Sponsored 18 June 2018
It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. Well, at least when it comes to navigating a healthy existence in the 21st Century. Despite all the convenience and accessibility associated with our inter-connected, digital world, our bodies and minds are under constant siege.
According to the UAE-based naturopathic doctor, who also serves as Elle Macpherson's personal nutritionist and the scientific formulator working with Australian ingestible wellness brand WelleCo, our world is filled with toxins. Avoiding them takes a bit of planning, plenty of intel and of course, arming yourself with the right menu.“For the average woman living in a concrete jungle of the twenty-first century, it's really tricky [to stay perfectly healthy all the time]," says Laubscher. “From the water we drink, the air we breathe, it's amazing the level environmental toxins we face everyday."
“Consumers are becoming more educated, they're like, "Okay, well, of course I want to look good, but if I'm feeling great, then that's going to kind of catapult me to a new level of wellness."
For Laubscher, who believes in a “nutrition in, toxin out" mentality when it comes to health and wellness, the secret is balance. She created WelleCo's super-charged blends (including the cult-favorite the Super Elixir Greens) of whole plants and nutrients to provide women with everything they need to thrive in the face of the constant- and many times secret- attacks on our bodies and minds. “I've made lots of people super healthy, so the body can then help heal itself from sickness," she says. “I look for the ingredients your body needs for optimum health, which is my ethos and how I looked at formulating the products."
The impetus for WelleCo was a personal one, continues Laubscher, adding that the product line of nutrition-packed ingestibles was initially created to address Macpherson's specific health needs.“She walked into my office and said 'I'm gaining weight, I'm craving sugar. I'm very moody," says Laubscher.
Laubscher soon discovered that the gorgeous entrepreneur and mom of two had surprisingly high acid levels. To counteract the negative effects, Laubscher began personally hand-making organic, whole-food supplements that Macpherson began taking daily. Three weeks later, Laubscher says Macpherson walked in the door looking and feeling fabulous with her skin glowing.
“Because I am a scientist, I love to formulate," says Laubscher, adding that WelleCo's Super Elixir Greens addresses all the common concerns of her patients, including Macpherson's: namely low energy, weight gain, hormones, hair skin and nail health, anti-aging, and digestion. “If you had a car, you wouldn't drive it fifty years and not have the engine serviced," she says. “We're way more complex than a Ferrari or a Formula One engine, and we need functional support."
“The body is a fantastic communicator. If we just stop and listen to how we feel and what it's asking for, it's pretty obvious if something is good for us or not."
In order to better understand the toxin attacks the average woman faces on a daily basis, we sat down and chatted with Laubscher, who is currently researching the connection between mind and body health and of course, formulating new nutrition-packed WelleCo products.
Here, 10 simple hacks for an immediately healthier life:
1: Skip Plastic
According to Laubscher, wrapping anything in plastic, especially when heat is involved, can release toxins into what you're eating. This includes cellophane wrap, water bottles that may be left in a car overnight or take-out containers holding warm food. “Plastic is horrible anyway, but once you heat it all the toxins come out," she says.
2: Toss The Microwave
Laubscher is adamant that there is no place for for a microwave in a modern woman's life. “Give away the microwave or just bin it," she says. “It's cancer in a box. Go for good old fashioned cooking."
3: Purify Your Water
Tap water in plastic is full of estrogen, says Laubscher. “In London one glass of water has been through someone seven times," she says, adding that old pipes in the US also deliver contaminated water. “Get a good water filtration system for your home," she says. Laubscher also recommends getting a shower head filter because when you heat chlorine [found in most tap water] you get outsets of gas [similar to formaldehyde]. “You're inhaling not only the toxin of the water but the off-gas," she says. “So unless you want to have a cold shower, get a shower filter to cleanse the water."
“And I always accept that the naughtier you are, the more you need."
