Last year, I discovered impactful lifestyle changes to better care for myself.
These are lifestyle changes that are so important that they should become habits.
And the great news is that many of them can be done with no additional costs. They are zero-cost changes that can be done by everybody to dramatically transform the quality of your health.
These 5 Healthy Habits not only make you feel and function better, but they also add more health to your years.
Tune in to discover how to start doing the 5 healthy habits to add more life to your years!
Welcome to the Health, Habits, and Epic Living podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Sherry Price. The goal of this podcast is to educate and enable empowered women to take the next steps towards achieving their health, wellness, and lifestyle goals. Let’s get started.
Well, hello everyone and Happy New Year. This is the first podcast in my new expanded role. And I’m so excited to be with you on this journey and talk about all the things that are coming and all the changes that have happened. So in this podcast episode, I’m going to go over some healthy habits that we should all be striving to achieve in our life. And particularly, I’m going to focus on how they show up for women because women are different than men.
And so I really, really want to empower women to be able to take better care of themselves so they feel better because we do so much in the world, so much goodness. And oftentimes we get exhausted and we really just want to make sure that we are replenishing ourselves so that we can feel our best, do our best and live our best. So I’m going to be covering some healthy habits in the next two episodes.
And so before I do that, I just want to let you know that I have rocked December and there are so many changes that we are rolling out and I just want to highlight a few of them. I have to say 2023 was a big year of growth for me and I really saw things from a different perspective, meaning some of the old beliefs I had were holding me back from getting the life that I wanted and I had to let that go. And in doing so, I have learned so much more about how the body works, how the body functions, how the body holds onto fat, why it holds onto fat.
So much more about how to care for our bodies, particularly as we age it’s more important to be doing strength training. And all of these lifestyle changes, which I call habits that really we should be seriously considering because they add so much health to our years. Not only do they add years to our life, but they add so much health to those years. And that’s why I’m really excited about this new podcast title change so that we can learn and grow together. And also give more of a focus to the research that’s been done on women and for women.
And so this year, I’m focusing a lot on improving my health. I’m calling it my year of epic health, making those changes. Making more strides in my own health and wellness journey because I’ve learned so much in 2023. And I want to share with you so much that I’ve learned and I want to continue growing in this way. And I firmly believe that there is no greater wealth than your health. Even the most wealthiest person in the world, when they get sick all they want is to be healthy.
I know when I’m sick in my life and I feel down and unproductive and I’m lying in bed and feeling sorry for myself and not feeling good, I just want my health back. And when you take care of your health, so much of the other things are just easier. It’s easier to feel more emotionally stable and calm and not so chaotic or so stressed out and life just runs smoother and easier.
And this is the perfect time to be talking about this because in the new year, many of us get really focused on improving our health, whether we’re setting New Year’s resolutions or New Year’s goals or making a commitment to really change one aspect of our health. And that is what we are focusing in on EpicYOU this month. It’s a whole new course that I am launching for the members inside of the membership is really focusing on how to improve their health. And I’m going to be working with each of the members inside of the program one-on-one so that they can transform their health.
I am so passionate about this that I really want to help and walk with each of the members so that they are committed and they show up and know what exactly to do to move the needle on something that is meaningful to them. They pick their goal, but then we move the needle on something that is meaningful to each of them. So if you want to improve an area of your health and want to join us, feel free to do so.
With that I also want to let you know that I’ll be launching again my Tone in 10 program that will be coming up here on January 21st. I’ll also be relaunching my Intermittent Fasting 45 for Women program and that will happen in February. I’m in the final stages of launching another program on how to detox and reset your microbiome which I’m very excited about.
And I’m even launching a new Facebook group for anybody listening to this podcast that wants to come and join. Not only that, inside my old Facebook group, Stop the Over-drinking Habit, we are launching and already into a dry January. So I want to support you to getting better health. And so if any of these opportunities sound good to you, feel free to come along and join us.
