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Adopting Healthy Habits During a Stressful Holiday Season and Covid-19 Pandemic

The holiday season is supposed to be the “most wonderful time of the year!”

If this is true, why do so many people suffer through this season? There are a lot of factors that can contribute to feeling the holiday blues, but one of the main reasons is stress. Not to mention, COVID-19 has thrown a whole other level of stress into all of our lives. 

There’s so much pressure to buy gifts, host family members, and cook delicious meals (while social distancing and remaining healthy) that it’s easy to see where the joy gets sucked out of celebrating such a wonderful season. Unfortunately, this stress can also lead to health issues that contribute to weight gain, anxiety, depression, and more! 

To help you better manage your stress levels, I wanted to share a few healthy habits to adopt to ensure that stress (and sickness!) doesn’t get the best of you. Let’s dive in…

Why Holiday Stress is So Dangerous

Before we dive into my healthy habit suggestions, let’s take a minute to digest why stress can be so harmful to the body. 

First and foremost, when you start to feel stressed, your nervous system responds by releasing a flood of stress hormones–adrenaline and cortisol. These chemicals put your body in “emergency mode” heightening your senses, increasing your blood flow, tightening your muscles. 

When these hormones continue to flow through your body, it takes a toll on your respiratory and cardiovascular systems. At the same time, these chemicals make it difficult for you to “shut off” so you can rest and get sleep. 

If you’re unable to ease the stress in your body, you might experience…

  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Racing Heart 
  • Insomnia

Worst of all, do you know how many people end up managing stress? The answer: eating. 

When you eat, oxytocin (your body’s feel-good chemical) is released. The more you eat, the better you feel. And now, instead of simply dealing with stress, your body weight is affected. 

If this cycle keeps up, your body is going to suffer in more ways than one, which is why it’s so important to learn healthy strategies for managing stress. 

What might those strategies be? Here’s what I recommend…

Stress-Reducing Tip #1: Fuel Your Body with Healthy Food Choices

Consuming healthy, nutritious foods builds a foundation for a healthy body. When that foundation is in place, the outside effects of stress have less of an impact. 

Having healthy foods on hand is also important for when you feel the need to eat during stressful times. While it’s important to not overeat, eating a handful of bell peppers or a bowl of yogurt is much better than digging into a bag of chips or a carton of ice cream. 

Most importantly, a healthy diet helps keep you strong in the event you contact an illness, such as COVID-19. While I can’t claim that healthy food choices can cure you, they will provide you with a firm foundation to fight illness in the event you get sick this season.

Keep your fridge and pantry stocked with healthy items! 

Stress-Reducing Tip #2: Practice Self-Care

During the holidays, it’s easy to focus on everyone else and forget about yourself. 

Self-care is so important and can help you unwind and relax before too much stress builds. Practicing self-care looks different for everyone. If you’re not sure how to add self-care into your routine, try some of the following ideas…

  • Take a walk
  • Enjoy a hot bath
  • Read a good book 
  • Make time for a cup of coffee with a friend 
  • Prepare a healthy meal/snack for yourself 
  • Watch a movie
  • Tap a nap 

Stress-Reducing Tip #3: Learn to Say No 

Are you someone that burns yourself out doing things for others? Today is the day to learn how to say no. 

You have absolutely no obligation to attend every holiday party you’re invited to, to bake homemade cookies for your kids’ classroom, or to take part in every activity that’s going on in your community. 

Prioritize the things that are most important to you. Mark your calendar. And politely decline invitations to things that don’t interest you. 

Stress-Reducing Tip #4: Set Realistic Expectations

A false sense of expectations often leads people to panic when things don’t go as planned. This year, don’t let unrealistic expectations bog you down. 

Set realistic goals. It’s ok to hope for the best when it comes to cooking meals, giving gifts, and hosting parties, but understand you’re not perfect—nor is anyone else! 

Do you best and focus on what matters most…time spent with the people you love. 

