With fall approaching, we can can expect cooler temperatures and a potential increase in viral threats. It's vital to boost the army within.

Boost Your Internal Army

With the approach of fall, we can look forward to cooler temperatures, the holidays, and sadly, a potential increase in viral threats, such as flu and it’s cousin, Covid-19. I don’t address this to depress you, but rather to encourage you to take steps to prepare yourself.

I’m not encouraging you to seek out a vaccine either. Rather, I am encouraging you to focus on strengthening your inner army – your immune system. It has far more influendce on your overall health than you likely realize. You have the power to strengthen it with your daily choices, and I’d like to outline the primary areas for you. Read more

Are You Waking Refreshed or Groggy?

What changes have you noticed about your health in these past months of sheltering in? Many are finding themselves more relaxed about it as time passes. And how about your sleep – are you waking refreshed or groggy? Do you fight to make yourself get out of bed in the morning?

Cortisol and melatonin are key players in our sleep patterns. Cortisol rises to wake you and its levels are changing throughout the day. Your cortisol levels normally peak in late morning and then falling through the rest of the day. As cortisol falls in the evening, melatonin rises to prepare your body for sleep. Read more

Arm Yourself Against Illness

‘Tis the season – the flu season is being heralded all around us. Are you prepared? And how can you arm yourself against illness, be it flu or cold or other form?

Though there’s no guaranteed way to avoid getting sick, supporting your immune system is what I consider the best way (even ahead of vaccines). Read more

Circadian Rhythm in Humans

Circadian Rhythm in Humans

Did you celebrate on Saturday when the time change gave you an extra hour of sleep? I hope you actually slept rather than using that time to work, play, or do anything else.

I’ve written often about the value of sleep for our wellness. Losing (or gaining) an hour of sleep can happen more than in the fall or the spring. It can happen when your schedule gets overwhelmed, or you work shifts. It’s the circadian rhythm everyone talks about.

Science and Your Sleep Rhythm

Science is constantly learning more about the body, and more recently has discovered that each of our cells also has its own clock. Never saw that in your high school biology text, did you?

To optimize your health, it is important to pay attention to and honor our built-in patterns of waking, sleeping and eating, commonly referred to as our circadian rhythm. This rhythm affects the core function of your body as it rises and falls at certain times of the day. For example, growth hormone production usually rises at night while you are sleeping. If your stomach is not full of food at that time, the growth hormone will help to repair your stomach lining.

Circadian Rhythm Tips

To leverage these daily rhythms, we just have to do a few things — sleep at the right time, eat at the right time, and get a little bright light during daytime. Let’s look at these areas more closely.

Sleeping less than 6 hours a night limits your body’s ability to heal and restore after the day’s demands. Studies have also shown that this shortened sleep dramatically increases the risk of insulin resistance, which is at the core of many chronic diseases. Shift workers, who are often deprived of regular sleep, are more likely to develop insulin resistance, leading to diabetes and more.

Effective sleep is influenced by your body’s production of melatonin, which is heavily controlled by light exposure. In the days of candles and lanterns, lights used at night did not interfere with melatonin. Today’s electronics, LED and fluorescent lighting emits a blue light that does. Solution? You can either change your light sources in areas that you frequent in the evening, or you can wear blue-filtering eyeglasses at night.

Circadian Rhythm and Eating

Circadian rhythm in humans is also impacted by your mealtimes. Just like many cleanout functions occur in your brain during deep sleep, our other organs need downtime. Your digestive system has a Migrating Motor Complex that acts something like a street sweeper, cleaning through your intestinal tract when you give it time between meals and don’t snack frequently. If you have constipation, this MMC doesn’t function; and if you eat every couple of hours, it also doesn’t engage.

In time-restricted feeding trials, it has been discovered that mice whose feeding are restricted to a window of 8-12 hours are protected from obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, systemic inflammation and a host of other diseases. In order for your digestive system to benefit from circadian rhythm, fast for at least 12 hours a day. This could be comprised of fasting for 3 hours before bedtime, 8 hours of sleep, and fasting an hour when you wake to allow your melatonin to level off.

How Can I Help You?

How can you keep rhythm with your circadian rhythm? Just like you would dance – one step at a time. You won’t change things suddenly, but small changes, step by step, can restore your rhythm and help you flow into wellness. Let’s chat and see how we can help you feel better!

Kelly Lutman Pursue Wellness

5 Ways to Ditch the Brain Fog

Ever have those days where you can’t seem to think straight? It can feel like your brain is actually foggy, and you can’t get to your thoughts. Fatigue often accompanies brain fog — including feeling easily irritated, forgetting things or having trouble learning new things, feeling unmotivated, anxious, lacking concentration and even insomnia. Frustrating, and the good news is you can do a lot to clear the fog in your head.

Here are a few tweaks you can start implementing: Read more

Arm Yourself to Fight Illness!

We all know someone who has been sick in the past month – perhaps you, a family member, or a friend. The media is touting this as an especially bad flu season. What should you do to protect yourself?

Despite all the encouragement to get the flu shot, I do not recommend that as your primary strategy. The flu shot can actually hinder your immune system, as it comes with a nasty dose of mercury that is dangerous to your body. Read more

Simple Truths for Wellness

Keep It SimpleAs January comes to a close, how would you evaluate this first month of 2017? Were you, like so many others, working to improve your health by losing weight and changing your food habits? How is that going? Don’t beat yourself up. Let’s regroup and simplify.

I have written frequently about food choices and I’m not going to rehash that subject here. What I do want to emphasize is what I call eating hygiene – as simple as HOW you eat. Read more

Ditch Resolutions and Diets!

brand new endingThe first days of a new year! You have a clean page on the calendar and 12 months ahead of you. Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Here we are five days into 2016 … are you still on track with them?

New Year’s resolutions seem to carry a connotation of short-term failure with them. I often hear people joking about the resolution that lasted mere days – or hours. Why is that? I have a few theories: Read more

Five Ways That Gratitude Nourishes Life

GratefulThe Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching and thoughts are turning to how many will gather, what to include in the menu and counting our blessings. I would like to suggest, however, that you not wait for a holiday to practice gratitude, but begin to cultivate it as a daily practice.

Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost any money and it doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are enormous! Read more