I know that in my own journey, when I look back to even nine months ago to where my health was compared to where I am now, even though I am nine months older, I feel so much better. I feel so much stronger. I feel so much healthier and have so much more energy. I’m so glad I did that gut cleanse and that detox. I am so glad that I educated myself and started following mentors and partnering with people that were educating me towards greater health and wellness.
And I’m filled with so much gratitude for all the books that I’ve read, all the classes that I’ve registered for and all the ways that I have invested in my health. Because it really is true, what you feed yourself and how you move in this world makes a big difference in how you feel and how you show up.
So not only am I wanting more of an epic health lifestyle this year, I am committed to more travel. I am just in that season of life where I’m leaning into my soul and my soul is just ready for more exploration, more travel with my family and without my family. And I’m just opening myself up to that part of how I define my epic living. And you can define your epic living any way you want. For me, it’s not about more fancy cars or more materialistic things. I like some materialistic things, but I don’t need a lot of more materialistic things.
I’m ready for more exploration, more travel and more adventure and so I’ll be pursuing that more this year. Now, that’s just what’s important to me. Give yourself the permission to do what is important to you, what aligns with your soul, what feels good now in this season of life. And for me, I like to work in 30 day cycles, 12 week cycles and then lastly, a year cycle. So I do the one month, the three month and then the year.
And it’s this format that allows me to really get laser focused on what I want and what I want to move the needle on. And then yet still have the ability to think big because 12 months is a long time. You can achieve a lot in 12 months. And I say you are never too old to keep dreaming and keep going after things and keep getting more out of life. And a lot of times when I say getting more out of life, when you get more out of life, you also want to give more to life, so it’s not always graspy, graspy, graspy taking.
It’s also, when I’m in this beauty of nature, when I’m out traveling I find that my heart is more open and I’m more warm. And so as life gives to me, I’m giving to it, and I find that to be a beautiful place. And we talk a lot about this when I’m coaching women is a lot of our society’s go, go, go, do, do, do. But we also have to remember we can’t just go, go, go all the time. We also need to rest. So there’s this balance of going, going, going and resting, resting, resting.
And there’s also this balance of getting, getting, getting and then giving, giving, giving. It’s like the concept of the ying and the yang, always living in that harmony.
And so today I want to start out with a few of the habits that make you healthy. And my golly, if you can do these habits that I cover in these next two podcast episodes, I will tell you, you will start to feel better. Now, I’m going to start off with the low hanging fruit, meaning anybody could do this. There is no cost at all associated with these first two habits that we are going to cover today and they have the power to dramatically transform your life.
So the first one I’ll start off with sounds really simple but yet so many of us don’t do it and I’ll give you statistics on what that looks like. So the first is really hydrating your body. Our bodies are comprised of 50 to 60 to 65% water and that water needs to get recycled and replenished. We lose a lot of it. And so hydrating ourself is something that I think a lot of people don’t think about.
In fact, if you look at the scientific literature, roughly 75% of Americans are mildly dehydrated, 75% of Americans are mildly dehydrated. And the biggest cohort that’s mildly dehydrated is if you’re 60 and up. Now, that may become because of various reasons. Maybe mobility is challenged and so taking more water may mean thinking, oh gosh, I’ve got to get to the bathroom more. And if my mobility is compromised maybe that’s a challenge, so I’m just going to drink less.
Or maybe cognitive impairment comes into play where you’re just not thinking about it, it’s just not high on your radar. And so you go throughout the day with consuming very little water, not enough for your body to fully hydrate all the functions it needs to carry out all these cellular processes. Actually, if you find when you’re dehydrated, you feel weaker, you feel less energized because your body doesn’t have the essential ingredient that it needs to carry out all these cellular functions. And it doesn’t have the essential ingredient to flush the system of the toxins.
When you break down food, you don’t absorb all of that, some of that needs to get cleared out. The body doesn’t need it. And so when you’re lacking in water, you make it harder for the body to carry out these functions. So I want you to think about water being an essential ingredient for your body to operate optimally. And who doesn’t want a body that operates optimally? That’s epic living. You want to operate optimally, not just get through the day but power through the day.