Stress-Reducing Tip #5: Get at Least 30-Minutes of Exercise Each Day 

Finally, exercise is a wonderful way to naturally reduce your stress levels while also keeping your body healthy. In fact, exercising releases the same feel-good chemical that eating does! 

I know you probably have a lot going on this time of year, but I encourage you to make the time to exercise for at least 30-minutes a day. 

Take your dog for a walk, climb up and down your staircase, or stream and online yoga class. There are so many ways you can get moving! 

I hope this season is filled with joy, love, and good health for you!

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At-Home Exercise Options: How to Stay Healthy, Active, and Fit While on Quarantine from COVID-19

Over the past few months, our lives have changed drastically due to the COVID-19 virus. 

While many of us are used to getting out of the house to work, shop, travel, and visit friends/family, we’re now cooped up in our homes. It’s very important to follow social distancing rules, but I know how difficult it is to feel like you’re constantly stuck in your home, unable to get out and stay active. 

Here’s the good news…

Just because gyms and workout classes are all shut down, it doesn’t mean you can’t get up and get moving to stay healthy and get rid of your pent up energy. There are so many ways to exercise from the safety of your own home–so no excuses! 

Here are a few ideas on how you stay active without having an expensive at-home gym or state-of-the-art exercise equipment…

Become a “StairMaster”

If you live in a two-story house, you know the aggravation of accidentally leaving something upstairs, and having to climb all the way back up to your second floor to go get it. 

Why? Because walking up the stairs takes energy and effort. 

Instead of using the Stairmaster at the gym, do a few reps of climbing up and down your staircase at home. It’s a great leg and cardio workout! 

Get Crafty with Homemade Weights

If you have hand weights at home, great! 


If not…that’s ok too! It’s really easy to find things around your home you can use as weights in order to work on your triceps and biceps.  Any of the following items can be used as hand weights…

  • Water bottles
  • Books
  • Canned veggies/soup 
  • Bag of potatoes
  • Dog food/Cat food bags
  • Laundry detergent bottles
  • Paint cans

Take a Walk/Jog Around the Neighborhood

As long as you’re maintaining a safe distance from everyone, there’s nothing wrong with going out for a walk or jog in your neighborhood.

Take your dog for a walk. Put in your headphones and listen to music while you walk. Challenge yourself to see how many laps you can run around your neighborhood. 

These are all great ways of staying active and safely getting out of your house.  

Try An Online Yoga/Workout Program 

The internet is filled with resources including easy-to-access workout videos, online yoga classes, and dance workshops. 

The best part…many of them are FREE. 

Simply log on to YouTube and search for the kind of workout class you’re interested in. I guarantee you’ll find something that aligns with your workout preference. 

Of course, you can pay for online video subscriptions as well, such as Crunch Fitness, DailyBurn, or CorePower Yoga, but it’s really not necessary to purchase a workout plan unless you truly want to! 

Indulge in an Old-Fashioned Recess Workout Routine

Chances are you’ve got plenty of “workout equipment” laying around in your garage that you haven’t even thought about…especially if you have kids!

Take a look through your garage and see what you can find. 

  • A jump rope is great for cardio. 
  • Building a hopscotch course with chalk can help you work on leg strength. 
  • Hula hoops make fantastic ab workouts. 
  • Toss a ball in the yard to work on your shoulder and arm strength. 
  • Dust off a basketball and shoot some hoops for a whole-body workout.  

There are so many ways you can stay active and healthy without even taking a step out of your driveway. Not to mention, taking advantage of home workout options can save you some money on expensive gym memberships in a time where so many people are struggling with work layoffs and other financial struggles. 

Doing Our Part to Help with COVID-19 

At Lifestyle Changes LLC, we want to make sure you and your family have safe access to health care when you need it most. 

Regardless of whether you have virus symptoms, or you’re struggling with a health issue but don’t want to risk making an in-person visit to your doctor’s office, we can help! 

