Foundations of Health
Below is a list a list that Dr. Hannah has developed for foundational health. These recommendations can be applied to everyone for optimizing health and preventing disease. If you have an acute or chronic health condition modifications of the below may be recommended. Consult your healthcare provider for an individualized plan.
- For health and well-being a plant based/Mediterranean diet is recommended. Aim to eat the rainbow daily and for a diverse microbiome consume around 30 different plant based foods per week (think nuts, seeds, and grains in addition to fruits and vegetables).
- When composing your meals/snacks, to make it balanced, aim to incorporate a protein, a carbohydrate and a fat. Examples of balanced snacks include: nut butter with apples, greek yogurt with berries, hummus with veggies or whole grain crackers, cheese and fruit, dates + nut butter.
- For meals, aim to compose your plate of 50% non-starchy vegetables, 25% starches (potatoes, rice, grains) and 25% protein and a small amount of fat.
- Proteins: Nuts/seeds, meats, beans, seafood, eggs, tofu/tempeh, dairy
- Starches: sweet potatoes, beets, squash, pumpkin, grains, quinoa, banana, white potato.
- Non-starchy vegetables: leafy greens, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, peas, eggplant.
- Fats: Nuts/seeds, avocado, oils, dairy, some meats/seafood
- In consuming fruits and vegetables, refer to the EWG's clean 15 and dirty dozen. Aim to eat high quality meats/seafood and dairy. Grass/fed organic is ideal if it is accessible and affordable to you.
- Consume probiotic rich foods 3-5 times per week. Examples of foods include: sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, keifer, tempeh, yogurt (make sure it says with live and active cultures), miso, salt brine pickles (not vinegar based).
- Eat fatty fish high in omega's 3+ times per week. Sardine, mackerel, anchovies, salmon, and herring have the highest levels of omega 3 fatty acids.
- Aim to eat intuitively and listen to your body's needs. Follow these guidelines about 80% of the time, leaving 3-4 "cheat" meals per week. Don't feel the need to become overly restrictive in your diet, as this can create issues too.
- Exercise 150 minutes weekly or about 30 minutes 5 days/week of light intensity exercise (walking, gardening, cleaning) or 75 minutes/weekly of moderate/vigorous intensity exercise (running, swimming, biking).
- Spiritual practice: devotions, prayer, meditation, mindfulness, gratitude. Practice for 10 minutes daily.
- Interconnectedness socialization: developing and maintaining close relationships with those around you. Deepening your relationships with family, friends and neighbors. Make time for socialization at least once per week.
- Social integration: feeling part of the community. Make small talk with those around us - in the grocery store, asking about the day of people in the waiting room. Interacting with those around us, rather than turning to our phones to fill the void.
- Sleep: at least 7 hours per night, but find your personal range. If you were to fall asleep without an alarm, when would you naturally wake up on a consistent basis? The total hours is how much sleep you need every night.
- Water: filter your water to remove the toxins. Ideally with reverse osmosis, but for those that is not accessible for, use a carbon filter (Brita, Pur pitcher or sink attachment). Drink your body weight, in half, in ounces per day. Example: 120 lbs/2 = 60 oz water per day.
- Magnesium: start at 300 mg per day, increase by 50-100mg/day until bowel tolerance (once you have loose stool, drop down to the highest tolerated dose).
- Vitamin D3: 5,000 IUs per day for a maintenance dose. May need lower levels if you spend a large amount of time in the sun during summer. Look for D3, not D2, as it is better absorbed. Take with your meals.
- B Complex*: for those with higher stress. Take a methylated form of B vitamin complex.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids/Fish Oil*: if you do not consume 3-4 servings of fatty fish per week, consider supplementing with 1.5 grams of fish oil per day. Take with meals.
- Probiotic*: if you do not consume probiotic rich food 4-5 times per week. Look for a broad range probiotic and switch your probiotic to different strains/brands every bottle. Take away from meals.
* These supplements are optional recommended based on other lifestyle factors.
Feel free to approach this plan in a step style approach. Start with changes that are easiest for you to incorporate into your life. Once adjusted, add in a new change, until you are incorporating all foundational health changes and living optimally.