And if you think about it, we’re losing water all the time, especially overnight. We lose water throughout the day from sweating, by breathing because our lungs need it, our kidneys need it. We need to flush out products. Our liver needs it to detoxify the foods we eat. If we’re sad and crying, we’re ridding water through our tears. And then just normal evaporation through the skin.
So I mentioned that our bodies are about 60% water. How about our muscles? Our muscles contain a significant amount of water, roughly around 75% of our muscle is water. So to build muscle, we need water and it needs to be replenished daily because we lose so much. We urinate, we defecate, we talk about sweating and all the ways our body secretes water. And if you just look at the statistics of how long one can survive without water, it’s roughly three days. I mean you can survive a long time without food, but only three days without water.
Yet how many of us really think about how much water we’re consuming daily? It’s essential. It’s needed. It’s not optional. It’s needed for the human body to exist. And if you look at the stats, most teenagers, most adults. They prefer sodas, diet sodas, juices or other flavored beverages over water. I’ve even had people tell me water is boring. Water is essential. It’s like saying air is boring. Air is essential, water is essential.
And here’s also what I want to tack on to water and proper hydration is that oftentimes it’s not just hydrating with water, but you also need electrolytes. Because when we’re sweating, we’re losing grams of sodium and other electrolytes that go out through our sweat. So the more active you are, the more you work out or exercise or walk, the more active you are, the more you will need electrolytes to be replenished. Your body is not just losing water, it’s losing water and electrolytes.
And that is something I learned last year and it has dramatically changed how much energy I feel. If I just drink water, yes, I feel replenished, but I feel more replenished and more energized and more mental clarity when I add electrolytes to my water. And that is just one small hack I have done that helps me feel full because the body confuses thirst with hunger. So if I’ve had hunger pains, I’m thinking that must be my body’s hungry. But oftentimes, if I just drink water with electrolytes, my body becomes satisfied and doesn’t crave food.
It was just a thirst signal that my body was confused, thinking it was a hunger signal because those signals feel the same in the body. Speaking of hunger, but in a different way I had such increased passion and hunger for more information around health, more information around wellness last year that I read probably over 50 to 60 books. I just kept consuming information because we’ve learned so much more about how the body operates and how it operates effectively and how to optimize that within just the last 20 years.
And I’ll tell you that hydration has changed people’s life. Dhru Purohit talks about it on his podcast and how it helped to change his life. I mentioned how it helped change my hunger and my sense of fullness and given me more energy.
And I was reading a book, it’s called The Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery. It’s by Hal Elrod, Anna David and Joe Polish. And in that book, they were talking about all these small changes that really lead to a better lifestyle and overcoming an addiction. It’s really a great book and he’s got this wonderful acronym called SAVERS. And that’s how you start off your day. That’s how you start off your miracle morning.
And when you start your day that way, you feel great and then you don’t want to pollute it with alcohol or drugs or whatever the addiction is that they talk about in this book. But starting off your day with these SAVERS, which I won’t go into here but if that is a topic or an area of interest to you, please check out that book.
But in the book there were people who wrote in and talked about what was that first domino for breaking down their addiction. And in there, there was one gentleman who talked about how he was surprised at his recovery. It just took one small change and that change for him was drinking water right when he got out of bed. He also splashed his face with cold water in the morning to get his day going.
And he said, “I made one small positive change for my body and it signaled at the beginning of the day right when I got out of bed that it made me feel good to take on another small change and treat my body to health rather than addiction.”
And then I was reading a blog just last week, where there was another person saying that just drinking water first thing in the morning was the first domino that started her recovery process. Once she started giving her body and treating her body with something that influenced and impacted her health, and that she felt kind of energized after drinking water. She felt like now she can make another small shift that would help her feel good. And she didn’t even start this water challenge or this hydration challenge to look to starting her recovery.
