feeling satisfied eating less. Water based foods also have a higher volume that requires us to chew more and our body to absorb slowly. This leaves us feeling full both physically and mentally satisfied. However, a healthy diet must include a proper amount fiber and nutrients. Without them, our body will begin to store fat in an effort to conserve energy. Water is essential to keep our body from storing all of this and causing constipation. Foods that are rich in water include fruits, veggies and beans.

Fatigue & Metabolism

Without water, your blood volume levels will be reduced, causing a reduction in the amount of oxygen that reaches your cells and muscles. This causes fatigue. Your bodily functions and metabolism will slow down to conserve energy in order to keep your organs working properly. In order to keep your organs working efficiently, an adequate amount of water is needed during exercise.

Toxins in the Body

When you burn calories, your body releases toxins and the water you drink aids flushing them out of your system. While doing so, water will aid in keeping your joints lubricated and your eyes hydrated. This in turn will help prevent injury both during exercise and during daily activities.

Muscle Tone

Muscle tone needs water because it helps lubricate joints and allows your muscles to contract. Without water, exercising can cause muscle soreness and stiff joints. It is recommended that people drink at least 17 ounces of water 2 hours before exercising or taking on a high-energy task. You should also drink water at regular intervals to make up for water used by your body during hard work and exercise.

 

Now is a good time to have a glass of water.

TOP TEN WORST CONTAMINANTS FOUND IN TAP WATER

A three-year investigation by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) of the country’s drinking water found that water flowing to about 85 percent of the population contains 316 contaminants – over 60 percent of these have no safety standards and are not regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Safe Drinking Water Act is undeniably outdated, as not a single contaminant has been added to its list of regulated chemicals since the year 2000. Standards for judging whether or not a chemical is harmful at certain levels have not been updated since 1974.

“Filtering your tap water is the first step to protecting your family from toxins on a daily basis, whether it’s for drinking, showering or cooking,” said Amy Myers, MD, an Austin-based physician specializing in functional medicine. “Government regulations focus on protecting us from the big health risks like waterborne bacterial diseases. The long-term health effects of chronic exposures to trace elements of contaminants in our drinking water are something we all need to take personal responsibility for.”

 Some of the most concerning contaminants lurking in your tap water can include:

 Lead

Lead is a toxic metal that can cause damage to health even at low doses. Corrosion of household plumbing systems and erosion of natural deposits are major sources of lead pollution in public drinking water. The amount of lead found in the water varies depending on how long the water is exposed to the pipes, the amount of corrosion on the pipes, the water’s acidity and the temperature of the water.  Lead in drinking water can cause a variety of adverse health effects.

 Chlorine

Chlorine is a powerful oxidant added to the water by several municipal water systems to control microbes. Chlorine can be absorbed through physical consumption as well as through your skin while bathing. Chlorine can severely dry skin and hair and cause irritating effects to your eyes and nose.

Chloramines

Chloramines are formed when ammonia is added to water that contains free chlorine. Chloramines are typically added as secondary disinfectant.  Chlorine and chloramine, when combined with naturally occurring materials in water, form disinfectant byproducts (DBP’s) which have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory testing.

 Mercury

Mercury is a liquid metal that can be found in various natural deposits. Erosion of natural deposits, discharge from refineries & factories, landfill runoff and cropland runoff are just a few of the ways that mercury can get into public drinking water. Being exposed to high levels of mercury over time can cause kidney damage.

 VOCs

Volatile Organic Compounds include a variety of chemicals emitted as gases.  Thousands of products contain VOC’s so it’s no surprise some of these elements end up in our drinking water. When water is heated and vaporized, your body can absorb these contaminants.

Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals are synthetic chemicals that are found in prescription, therapeutic and veterinary medication. They commonly make it into the water stream from poorly controlled manufacturing facilities and improper disposal.