4: Mental Health is Wealth
Key to physical wellbeing is having a clear, calm mind. According to Laubscher, there is scientific proof that by thinking about something stressful, your heart rate and blood pressure go up in tandem with adrenaline and cortisol being released. Why? “Your body is designed for fight or flight," explains Laubscher. “When we get stressed we have a physiological reaction to that stress, and your body doesn't know it's' not survival-based. Your body thinks 'theres a truck coming.'" Additionally, she says that by existing for extended periods of time in a state of heightened stress, one will experience adrenal fatigue, which suppresses your immune system. “Your body shuts down arteries and veins to minimal blood flow to protect itself from bleeding to death [in case of impending danger]," she says, adding that stress can harm reparative sleep cycles. Laubscher advises keeping notebook by the bed, where you list 'things I can change' and 'things I can't.' “The things you can change can become your to-do list, but if you marinate on the things you can't change, it's going to make you sick," she says. “Hand it over to the universe and get busy with what you can do."
“People are becoming a lot more educated as to how to literally eat their cake and have it too. They want to have a glass of wine on the weekend, and still feel amazing. There's a wave towards balance."
5: Unplug at Night
Much like your trusty cell phone, your immune system needs recharging. Laubscher reveals that although you may not realize it, electrical appliances may be preventing this. At bedtime, she advises shutting your WiFi off at the router and turning lamps, clocks, and TVs off at the wall. “Our immune system needs to rest from at least six to eight hours a night," says Laubscher. “I think that is a huge cause of disease these days. It's kind of like always spending on your credit card but never paying the bill."
"If you don't do well with liquids for more than half a day, have half an avocado or lentils. You don't need to be suffering and collapsing in the middle of the office. Just make it work for you."
6: It's OK to be “Naughty"
Because we will, of course, crave a glass of wine or basket of fries from time to time, she says it's important to treat yourself, but responsibly. "If you've been on holiday and had one margarita too many, that's OK," says Laubscher, who advises a bit of detox for every indulgence. “I think cleansing is a really healthy thing to do if you know you had a bit of a toxic time." Rather than stressing about going off your diet or workout plan here or there, she advises getting right back on the ball with intermittent fasting or a juice cleanse, which doesn't necessarily preclude all solid food, and can include immune-system boosting bone broth soups. “I have my super greens, my juices, and I might have some apple, nuts, even sliced avocados if my body is craving more," she says of the days following a holiday. “I love the idea of giving your body time to breathe and time to digest."
“Try to imagine stress is like a beach, the wave is going to come, crap is going to happen, you're going to have ups and downs, but are you going to take the stress and pitch a tent and camp there or do you move on?"
7: Beware The Phone
“Please don't put your mobile phone in your bra, or for men in your pocket, because if you want to have babies it's going to ruin the strength of your boys," says Laubscher matter-of-factly, adding that cell phones in pockets can even lead to possible testicular problems. Same goes for women who hold their phones in their bras. She advises to always make sure you leave the phone off your person.
8: Beware “Cheap Meat"
Organic really is the only way to go when it comes to consuming meat, says Laubscher. Filled with a potential litany of chemicals and estrogen, non-organic meat can mess with a woman's hormonal levels and wreak havoc. “If you go to lunch and there's a choice of chicken or fish, don't ingest the extra estrogen; go for the fish," says Laubscher. “Just be very careful of cheap chicken and cheap turkey or really any cheap meats which aren't organic," she says. “You can be grabbing your chicken salad every day thinking you're being healthy, but really your getting unwanted hormones. And men can lose their testosterone or lose their libido. It's not good for anybody."
9: Vegan Mondays
Laubscher is a proponent of “Vegan Mondays," which she says are a great way to kick off the week after a weekend of indulging. “I love enjoying myself on the weekends," says Laubscher, who-as a mom of three-often has treats like ice cream around the house. “I pay for the weekend with Vegan Monday, which can include green juices, protein shakes, soups and stir-fries. It's a really healthy balance to reset and go on with my life rather than taking a month off and not answering the phone. Fill up the cup, empty the cup. Go on holiday, do a cleanse."
10: Take Your Greens!
To counteract any toxins or heavy metals that may be lurking in the food you eat, Laubscher advises that you consume a glass of WelleCo Super Elixir Alkalizing Greens with anything potentially harmful. Cold-pressed plant-based powders are actually recognized by your body and thus appropriately absorbed. “When you drink the Super Elixir Greens with your meal it will bind to the greens and it'll come out in your stool," says Laubscher. “Happy Days!
It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.
Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.
Read with a Purpose
Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.
Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.
When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.
Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.
You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.
Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.
Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.
If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.
Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.