But when she was in recovery, she was asked, “What was the one thing that started you off in changing your habits?” And she said, “Drinking 8 to 16 ounces of water every morning. It was the one thing I did for myself that fueled me in the positive direction that I set the trajectory off for the day in the right direction. And that just gave me a sense of accomplishment and feeling proud.”
So I share these stories with you to show you that it can be this small of a change that really impacts the trajectory of your day, of your week, of your month and of your life. When you start doing something that feels good, that you know is healthy for the body and that gives you energy and essentially is free, why wouldn’t you do it?
So inside EpicYOU, I’m going to have all the members doing a hydration challenge starting next week because we know one small change can have a huge impact later on. And you can join us for this challenge if you’d like or you can do this challenge on your own. And if you’re doing it on your own, I want you to drink anywhere between 10 to 16 ounces of water right when you get out of bed. Because think about it, overnight you’ve gone seven or eight hours with just rest. You’re not awake and you’re not inputting any water into your system. You get up and you use the restroom.
And of course, overnight you’ve detoxified, you’ve flushed out some of the water, maybe you’ve sweat during the night and so your body wakes up mildly dehydrated. And so by putting in 10 to 16 ounces of water, notice how this makes you feel. And if you want, add electrolytes. Now, if you add flavored electrolytes, most of them will break a fast. So if you’re intermittent fasting, you want to make sure that you use an electrolyte product that won’t break your fast and most of the flavored products do.
But if you’re not intermittent fasting, look at adding in electrolytes. Or if you don’t want to buy electrolytes, add in some salt to your water. Plain salt without any additives won’t break a fast. I’ll tell you that when I started doing this, I was shocked that my craving for my coffee, which I consider myself very much a coffee lover and love to have it every morning. My desire for coffee went down and I didn’t even feel I needed it mentally because I was so sharp from the electrolytes and the water.
So start this challenge. Try it for a week, see how it makes you feel. And at the end of the week, look back and see, did that one small change lead to any other changes? Was I eating healthier? Was I more kind? Was I less grumpy? Or just notice how it makes you feel, and if it changed any other habits in your life or patterns.
Another great time to hydrate besides the morning is right before you eat a meal, drink a lot of water right before you eat a meal. And that’s another small hack where a lot of people, when they drink 6 to 10 ounces of water right before they eat, they’ll notice that they don’t consume as much food. And really, if you think about the way our body is composed with 60% water, it makes sense. Our body craves water, and oftentimes those thirst signals feel like hunger signals in the body. Alright, so that’s the first healthy habit that you can start with to slay your day.
The second healthy habit I want to cover for today is getting enough sleep. I even said that wrong. I don’t want to say enough. Getting adequate, high quality sleep is really what I mean. Getting enough sounds like you’re just barely clearing the minimal mark. No, I really want you to have luxurious, quality, high quality sleep because we know it has so many benefits to the body.
So just in the last 10 or 15 years, we learned about the glymphatic system. And I don’t know if you’ve heard about the glymphatic system, but it’s like the lymphatic system for our brain and our CNS. And if you know the lymphatic system, it’s all about washing away toxins in our body, that’s what the glymphatic system does for the brain. It washes away all the neurotoxic waste products, including beta amyloid, damaged cells and other debris and it does this while we sleep. So we’re detoxifying the brain as we sleep.
Sleep is also a time when your mind gets organized. It organizes your thoughts, it consolidates memories, it files things into long term memory. And so there’s so many benefits on how sleep improves memory, brain, cognition, your ability to learn, your ability to remember and really to process all that information in an organized way. It’s also a time that your brain gets rid of toxic thoughts, toxic cells and debris.
Another benefit for sleep is that it also resets your hormones. And a big hormone it resets is cortisol. Studies show that when you are sleep deprived even for one night or chronically sleep deprived, that people have higher levels of cortisol the next day. And we know that high levels of cortisol increase our levels of insulin, which increases our sugar cravings and our carbohydrate cravings.
