088 // Improve Your Health Today with These 5 Simple Foundations of Health

Health with Hashimoto’s is your free weekly podcast to discover true, simple, and sustainable tips to improve your energy and health.

Do you know what your foundations of health are? In this episode, you will get five simple solutions that will make a difference in your overall well-being: body, mind, spirit, diet, and environment. Join me and discover how simple routines can lead to lasting holistic health!

You will find this episode below in audio format and a written summary because I know not everyone is an audio learner. Some links may be affiliate links that will support me without increasing your price.

Each episode of Health with Hashimoto’s is for informational and educational purposes. Please discuss any questions or concerns with your trusted healthcare professional.

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Read the Transcript:

Welcome back to the Health with Hashimoto’s podcast. In every episode, I strive to provide simple and sustainable tips for better health. Today, I want to discuss the foundational aspects of health, a topic I touched on in the last episode regarding lessons learned from COVID. It’s time to delve into these foundations.

Empowering You to Take Control of Your Health

I am Esther, a registered nurse and holistic health educator. I’m passionate about empowering people to take control of their health. Whether I was working in a small medical center in Alaska, where nurses juggled multiple roles, or in emergency departments across the United States, I’ve always enjoyed helping individuals assert control over their well-being.

The Importance of Foundations

In the emergency department, saving lives was immensely rewarding. Yet, now, I find fulfillment in aiding individuals in non-emergent situations. I’m not instructing you on immediate life-saving measures or administering medications. Instead, I offer simple and sustainable strategies to enhance your overall health and hopefully extend both your lifespan and health span.

As one health scientist noted, “people are living too short and dying too long.” Isn’t that a powerful statement? We want to live healthy our whole lives. We don’t want to have a protracted, unhealthy end of life. And there are simple things you can do to improve your health. That’s the message I hope you take from this episode.

Your Health Foundation as a Venn Diagram Flower

The Whole You logo is a five petal flower, pink, purple, blue, green, and yellow
My first logo resembled a Venn diagram flower with five petals, I created it because, well, I’m a bit of a nerd and adore Venn diagrams. Your health consists of five key areas, represented by the petals: body, mind, spirit, diet, and environment.

I’ll provide one simple recommendation for each of these areas. You can decide whether to implement one or multiple suggestions. Overall, the goal is simplicity and sustainability. If you only have bandwidth for one change right now, that’s perfectly fine. If you feel capable of adopting two or three, go for it—just ensure they’re manageable in the long term.

Now, let’s dive into the foundations of health. These aren’t glamorous or marketable; they’re basic, day-to-day habits. Think sleeping well, staying hydrated, and staying active. These routines form the bedrock of good health. Just like a sturdy house needs a solid foundation, your health relies on these fundamentals. As the Jesus said,

a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

and so should you build your health on firm foundations.

Now, let’s explore each of these five areas in more detail.

A Venn diagram as a five petal flower, pink, purple, blue, green, and yellow intersecting like a flower. There is a purple butterfly in the center.

Foundation of Health: Body (Move)

Let’s begin by focusing on the body and how you can establish a foundation of health in this aspect of your well-being. The most significant step is to ensure you’re moving. Being sedentary has now been equated to the health risks associated with smoking in previous decades. Just as society recognized the dangers of smoking and worked towards cessation, we must now address the sneaky dangers of being sedentary.

So, get up and move. Whether you have a sedentary job or just find yourself sitting for extended periods, finding ways to incorporate more movement into your day is crucial. This doesn’t mean you need to do intense workouts multiple times a day. No! We’re working on simple and sustainable actions.

Consider simple strategies like setting an alarm to remind you to stretch or take a short walk every 25 minutes. (Pomodoro apps make this simple!) More than helping you physically, brief activity breaks  can enhance productivity by giving your brain a rest and improving circulation.

Perhaps you can schedule a walk during your lunch break or make post-dinner strolls part of your evening routine. Even incorporating short walks around your home or climbing stairs can make a significant difference. The key is to prioritize movement and reduce sedentary behavior.

Gentle movement throughout the day is essential for overall well-being. It is a simple thing you can do to create a stronger foundation of health.

Foundation of Health: Mind (Laugh)

Moving on to the second category of holistic health: your mind. If you’ve been following this podcast, you’re likely familiar with what I’m about to discuss—stress. Stress profoundly impacts your health. It affects your immune system, sleep quality, blood sugar levels, and potentially even cancer risk. Given its far-reaching consequences, it’s crucial to manage stress effectively.

We aim to minimize stress wherever possible, whether by eliminating stressors or reframing situations to reduce their impact. For instance, I recently noticed my son becoming excessively stressed over minor setbacks, fostering a victim mentality. Recognizing the need for a different approach, I intervened to help him develop healthier coping mechanisms.