Herbicides

Herbicides enter the drinking water system by accumulation in public soil and water sources.  Most commonly, they enter the water system from rainfall and irrigation which wash herbicides off farmlands and into lakes and rivers. Atrazine, a herbicide commonly used on golf courses, can interfere with the bodies hormonal activity and reproductive organs.

 Pesticides

Pesticides travel through sewers that run from drains within the home, carrying all wastewater to treatment plants where they remain untreated throughout the detoxifying process.  There are hundreds of different compounds with few tests and studies on how these contaminants may impact our health.

 Cysts

Cysts are a microbial parasite that can be found in lakes and rivers and can enter the water through sewage, leaking septic tanks and runoff from feedlots.  Many cysts are resistant to the water disinfection process making cysts a health risk in tap water.

MTBE

Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether is used in gasoline throughout the country to reduce carbon monoxide and ozone levels from auto emissions. MTBE can leak into water through seepage of underground storage tanks, pipelines, spills, and discharge from water engines into lakes and rivers.

The safest way to ensure that these toxins do not make it into your body is to have your water tested to determine which contaminants your tap water may contain.  Once you have identified the contaminants present, you can select a water filtration solution that is best for you.

Aquasana drinking water filters remove 96% of chlorine and chloramine and 58 additional contaminants including those listed in this post.

Reverse Osmosis vs. Selective Filtration – What’s the Difference?

As consumer awareness of contaminated tap water increases, many are looking for water filtration solutions. With many to choose from, it is important to understand the benefits and limitations of the different types of water filtration solutions available.

Here at Aquasana, we are often asked about the difference between reverse osmosis purification systems and selective filtration systems. While both are effective at removing contaminants, the filtration processes are indeed different and there are things you need to know about making an informed decision before your final purchase.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a process of separation that uses water pressure to force the source water through a semi-pervious membrane that retains the solid contaminants on one side while allowing water to pass on to the other side. This membrane is effective at removing anything that is bigger than a water molecule. This process takes place through ion exclusion, where a concentration of ions emerges from a barrier at the membrane to allow water molecules to pass through without letting the contaminants do so. A typical reverse osmosis system will provide approximately 10% purified water, leaving the other 90% as wastewater. Because of this, reverse osmosis systems require a drain. In practical terms, this means it takes 10 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of filtered water.  The remaining 9 gallons is wastewater.

The reverse osmosis process removes fluoride, sodium, sulfate, nitrate, iron, zinc, mercury, lead, arsenic, chloride, and cyanide, along with a few other water contaminants. Because RO systems are effective at removing solids from water, they also demineralize the treated water. RO systems remove healthy minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Without these minerals present, the water can become acidic. Some reverse osmosis systems can be equipped with a re-mineralization system to add back in healthy minerals and balance pH.

Selective Filtration

Many filters use carbon filtration technology to retain contaminants inside the carbon substrate preventing them from flowing through for consumption. Through the process of absorption, contaminants collect on a large surface area where molecules exert force for other molecules to attract to. The longer the water stays in contact with the carbon, the more contaminants can be absorbed from the water.

 Aquasana’s Claryum selective filtration technology uses 4 different filtration technologies to tackle contaminants in unfiltered water.  Activated carbon, catalytic carbon, ion exchange and 0.5 micron mechanical filtration technologies combine to form Aquasana’s Claryum Selective Filtration. The activated carbon reduces organic chemicals while the catalytic carbon targets chlorine and chloramines specifically. The ion exchange process filters heavy metals like lead and mercury and the 0.5 micron mechanical filter captures asbestos and chlorine resistant cysts like cryptosporidium and giardia, making the water safe to drink.

 Aquasana selective filtration is effective at removing over 96% of chlorine and chloramines, and over 99% of lead and mercury.  Additional contaminants the system is tested and certified to reduce include: herbicides, pesticides, cysts, asbestos, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), pharmaceuticals, and a long list of additional water contaminants from the water while leaving in beneficial minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These filters also minimize water waste on the environment.