So ever notice if you only get three or four hours of sleep one night that you crave more sugar, you crave more carbs and you just feel like you’re eating is a bit out of control. That’s because of cortisol. That’s because these hormones weren’t reset. And I teach about this in the Tone in 10 program as well as in the IF:45 for Women, that you must get seven to eight hours of sleep per night so your body can optimally rebalance the hormones. And if you don’t, it makes it tremendously difficult to lose weight.
Now, a caveat is that women require a bit more sleep than men. And I think that’s good to know because a lot of times we’re hard on ourselves. We say, “Why am I sleeping so much?” But sleep is one of the best things you can give your health and your body and especially when you are north of 40. And this is a time in a woman’s life, when she’s beyond 40, that sleep becomes even more critical because after 40, women become less stress resilient, meaning we tend to have higher cortisol levels and we don’t manage stress as easily as we have before.
And then come into play are these fluctuating levels of estrogen, fluctuating levels of progesterone, they make us moody, and they also make us less stress resilient. So it’s not just the cortisol, but the other hormones that are fluctuating during this time. And sleep is such a key metric. And I love these watches and the Oura Ring and all these devices where we can actually measure our sleep and get a sleep score because high quality sleep means you are getting REM sleep each night and that is exactly what alcohol takes away from us.
Too much alcohol decreases our REM sleep and doesn’t give us high quality sleep. So another healthy habit you can implement into your regimen is giving yourself high quality restorative sleep. So a few ways to do that. You want to establish a consistent bedtime as well as a consistent wake time. Yes, that includes even weekends. Our bodies work on a 24 hour clock called the circadian rhythm, and this circadian rhythm dictates millions of invisible metabolic processes that keep the body healthy, alive and functioning optimally.
It determines our digestive rhythms, our fat burning rhythms, our fat storage rhythms, the sleep patterns, when we make hormones, rebalancing those hormones and so much more. And so we need to honor this biological rhythm and the best way to do that is to have a consistent time you go to bed and a consistent time that you wake up. That way you really can get the max and max benefit out of that circadian rhythm.
Also, it’s good to signal to the brain that we are going to sleep. And this might be needed for those who suffer from sleep problems. When you go to bed and you find that you can’t just fall asleep right away, some people have problems with sleep onset. And so having a 30 to 60 minute ritual that you do every night can really start to transition the mind into we are going to go to sleep.
So for those of you with a very active mind or a mind that worries a lot at night or people who are taking a lot of alcohol, but then they find they’re cutting back and then just can’t fall asleep. So then they feel like they have to go back to the alcohol. These people would get really great benefit from implementing kind of this 30 to 45 minute sleep routine before they get into bed, so a wind down routine.
You want to eliminate exposure to blue light because we know blue light exposure from the computers or phones is highly activating and it throws off our melatonin and interferes with our circadian rhythm, making it difficult to fall asleep. So you can wear blue blocking glasses or just not stay on the computer two to three hours before bedtime. You can also engage in other activities to promote that wind down like taking a hot bath.
And maybe if you don’t enjoy hot baths, just putting a hot foot soak, your feet in hot water. You can add calming ingredients like essential oils or magnesium to the water or Epsom salts or washing your face with warm water. These are ways that you’re going to be shifting your body from that go, go, go sympathetic nervous system state to the, it’s time to rest and relax parasympathetic state.
I also find that this is a wonderful time for people who have problems sleeping to institute a meditation practice. There’s guided meditations you can do by apps if you have trouble doing it on your own. And this is particularly effective for my ladies who have an overactive brain around bedtime.
Another thing is the temperature for the room. We sleep better when in a cool, dark room, so looking at the temperature. And this varies for people, 65 degrees to 68 degrees. I know for me I run cold, so I actually prefer it a little warmer, warmer than my husband does, so I have more blankets around me. Because that really impacts my sleep score when I actually have it a bit warmer. If I get too cold, for me, I actually will wake up shivering in the night and be looking for covers, so it is sleep disruptive for me to have it too cool.