Schedule an online consultation with me here, and I’ll be sure you get information and help you need to stay healthy and happy. 

Wishing you good health in a time of such uncertainty.

Yours In Health,


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Lifestyle Changes LLC Celebrates First Anniversary!

This month, on April 11th,  Lifestyle Changes LLC will officially be celebrating it’s one year anniversary!  There are so many reasons I am thankful for hitting this milestone. 

First and foremost, every year I’m in business is another year that I have the opportunity to help people across the country regain their health and start loving their body! 

I look forward to celebrating everyone’s success and good health in the year to come.

Second, opening Lifestyle Changes LLC has allowed me to continue my passion as a board-certified doctor, simply in a different capacity–online. It’s been a great way to provide online customized and personalized care. There’s nothing better than getting to wake up every day and do what I love! 

Finally, since opening my doors, I’ve had the opportunity to partake in so many wonderful opportunities and connect with people around the world.

To celebrate our one year anniversary I want to share a list of my favorite highlights from this year. Thanks so much for being a part of the Lifestyle Changes family and I hope you’ll continue to celebrate with us as the years go on! 

I was featured in Business Wire, Main Line Today, and Philly Mag.

I was honored to have an article published on how your life can change when you put forth the effort to lose weight. I invite you to read the entire article below! 

Read the article here

A second article I contributed to was for Main Line Today. In this article, I discuss how I use an app for remote patient monitoring via my weight loss management program. 

Read the article here

My book became an Amazon #1 Bestseller.

This year, my book, Get Your Sexy Back: A Guide to Bouncing Back After Pregnancy became a #1 bestseller on Amazon. 

Here’s the synopsis…

Being pregnant and becoming a new mom is one of the most special times you will have in your life. But along with pregnancy comes baby weight—and caring for a newborn makes it difficult to find the time to shed those excess pounds! At the same time, though, losing that extra weight comes with a myriad of benefits, including preventing health complications, improving your mood, and increasing your energy levels. Fortunately, this book can help.

If you’re interested in giving it a read, you can find it here

I was able to connect and care for my wonderful patients online. 

Since opening my doors, I’ve been able to provide quality, personalized online patient visits to over 100 men and women. 

If you’re interested in scheduling an online visit, you can do so here

I’ve successfully helped patients safely lose weight. 

Over 10 patients have successfully lost weight within the first three months on my program…and you can too! 

Interested in learning more about the program? Schedule an appointment today

I’ve built a wonderful community on social media where I can educate and connect with people around the globe! 

In the last year, I’m proud to say that my social platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have been growing. At this point I have about 1,000 followers across all platforms. 

This is exciting as I use these platforms to share information, educate people, and connect with those in need of quality health care. 

I’ve conducted over 30 Facebook lives and have over 100 posts on my social accounts. 

If you’re not following me yet, you’re missing out!

Stay up to date with all the latest news and information by following the accounts below…

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter 

I’ve had the opportunity to participate in various speaking engagements. 

Education is key when it comes to helping people attain good health. I’ve been honored to speak at various locations including Girard College, local high schools, and Oracle, where I’ve been able to share important information on health and wellness. 

I look forward to many more speaking opportunities as the year goes on.

Providing COVID-19 Assistance

Over the last few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has rattled the world. During this stressful time, people have needed access to skilled medical professionals like never before. 

Conducting online screenings/patient visits has allowed me to help my patients get the knowledge, care, and diagnosis they need in order to remain healthy. Best of all, virtual appointments help protect everyone from having to sit in an ER or doctor’s office where others might potentially be carrying the virus. 

If you’re worried about your health or are suffering from flu-like symptoms, I encourage you to set up an online screening so we evaluate whether you may need further testing.

Schedule an appointment today

Whether you’re a patient, a social media follower, or a friend/colleague/or family member I want to thank you once again for being part of the Lifestyle Changes family. 

I look forward to continued growth and helping those in my network achieve their health and wellness goals.


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