As a doctor and wellness expert, people always ask what I eat, what I do to stay healthy, and what tricks I have to manage my busy schedule.
So here’s the scoop:
I’ve done a lot of experimentation (like, a lot) on myself to figure out what feels best for my body, agrees with my digestion, and give me the energy I need to stay active. I’ve accumulated a lot of personal experience with this experimentation, but it’s also allowed me to figure out what is best for ME. It’s important to note that what’s best for me, may not be best for you, and that’s okay.
Here’s an honest look into what my daily health routine is like.
What does your morning routine look like? Do you have any daily practices that you rely on to stay well?
My morning routine has evolved over the last few years! If you would have asked me 3 years ago, I would have said wake up, latte, open my email and get productive! Well turns out, that kind of lifestyle really burnt me out and put some serious stress on my adrenal glands.
Now, I usually try to wake up slowly, hearing my alarm and then gradually trying to wake my body up with some stretching – this takes me a total of about 10 minutes. I’ve found this really helps me not fly out of bed, and starting my day in fight or flight mode. I make a morning cup of coffee, and while it brews, get prepped for the day. After the coffee is brewed, I make myself a bullet proof coffee and sip on that while I finish getting ready. I take my morning supplements, and try to squeeze in 10 minutes of meditation before heading off to the office.
What supplements and vitamins do you take?
This is ever changing for me. As my body changes, my stress levels change, the seasons change (summer is my happy time) my protocol changes. I really try to stress this to my patients too – the vitamin regimen you are on today is not forever. Your needs will change over time, that’s just a fact of life.
Right now, I’m taking thyroid glandular to support healthy thyroid function, magnesium, adrenal support, and progesterone support. I’m working on using meditation and time-blocking to lower stress levels, too!
What do you typically make for lunch? What kind of food/meal plan are you on right now and why (grain-free, no dairy, etc.)?
The meal plan that works best for my body is intermittent fasting. This means I stop eating after dinner, and my first meal of the day is either a snack at around 10:30am or a full lunch at about noon or 1pm. I used to be religious about eating breakfast but found that I would get tired and brain-foggy when I did. After switching to intermittent fasting, I feel like I have more energy, my brain is sharp and ready to be productive! Especially on days that I see back-to-back patients, I like to focus on heavy snacks because I’m sitting a lot, and want to keep my blood sugar stable and my mind focused!
Some of my go-to snacks are hard boiled eggs, raw veggies & homemade dip, whole-fat cottage cheese, or some mixed nuts. Lunch for me is either a suped up salad (think lettuce with ALL the toppings!), leftovers from dinner, asian cauliflower rice stir-fry, or just a basic protein and veggie dish!
How do you work exercise into your daily or weekly routine?
Full disclosure: exercise for me has been a challenge. I seriously applaud all the entrepreneurs out there who work-out 5 days per week. Right now, I’m in manage stress and heal my adrenals mode so my exercise consists of taking Remy to the dog park and walking him, or stretching.
I was an unlimited member at a local fitness studio and would consistently bash myself for not ‘getting my money’s worth’ because I didn’t attend 6 days a week and that stressed me out even more. At the time, that sounded so silly that having a gym membership would stress me out (wasn’t exercise supposed to be stress relieving?) but I’ve just embraced the self-love and decided I’ll go back to group fitness when I get a better hold on my stress and work-life balance. It took a lot of positive self-talk to get to that place (because I’m a wellness doctor, and I tell people exercise is good for them – shouldn’t I be taking my own advice?) but now that I’m there, I’m much happier and better able to empathize with my patients who are feeling stressed out, tired, and run-down.
Do you have any recommendations for good Minneapolis restaurants that accommodate food preferences/dietary restrictions?
My husband and I don’t actually eat out that often, but I find that many places are starting to accommodate dietary restrictions! If you’re willing to get creative, you can usually make something work anywhere! I’ve met friends at places like Red Cow and they were super nice at accommodating our food preferences!
I’m a huge fan of Crisp and Green, but a good hearty salad with tons of toppings is totally my thing. Other great places I’ve been are Tao Natural Foods, Sift Gluten Free Bakery, and Birchwood Cafe!
What does your evening routine look like?
I try to leave the office at a decent time and make it home by the time Sam is home from work. I spend time watching him cook dinner (while I’m petting Remy, which is way better than cooking), chatting about our day, and then we usually sit down to watch some Netflix at about 7:30 (Right now we’re binging Supernatural.) At about 9:30, I get ready for bed (make up off, teeth brushed) and head to bed.
Do you have any bedtime rituals that help ensure the best sleep?
I try not to look at my phone after 9:30, and just lay in the darkness until I drift off to sleep. I’m a big believer in sleep hygiene If I’m still a little wound up from the day, I’ll put on my Headspace meditation for sleep and that will put me out within 5 minutes!