NSF Standards  

Before making a purchase, it is important to know the health benefits of any drinking water system. It should pass NSF/ANSI standards including NSF #42 for aesthetic effects and NSF #53 for health effects.  NSF standard 42 establishes a minimum requirement for the point-of-use systems to reduce aesthetic contaminants such as chlorine, chlorine taste, odor, and particulates that may be present in drinking water. NSF standard 53 sets the parameters for POU systems designed to remove health-related contaminants such as lead, mercury, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, volatile organic chemicals, methyl tertiary-butyl ether, and other harmful contaminants from drinking water. Note that the NSF 53 certification does not mean that all of these contaminants are tested – manufacturers can choose any of them to test to get this certification, so be sure the list includes VOCs, lead, mercury and any other elements you want to ensure your filter tackles.

System Pros vs. Cons

Pros

Cons

Reverse Osmosis

Fluoride reduction

Arsenic reduction

Sediment reduction

Wastewater

Eliminates minerals

Unstable pH

Drainage system required

Results in acidic water

Oxidation reduction

No VOC reduction

Taste

Claryum Selective Filtration

Chorine & chloramine reduction

50+ other contaminants removed

Healthy minerals

Balanced pH

Low maintenance

Taste

No fluoride reduction

No nitrate reduction

What’s in Your Water? Three Easy Ways to Find Out

Whether you use city water or rely on water from a private well, it’s smart to know what’s actually in your water.  Clean, healthy water is one of the most important things you can do to maintain healthy living.

Most people believe the tap water they receive at home is safe to drink.  But this really depends on what one deems as “safe”.  According to a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), over 316 contaminants have been found in the nation’s drinking water.  Over 60% of these contaminants have no standards and are not regulated.

Over time, the increased use of water disinfectants, pesticides, herbicides and ongoing environmental pollution all contribute to the contamination of our drinking water.  If you drink tap water without filtration, it is likely that you’re consuming chemicals and contaminants including chlorine, chloramines, led, mercury, pesticides, herbicides and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s)—a chemical cocktail of sorts.

Fortunately there are steps you can take to become informed on the quality of water coming into your home so you can make informed choices on the action to take, including filtering your water.

 

Water Quality Report:

The first step is to review your local water report.  Each year you should receive a water quality report typically called a Consumer Confidence Report or Water Quality Report before July 1st. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires all drinking water suppliers to provide this report annually.  This report provides water quality statistics on regulated water contaminants.  This report will tell you where your water comes from and contaminants that may be present in your water, including which chemicals are used for water disinfection.

You can also access your water quality information online.  The EWG maintains a national drinking water database and the EPA maintains a directory of water quality reports.  In addition, most local water suppliers also have this information readily available on their website.

 

Home Water Tests:

Water can become contaminated as it passes through the distribution channel and even as it passes through the pipes in your home.  A home water test will give you a general indication of certain contaminants present in the water from your tap.  Home water tests are available at many home supply stores and online.  Depending on the home test kit, you can test for a variety of contaminants including E.coli, lead, pesticides, nitrates/nitrites, chlorine, hardness and pH.  Even though these tests can be less than 100% accurate, it is a fast and easy way to identify the contaminants present in your water.

 

Independent Lab Test:

Submitting water samples to an independent testing lab is by far the most accurate way to determine the quality of your water.  Although a bit more expensive (most start at around $100), lab tests are quite extensive and provide accurate readings when the lab instructions are followed exactly.

At Aquasana, we use National Testing Labs to test our customer’s water.  The results from these tests are used to customize water filtration solutions to meet the exact needs of our customers.  The price of the lab test can be used toward a water filtration solution making it a smart choice for those who are ready to take actions to improve the quality of their water.

 

Important Note about Well Water:

If you receive water from a well, it is important that you have your water tested at least once a year.  Most well water is not regulated or monitored for quality and it is up the homeowner to ensure the water is safe to use.  Well water can be susceptible to bacteria, iron, hardness and a host of other environmental contaminants.  Each of these problems can be easily solved with the proper filtration, softening and anti-bacterial solutions in place.

