Whether I’m with a new patient or one that I’ve seen for a long time, I often find myself talking and re-sharing my favorite and most trusted wellness resources that I think everyone could benefit from experiencing. I truly enjoy sharing my thoughts on clean skin care, a new recipe, non-toxic cleaning supplies, a good book, helpful ways to meditate, ways to make your living spaces more conducive to health…you get the idea! I’ve listed a few here and hope to keep adding more as I find, read, and self test as many as I can.
Some of these are affiliate links and everything listed here is genuinely one of “my favorite things” and has helped me or my patients. I invite you to try them out as well and see how you feel. Please let me know if you have questions!
With 1,300 meditation teachers in one app it’s hard to go wrong. This app has it all…many types and lengths of guided meditation (some just 1 minute!), a timer if you just want to sit in silence, or a timer with multiple types of “white noise” to help quiet your mind. It seems like the app is updated regularly and there are no ads (YAY!). I like that it gives you a sense of community (via the app) in that you can see how many people are meditating with you worldwide or locally.
Wherever I am people always comment on this one! It is a free download from Google Play store (click HERE for Google Play store to download) and similar apps are available for Iphone. I call this my “check yourself” bell. Every time it chimes I stop what I’m doing (if I don’t stop, I try to acknowledge it mentally) for a couple seconds, close my eyes, and take a deep breath. I’ve used this for years and it helps keep me connected to the present moment. The timer is adjustable and mutable so it can chime as often as you’d like.
HeartMath – Inner Balance for iPhone, emWave for Android
These apps blend heart and science with an aim to transform your body’s response to stress. The programs help refocus your breathing to align your physical, mental and emotional body systems (or as they call it: coherence). It comes with a program to gather biofeedback which helps you achieve personal balance and avoid stress and anxiety related burnout in chaotic and changing situations.
I have battled insomnia for years and the emWave2 has definitely improved the quality and consistency of my sleep. The nice thing about this program is that you can track your data see if there are patterns that correlate with your stress or sleep. Understanding my heart rate variability (HRV) is important to me and my health challenges so I like that the emWave tracks that as well. I haven’t used the Inner Balance app only because it’s for iPhone users and I’m an android girl, but it offers a similar experience.
I just was introduced to this app and wow! It can be extremely helpful (and terrifying) when shopping because it makes it easy to identify potentially toxic ingredients in your cosmetics and personal care products. Environmental toxins are real and they are everywhere. Decreasing the amount of exposure we have on a daily basis can be so helpful in improving health. If you’re not reading your labels by now, please start.
Himalayan Salt Lamps
Did someone say Salt Lamps?! If you’ve been to my office you know why I am obsessed with these. If not, you can read my article about it HERE
I don’t know why I rejected using oils for so long (hello, ego!). These bio-active compounds pack a punch and are some of my MOST favorite ways to maintain mental, emotional, and physical balance. I recently started adding essential oils in my acupuncture treatments and patients LOVE it! If you don’t know what they are or why they’re awesome?! Read more about it HERE
Organic Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a miracle substance. It touts internal and external health benefits. It is a great source of healthy medium-chain triglycerides which are important in immunity, metabolism, and thyroid function. It’s an inexpensive base for a healthy skin care regimen and I use it every night on my face and hands as a moisturizer. It’s also serves as my go-to lip balm in the winter and also makes a great natural makeup remover. In regards to cooking, it’s a good alternative to olive oil when you need to use more heat because it has a higher smoke point. I use it for anything from eggs to stir-fry!
Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen – Recipes from the East for Health, Healing, and Long Life by Yuan Wang, Warren Sheir and Mika Ono
This book is pretty popular among Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners. It has over 150 healing recipes for common health ailments and tidbits about the Chinese Medicine perspective of food and words of wisdom. I love that this book uses a lot of herbs (garlic, ginger, etc) in the recipes and have often recommended many of these soups and teas to patients. The book includes a decent amount of Asian ingredients that can be found in Chicago in Chinatown or near Argyle street, or in the burbs at H-Mart.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The story of Santiago is poetic and universal. It’s about a young shepherd boy who longs to explore the world and finally summons the courage to follow his dream.
If you need inspiration to find out what your heart truly wants, this book is a beautiful tale of what wondrous experiences the world has to offer.
Wherever You Go There You Are – Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn
I love this book so much! It is a book that I can pick up again and again. My favorite time to pick up this book is before bed because each chapter is only a couple pages long. So depending on your level of tired you can read and contemplate as much or as little as you want. There are also short passages of poetry which I find relaxing. One chapter completely changed my perspective about scrubbing the stove where I don’t mind it so much anymore! This book is simply a pleasure.
Environmental Working Group
I’m a big label reader because I like to know what’s going into my body. Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a nonprofit with the aim of protecting our health and environment. I often reference their website and believe it is a great resource of information about the cleanest food, skincare, makeup, and even cleaning products. It’s easy to use – type in the product name and it lists information about the safety and/or hazard of the ingredients.
Free Yoga TV
I LOVE yoga. It’s my go-to type of exercise. But when I have a day where I don’t feel like leaving the house or are more tired, I may do some light yoga at home. I love this website because you can find different styles of yoga as well as choose from a pool of different instructors. It also has a TON of yoga videos so you can pick the length of practice from 10 – 90 minutes (which is great if you want to just do a short session). Of course, if you’re completely new to yoga you should visit a local studio first to familiarize yourself with the correct way to safely move in and out of poses.
Let me know if you have questions about any of these. More to come soon!