Lessons About Lifestyle Change I Learned in Alaska

Hello again.

I’ll be sharing some things I learned on the Seabourn wellness cruise to Alaska that I was lucky enough to be part of, joining a remarkable team of integrative medicine docs assembled by Andy Weil.

Today, I want to talk about lessons learned from an inspiring Chicago Integrative Cardiologist, Steve DeVries.

Steve showed the research on how rather modest changes in lifestyle can make substantial differences in heart health, wellness and longevity.

He runs the nonprofit Gaples Institute to get the word out, giving talks and creating teaching modules for other cardiologists and the general public.

He does a wonderful job of clear-headed persuasion, based on simple data, and the facts are very encouraging. Steve knows a lot about food, nutrition, and activity - sadly rare for a cardiologist or any kind of MD, for that matter, given the curriculum most medical schools offer.

He showed the data when we tweak our menu, add some simple stress reduction to our day, and do some upticks on activity. Astonishing, really, how small but smart changes can go such a long way.

One example he gave was taking a half hour leisurely stroll after dinner. Another change he mentioned was just not eating after a certain hour – say, after 7 or 8 pm. That kind of night fasting can have a serious impact on weight loss. But fasting in the morning, not so much.

Meditation can cut heart risk by 40%. A switch to a Mediterranean diet – even some elements of it – can reduce risk of heart attacks by as much as 70%.

Check his website to learn more. Steve and his information are encouraging and reassuring.

In the weeks to come, I’ll be telling you more of what I learned - integrative approaches to autism, ways to reduce the toxicity we take in from the environment, and herbal supplements that can make a big difference for sleep, energy, inflammation and mood.

Take care and be well.