 

If you have questions about testing your water, let us know and we’ll connect you with a water specialist on our team!

Beat the New Year’s Curse

New Year, New You. The slogan you’ve heard or seen at least twice a day since January first. No matter how many times you’ve heard it, the New Year truly is the perfect opportunity to get a fresh start or improve on any habits you’re already doing. A common resolution is to live a healthier lifestyle and we’re behind that 100 percent. If you’d like to make it longer than the first full week of January, we’ve got some tips to help you along the way.

Blog post photo Jan

Start Small

When it comes to exercising, try starting with a goal of three times a week. If you’re already going three times a week, try five. The goal is to ease into the routine so to not make the habit a dreaded one, but something you look forward to accomplishing each week. For healthier eating, incorporate one vegetable or fruit in every meal. Soon, it will become a habit and you can strive for a step up by trying a Meatless Monday.

Stay Hydrated

Your water intake is one of the most important aspects of any weight loss plan. Increasing water intake naturally speeds up metabolism and allows the body to better assimilate nutrients from the foods and nutritional supplements we consume. The quality of water you consume is equally as important. If you’re consuming water with chemicals like chlorine, chloramine, lead or other pollutants, much of the liver’s energy is spend on filtering contaminants instead of processing fat into energy. Remove the chemicals from your drinking water to ensure you are fueling your weight loss efforts with the healthiest water for optimal hydration and fat burning. Make water your primary beverage and try to consume two glasses of water before each meal.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

We’re all human. Sometimes we will slip up and miss a day or indulge on a carb-filled meal, but if you beat yourself up on those occasions, it is likely to deter you from your change all together. Give yourself a mini reward once in a while, it will help curb the need to want to “cheat” on your diet or exercise plan. If it helps to see your progress, try Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret.

Team Up

It is easier to stay on track when you have a support group. Making and sticking to a resolution can be daunting, but positive affirmations from friends, co-workers and loved ones definitely boosts morale. At Aquasana, we’ve joined together for a 90 day weight-loss challenge encouraging each other to eat healthier, exercise and drop body fat. A weekly weigh in marks progress and gives a little nudge for those who need it. In the end, our main focus is to become a healthier team and spread encouragement to anyone who seeks it.

Best of luck!

10 Things to Avoid for a Toxin-Free Home

By: Amy Myers, MD, founder and medical director of Austin UltraHealth

Toxins are all around us. For optimal health, it’s important to reduce our exposure to chemicals and toxins. Here are 10 tips to help you keep your home clean and green.

1. Conventional flooring

Conventional carpet is made from synthetic, petroleum-based fibers that can emit up to 120 hazardous chemicals linked to asthma, allergies, neurological problems and cancer. Many of the chemicals that are mainly found in the rubber padding and adhesive glues can take years to off-gas. Instead, use cotton or wool rugs or recycled carpet tiles, which do not require adhesive glues. Also consider stained concrete and renewable wood such as bamboo or cork.

2. VOC paints

Be sure to use no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints – many companies advertise that they are no-VOC, but that’s the base white paint only. Once color is added, it’s no longer no-VOC.

3. Filter your water

Our bodies are more than 70% water and designed to run primarily on water and minerals. The water we consume can have a significant impact on our short-and long-term health. A three-year investigation of the country’s drinking water by the Environmental Working Group found that water flowing to about 85% of the population contains 316 contaminants — over 60% of these have no safety standards and are not regulated by the EPA. For the healthiest and best-tasting water possible a filtration system is the best solution. I recommend Aquasana water filters and their new countertop Aquasana Powered Water Filtration System removes ten times the contaminants as the leading filter pitcher and each filter lasts eight times longer.

