Now that we're all spending a lot more time indoors, keeping up a healthy eating and exercise regimen might prove challenging. Our days have been taken up by distance-schooling and constant work-from-home screen time. Personally, with both my daughter and my husband sharing our small office all day, it took a while to create a new routine that wouldn't drive us all crazy. While our daily walks with our two dogs help with the exercise and brightening our mood, we have definitely fallen prey to the "comfort foods" that many movie nights make so tempting.
Fortunately a recent chat with fellow Valley Chamber member, Dr. Stephanie Soalt lended some simple thoughts on how to stay healthy when we're trapped indoors.
Tips for Your Indoor Health
from Dr. Stephanie Soalt, Naturopathic Physician
Eat as clean as you can: At this point, visits to the grocery store have scaled way back and there's a tendency to stock up on packaged foods that perhaps last a little longer. Dr. Soalt encourages you to buy as much produce as you can to keep a good habit of eating fresh fruits and vegetables daily. Opt for organic produce as often as possible but when supply or budget might make this difficult, check the freezer section for organic vegetables or frozen fruit.
Keep it simple: Dr. Soalt encourages following a easy 85/15 rule to monitor your eating habits. This means roughly 85% of the time you're eating clean, while leaving the remaining 15% for any treats. Having a treat each day helps us feel less deprived or restricted and makes it easier to stay on track with our good habits.
Keep Hydrated: Many of us are now working from home and that means out of bed and straight to the computer screen. Work hours fly by, causing fatigue especially when you haven't been taking regular breaks or drinking enough water. Dig out that large drinking cup, fill it with water, keep it at your desk and refill it at least four times throughout the day.
Exercise and Connect: Whenever the sun is out, get out! Being outside as often as possible is great exercise and the sunshine will definitely improve your mood and help deter the cabin fever blues. When the weather isn't cooperating, find ways to conquer the social distance through video calls with friends, Face Time, Skype or just an old fashioned phone call - remember those?!?
Feel ALL your Feelings: There's no doubt about it. What we're all going through is tough mostly because everyday is changing and the future is so uncertain. But Dr. Soalt says we can't hold our frustrations or anxiety about it inside. Find healthy ways to let it out. Dance, scream, cry and then once it's released, relax to heal and regain your strength. From mediation to Netflix vegetation, find what works for you and allow yourself to enjoy it each day.
While sharing these tips, I got to know Dr. Soalt a little more and the work that she does everyday to improve the lives of children and families in her practice.
Dr. Soalt has been a naturopathic physican for over seven years but her background began with a love of art. She always wanted to use her creativity to help other people. While other little girls played princess, a young Stephanie had fantasies of being a medicine woman! Her tall stature, already 6 feet by age 16, lead her to sew her own clothes and initially pursue a degree in fashion. But when she saw how expensive high fashion clothes were, while the homeless couldn't even get basic needs, she couldn't see herself remaining in that world. She abandoned that field in favor of art therapy instead.
As an art therapist at St. Raphael's Hospital in New Haven she worked with children in the psychiatric department. Because of the role health insurance companies often play in limiting patient care, she became frustrated with the amount of time an HMO would cover before a child would being released. It was never enough! It was then she decided to pursue teaching art in the school system. Perhaps through daily interactions with children, she could help them more.
Overtime, Dr. Soalt began to see how a more complete mind/body approach would really help people the most. She became certified in massage therapy and pursued her degree as a naturopathic doctor. Having worked in the schools, she understands the requirements of the educational system, making her a great advocate for her patients.
Dr. Soalt uses an array of methods and techniques to provide her patients with a better quality of life. She's used Reiki with individuals who have difficulty controlling their anger and communicating clearly. She's watched as this technique calms them down so they can function better and talk through their issues easier. Through the uses of art therapy, play therapy, sand trays, and legos, Dr. Soalt treats children with ADHD and social anxiety. She's observed the near magic that takes place when a child can, not only begin to relax their mind, but have fun and actually be excited about returning for another session!
Dr. Soalt absolutely loves what she does and gets results through her tenacity and commitment to leaving "no stone un-turned". Through individualized and integrative tests she's able to discover imbalances within the the body. It's amazing how simple vitamin and mineral deficiencies or food sensitivities can affect every part of our body, especially the mind.
Recently, Dr. Soalt was treating a young patient who was autistic, non verbal and quite aggressive. Through her holistic analysis she found an overgrowth of bacteria within the patient's intestinal system. Once treated, the child's family and teachers noticed an huge difference. There were no more tantrums, an increased ability to focus and she began speaking in sentences! This is the magic of the gut/brain connection at work!
It's so rewarding to see this significant change. The young girl's parents reported they were be able to enjoy their "best Christmas ever!"
This is the goal Dr. Stephanie Soalt looks to achieve with all her patients: to increase the quality of life and bring peace to overwhelmed parents and family members.
Even during this time of closures and social distance, Dr. Soalt will offer free initial confidential consultations by the phone. Call 203.710.3937 to make an appointment.
For more information, visit: www.drstephaniesoalt.com