So you have to play with that temperature and adjust and then just monitor how your sleep is affected. I know most people will say they prefer a cool room, but really for me that doesn’t work so well. So measuring your sleep, getting a sleep score, if you have a watch that does that, or you can get a device to look at that. Also avoid caffeine after noon because that’s a stimulant and that can keep you up. Some people, they feel like they’ve burnt out their caffeine receptors. They can drink coffee right up until bed and then just fall out. So again, this is bio individual, it’s how do you respond to each of these things.
Studies show avoiding eating late at night also helps the body be able to rest and digest. It prevents heartburn and it promotes autophagy, which autophagy is this time that the body just really cleans out its debris and damaged cells throughout the night. And so avoiding that late night eating will help to induce sleep.
And then I do have to touch upon alcohol because I have coached many women who have told me that alcohol helps them get to sleep. And when they feel that they can’t have alcohol or they cut back, they wind up staring at the ceiling until midnight. And they’re just so anxious and they can’t seem to get to sleep without alcohol. So I just want you to know what alcohol does in the body. We know that alcohol is considered a poison to the body.
The body, meaning the liver, will break down alcohol over anything else. So you can eat this big old meal and then it’s followed up by a few drinks. The big old meal will stay there. The liver is focused on breaking down what’s going to kill it the quickest and the burger is not going to kill it, the pasta’s not going to kill it. But the liver knows that alcohol can kill it. So the liver goes to work on breaking down that alcohol. Meanwhile, the dinner is just sitting there, it’s being untouched. So we are breaking down that alcohol for four or five hours.
And so we’re not clearing and digesting the food in this time. Not only that, alcohol is seen as a major stress to the body, meaning that when we drink alcohol, our cortisol levels go up. And this is what some women will tell me. They’ll say, “I feel a jolt. I feel a buzz when I start drinking. I feel amazing. I get more energy.” And that could be from the cortisol that’s released when we first start drinking and so when cortisol is released.
And we talked about that previously, how when we increase our cortisol, we will increase our blood sugar, which will increase our insulin, which will cause fat storage and make us more hungry for carbs. And so there’s multiple effects going on when we drink so close to bedtime. And particularly that’s when women become weight loss resistant. They’ll say, “I’m doing all the things except for the alcohol thing. I’m going to the gym. I’m eating right except for I have this alcohol thing, particularly right before bed.” But they’re not noticing that they’re losing weight.
And so I just want you to know that your body goes on high alert when it gets alcohol. It sees it as dangerous. It needs to detoxify it and metabolize it as soon as it goes in. And then it also has this secretion of cortisol which make other processes in the body kick into action such as fat storage, because we have released more insulin.
So I wanted you to start off the year healthy. Start off the year with small habit changes that can have a tremendous impact on how you feel and your health, long term. And by just focusing on either of these two, whether you want to start with hydration right away and join that challenge. Or you can do two things at once, you want to start the hydration and also look at making sure you improve your sleep quality.
I want you to know that these two habits can change how you feel. And what we’ll be talking about next week is even how you eat. You’ll notice less cravings. You’ll notice more fullness. You’ll notice more energy just from these two habits alone. Now, we’re going to get into food. We’re going to get into movement and all of that. But I will tell you, food and movement alone will not get the perimenopausal, postmenopausal woman to the body composition that they want, if they’re missing these first two critical factors, hydration and sleep.
These two are essential, particularly as we age. And I’ve shared that data with you. So let’s make 2024 our year of epic health, our year of epic wellness and taking care of ourselves in the most epic way possible. Alright, thanks for listening and I’ll talk to you next week.
Thanks for listening to the Health, Habits, and Epic Living podcast. If you are ready to take the next step to improve your health, wellness, and lifestyle goals, head over to www.epicyou.com to check out my programs and to sign up for my free newsletter. Again that’s E-P-I-C-Y-O-U.com.
Please note that the information in this podcast is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.