4. Upholstered Furniture

Upholstered furniture can be filled with polyurethane foams that are petroleum-based and full of chemicals and fire retardants. Look for a piece made with natural latex foam, wool cushions and organic fabrics. Choose solid wood over pressed particle board, which emits formaldehyde.

5. Commercial bedding

Choose organic, untreated sheets, blankets and pillows. Otherwise most commercial materials use fire retardants, pesticides, bleach and dyes.

6. Vinyl shower curtains

Vinyl shower curtains release more than 100 VOCs that can hang around in the air for more than a month. They also contain phthalates, which are hormone and endocrine disruptors. Opt for organic cotton and linen shower curtains instead.

7. Curtains and window treatments

Most curtains contain fire retardants, pesticides, bleach and dyes. Make sure to use organic, untreated cotton or linen, or opt for bamboo.

8. Conventional mattresses

Where you sleep and what you sleep on is one of the most important decisions you can make – I can’t stress this enough. We spend nearly half of our lives asleep, and most of our detox and body repair occurs while we sleep. Conventional mattresses contain harsh chemical and fire retardants, which can out-gas for years! Choose 100% natural latex mattresses and organic wool mattress toppers.

9. Cleaning solutions

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) listed household cleaners as one of the top ten pet poisons in 2009. Levels of brominated flame retardants in cats are up to 23 times higher than those found in human beings, and dogs have an average 2.4 times more perfluorinated chemicals in their bodies than people. These are chemicals that are already found in products you buy, such as fire-proof fabrics and stain-proof rugs – just imagine how susceptible your dog or cat is to the chemicals you readily spray and pour in your home. Look for non-toxic cleaning solutions.

10. Nasty air

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns, “Most people are aware that outdoor air pollution can damage their health but may not know that indoor air pollution can also have significant effects. EPA studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor air levels of many pollutants may be two to five times, and on occasion more than 100 times, higher than outdoor levels. These levels of indoor air pollutants are of particular concern because it is estimated that most people spend as much as 90 percent of their time indoors. In recent years, comparative risk studies performed by the EPA and its Science Advisory Board (SAB) have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health.” Get an HEPA air filter!

For more tips from Dr. Myers, visit www.AmyMyersMD.com.

About Dr. Amy Myers

Dr. Amy Myers is a medical doctor with extensive training in Functional Medicine, Integrative Medicine and Nutrition. Functional Medicine is a science-based approach to healing that focuses on a patient-centered, not disease-centered, model of care. Dr. Myers is also a contributing writer for Mind Body Green. Austin UltraHealth is located at 5656 Bee Caves Road, Suite D 203, Austin, Texas 78746.

 

Aquasana Launches a Ground-breaking Drinking Water System

As a leader in water filtration products, Aquasana recently launched the world’s first ever powered countertop pitcher to reduce 10 times the contaminants than the leading drip pitcher filter – fast. The Aquasana Powered Water Filtration System selectively retains beneficial minerals for health and taste through Claryum™ technology that uses pressure to quickly force unfiltered water through an ultra-dense, smart filter block.

The power pitcher is tested by NSF International to reduce 61 common water contaminants including lead, mercury, asbestos, herbicides and pesticides, as well as over 96% of chlorine and chloramines. While leading brands’ filters last about 40 gallons, our long-lasting cartridges are certified to last 320 gallons (about six months). Additionally, the eco-friendly system design reduces plastic waste by minimizing disposable plastic parts so you throw away the used carbon filter and nothing more.

The unique Aquasana Powered Water Filtration System allows you to use the filtration dock in two easy ways: with the eight-cup pitcher which fits in the refrigerator door or the 16-cup dispenser for on demand filtered water by the glass.  Filtering your water at home also greatly reduces the amount of plastic bottle waste going into our environment – filter at home and bottle your own.

Tips For Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle During the Holidays

Tis the season for family gatherings, late nights and plenty of calories ready to be consumed. While enjoying the festivities, keep these three simple tips in mind to keep your waist trim without feeling grim this season.