Managing stress is a recurring theme on this podcast. You can find numerous episodes dedicated to this topic by searching for “stress” or revisiting earlier episodes like numbers seven and eight. Stress management remains a central focus, with regular discussions interspersed throughout the podcast series.

One of the simplest ways to bust your stress is to start laughing. Laughter automatically switches you from your stressed “fight or flight” mode to “rest and digest,” so find something to laugh at today. Share a funny gif, a meme, or a joke and start laughing.

Foundation of Health: Spirit (Pray or Hug)

Now, let’s explore the third dimension of holistic health: your spirit. Body, mind, spirit—they’re all interconnected. Enhanced spiritual health often translates to better physical and mental well-being.

For those who are religious, like myself, prayer serves as a cornerstone of spiritual practice. In fact, individuals who engage in prayer experience improved physical, mental, and spiritual health. If you’re not religious, consider spiritual health in terms of the dichotomy between love and fear. Living in fear can lead to spiritual distress, while embracing love fosters spiritual well-being.

Every cell in your body thrives in a state of love, not necessarily romantic love, but a profound sense of connection and compassion. Practicing love over fear can enhance cellular function, making it easier for your body to absorb nutrients and function optimally.

One simple yet powerful way to nurture your spiritual health is through a hug. Knowing that I’m not naturally a hugger, I asked my husband to help me with this. I asked him to give me a 60-second hug each day when my Hashimoto’s was trying to flare up. It was a simple thing to improve my health overall and also built connection between us. He, of course, said yes!

Whether it’s through prayer, hugs, or other meaningful practices, find a simple and sustainable way to enhance your spiritual health. Remember, these changes don’t just affect your spirit—they ripple through your physical, mental, dietary, and environmental realms.

Foundation of Health: Diet (Colors)

Let’s move to the diet aspect of your holistic health; this area can get very complicated quickly. However, let’s keep it simple. One straightforward approach to improving your diet is by focusing on the variety of colors on your plate. No, I’m not referring to Skittles or M&Ms, tempting as they may be.

Instead, aim to incorporate a spectrum of natural colors from fruits and vegetables into your meals. Think vibrant greens, deep purples, bright reds, and sunny yellows. These colorful foods are packed with essential nutrients that promote overall health.

Incorporating more colors into your diet can be as simple as making a conscious effort to choose a diverse array of produce each day. Consider it a “colorful plate challenge.” Within the Holistic Hashimoto’s course, you will get a “Chase the Rainbow Challenge,” including the health benefits of various colors and practical tips for incorporating them into your diet.

Holistic Hashimoto’s Course

If you’re ready to take action, consider enrolling in the course, which includes comprehensive modules tailored to addressing the root causes of Hashimoto’s. Starting with the free mini-course, Hashimoto’s Decoded, you’ll gain insight into why Hashimoto’s occurs and what steps you can take to manage it effectively.

Back to the diet discussion, filling your plate with colorful foods not only enhances your nutritional intake but also encourages better eating habits. As you prioritize colorful fruits and vegetables, you naturally crowd out less nutritious options. Plus, a plate bursting with colors is visually appealing and satisfying, making it easier to resist unhealthy temptations.

Strive to make colorful foods a consistent part of your diet. It’s a simple yet sustainable strategy that can yield significant health benefits in the long run.

Foundation of Health: Environment (Clean Water)

Environment is our next focus. We’ve covered body, mind, spirit, and diet. Now, let’s talk about one simple thing you can do: water. 

What’s the quality of your water like? Many people have chemicals in their water like fluoride or chlorine. Water is an area where most of us can improve. Maybe you just need to drink more water, even if it’s tap water. Alternatively, you might want to clean up your existing water source by changing the filter or maybe you’re considering investing in a water filtration system like reverse osmosis. These systems provide clean water, but remember to add minerals back in. Drinking clean water and ensuring mineral intake are crucial. 

Drinking enough water is a foundation of health—it’s simple and sustainable. Even if you forget one day, you can easily get back on track. Did you know that even mild dehydration can cause brain fog and mood problems? Water impacts everything—mind, body, spirit.

How Will You Strengthen Your Foundations of Health?

Here are five straightforward steps you can take today to enhance your well-being and lay the groundwork for a healthier future. 

  1. Prioritize movement for your body.
  2. Start laughing to reduce stress and uplift your mind. 
  3. Uplift your spirit by connecting with others through a heartfelt hug. 
  4. Incorporate a vibrant array of colors onto your plate. 
  5. Drink enough clean water each day. 

Thank you for being part of the Health with Hashimoto’s community and for joining me on this journey toward better health. Your support means the world to me!

Images used in this post Photo by Jeremy Thomas, and Deniz Altindas on Unsplash

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Photo of a rock cairn with the ocean in the background. Text reads: Improve Your Health Today with These 5 Simple Foundations of Health
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