Late Hours Call for an Early Morning Calorie-Filled Mocha – Resist

There are various reasons why we stay up later during the holidays – parties, cramming two weeks of work into one, adjusting to the time change – which cause us to be groggy the following morning. The quick fix is to head to your nearest coffee shop and get the most caffeinated and sugar-filled drink for a pick-me-up, and not only does that affect your caloric intake, but if not timed right, it could affect your sleep. Instead, opt for a 12-ounce skim latte (100 calories compared to 400 calorie mocha latte) and try to eat lots of produce throughout the day for longer-lasting energy that simple sugars don’t provide.

To ensure you get the right amount of sleep, experts recommends turning off your computer and TV half an hour before you turn in will help to avoid from disrupting your body clock. Another tip is to try a small carb-based snack such as a banana before bed. Being more alert and energized will help you to stick with your fitness routines throughout the season.

When You Think You’re Hungry, Reach for a Glass of Water

With lack of quality sleep, your body may be suffering from dehydration which in turn often turns to calories for fuel. When you think you’re hungry, you may just be thirsty. Throughout the day, constant hydration will keep your stomach calm for longer periods. Proper hydration through water consumption is easy, and the benefits are large and wide.

Great-tasting, healthy water has never been easier. The Aquasana Powered Water Filtration System utilizes Claryum™ technology to selectively retain beneficial minerals and filter out contaminants such as lead, mercury, asbestos, giardia and over 96% of chlorine and chloramines, in just seconds. So when you hear your stomach grumble, reach for clean, filtered water for optimum hydration before the refrigerator handle and prepare to be amazed by the results.

As the Temperature Drops, Opt for Indoor Activities

The temperatures may be dropping, but that doesn’t mean your heart rate has to. With the sun down early and holiday stress weighing heavy, it is said that an average of one pound is gained during the holiday season.

Opt for indoor sports such as indoor soccer, basketball or racquetball to keep your heart pumping and your body temperature stable. Your local gym or YMCA is likely to have pick-up games for you to join in and make some new friends while you’re at it! Don’t forget to filter your water at home and bottle your own to keep yourself hydrated with the purest water available.

A Healthier Holiday Season!

Dr. Amy Myers, Founder and Medical Director of Austin UltraHealth, gives us nine tips for a healthier holiday season! Enjoy.

1. Avoid gluten.

  •  You can use arrowroot scratch or sweet rice flour to thicken your gravy instead of wheat flour. You can also make your own gluten-free stuffing or dinner rolls with almond meal or coconut flour.

2. Ditch the dairy.

  • Use full-fat coconut milk instead of cow’s milk for your cream gravies or green bean casserole. You can also baste your turkey in coconut oil instead of butter.

3. Avoid alcohol.

  •  Ditch the wine and beers. Filtered Aquasana water with a splash of lime juice makes for a perfect holiday drink without the pain of a hangover.

4. Support local farmers.

  • Plan ahead this holiday season and purchase your produce and meat from local farmer’s markets to practice farm-to-table habits and sustain local businesses.

5. Make your own holiday party classics.

  • If you’re hosting parties this year, consider making your own gluten-free and dairy-free treats, like gluten-free cookies or offer an array of exotic nuts and dried fruits.

6. Share your eating habits with friends.

  • If you aren’t hosting the party, then prepare a dish or two that you know will be safe for you to eat. This is a great opportunity to share your health journey with your friends!

7. Eat with purpose.

  • Don’t eat yourself into a coma this year! Arrive to holiday parties with a plan. Eat your veggies first, then meat, then starches, and finally if you have room, a bit of dessert.

8. Go Green.

  • If you’re roasting a turkey, save the bones and make your own turkey broth. If you have leftover vegetable pieces to discard, save them for a vegetable broth instead. You can freeze your broth and use it as a base for future soups.

9. Relax.

  • Focus your attention on relationships and connections with loved ones rather than food.

For more tips on functional medicine, visit http://www.dramymyers.com.

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