The Top 5 Health Goals for 2021: How to Pick What’s Right for You
by Dr. Angila Jaeggli, ND
I don’t think anyone can say 2020 has been easy, and most of us are ready to put 2020 in our rearview mirror. But with a new year, comes new hope, and a readiness to embrace a period of healing.
Before we can leave 2020 behind, we should reflect on the areas that we can give gratitude for… our families, friends, our health, the small things… coffee, your pets, a sunset, a deep breath. And just making it through 2020 is an accomplishment in itself.
Moving into 2021, we now have many reasons to have hope. With new vaccines, experts are predicting we may be moving towards normal beginning in July or August. Can you imagine?
So to start to prepare for your 2021 comeback, answer these questions:
Where do you want to go (physically, emotionally, spiritually)? Who do you want to be? What is your vision? What do you want your comeback to look like? What could a new life look like if you really wanted to go for it? Make a list of everything you want – great health? Strong body? Closer friendships? Financial security? A new job? Get into the exact details of what these would look like.
Each area is important, and it is crucial for you to identify areas that are a priority for you. And I’m hoping since you’re here with me, that great health is on your list for 2021. The exciting thing about making your health a top priority, is that when it improves, your energy and vitality to work on your other goals increases.
So let’s dive in and take your health to the next level. While I love a good declaration (“I’m going to be so healthy in 2021, people will ask me to be their health coach! Oh yeah!”) – what’s really going to get you there is working on specifics. These are some ideas to move you towards truly optimizing your health, reducing your long-term health risk and growing your vitality and energy.
Here are my top 5 recommendations to get your ‘health on’ in 2021:
- Do a 3 day juice fast or a 3 week Detox Cleanse
- Infrared Sauna Cleanse x 30 days
- Extensive Nutritional Panel/ Methylation Testing
- Begin a New Exercise Program
- Start a Meditation Practice
#1 – Do a 3-Day Greens Juice Cleanse or a 3 Week Detox
It’s short, quick and gives a great jumpstart towards any health goal you have in mind. Almost all greens juice cleanses are mostly greens based with a little apple thrown in. You might detox from quitting all of your carbs, sugars and vices, but by the end of the 3 days, most people feel light and cleansed. I love many of the juicing recipes recommended by The Reboot Program, by Joe Cross. A simple juice I love is a combination of green apples, spinach, lemon, celery — and if you want to do bind and excrete heavy metals, add some light cilantro and organic algae. If you would prefer antioxidant support, add frozen blueberries or cherries.
If you would prefer a longer cleanse, we love a good 3-4 week detox program. We love to individualize these depending on what your goal is… Weight loss? A good liver and lymph detox? Cut sugar cravings? Let me give you some examples of the programs we recommend… Love to eat fat, and want to lose weight? The Keto diet could be perfect for you. Want a cleanse that cuts sugar and where you will shed a few pounds, without eating tons of fat – we love a modified Paleo or Whole 30 diet. Too much alcohol over the holidays or is your liver struggling? We have liver cleanse programs with intensive liver herbs, combined with infrared sauna and PEMF which makes for an incredible detox. Not sure which option to choose? We would love to give you resources and walk you through it.
#2 – Infrared Sauna Cleanse
Far infrared sauna not only has health benefits related to lowering cardiovascular risk, lower risk of auto-immunity, and greater longevity, but is also extremely relaxing and cleansing. It is one of our favorite therapies at the clinic, and feels amazing. We love including sauna as part of our cleansing programs and detoxes. I encourage you to do a 3 week program at 3-4 times per week for at least 30 minutes. If you are not used to sauna, I would begin at a lower temperature, at 120 degrees for 10 minutes and slowly work your way up. Then do this for 30 days. Also, make sure you are doing an electrolyte drink after your sweat. Our clinic has the same sauna used by Dr. Ben Lynch, High Tech Health. Dr. Lynch has a wonderful write up on the benefits of sauna which can be found here.
#3 – Complete an Extensive Nutrition Testing Panel / Methylation Testing – start with MTHFR, and/or Methylation panel
When most people think of testing, they think of the standard panels they receive at their primary care’s office – a basic blood overview, liver and kidney, and maybe a thyroid check. Whether you are trying to optimize your health for the long-term, or are struggling with a chronic illness, you NEED a deeper look at what is going on in your body.
One of my favorite nutrition and metabolic tests is from Genova Labs, the Nutr Eval. This measures all of your vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, organic acids, amino acids, fatty acids, Omega 3-6-9’s, chemical testing, free radical (damage level), a quick methylation check-in and lastly, heavy metals (eg, lead, mercury, arsenic, tin, cadmium). This panel will give you an incredible baseline from which to jump to modify your diet, supplements, and detox decisions.
For those who want to go even deeper, you need to explore your genetic methylation pathways. Who? What? Was that English? Most people have heard of the 23andme.com or Ancestry.com to look at your heritage. The cool thing is that with that genetic panel, you can run it further through geneticgenie.org or mthfrsupport.com to get a deeper dive into your ability to detox within your cells, your individual vitamin needs and your potential long-term health risks. You will want some assistance with an integrative/naturopathic doctor who has experience with this with interpreting and making a plan, which we are happy to do.
#4 Begin a New Exercise Plan
Did you know even 10-minutes of cardiovascular exercise can change your long-term cardiovascular risk? You don’t have to start big, you just have to start. If you’re already walking in your neighborhood, then take it up by adding light weights and stretching. Youtube can be a great place to begin with simple exercises – you can search ’10 minute beginner yoga video’ or a ‘7 minute HIIT workout’ for something more intense. All free. Or if you’re looking for something more personalized, many local trainers are doing one on one sessions to be COVID safe, or offering Zoom video trainings for ease of access. So I challenge you to set a workout goal. Begin tracking your steps, make a goal for 10,000 per day. Or put aside 20 minutes 5 days per week to stretch and walk/run. Make sure to share your goal with someone, or better yet, have them join you. We always do better when we are accountable!
#5 Start a Meditation practice
Meditation in its most basic form is just a period of time where you sit quietly, calming the mind. You can absolutely take it deeper and add a goal. My personal goal is to meditate for at least 10 minutes a day, either in the morning or at bedtime. Sometimes it is just for relaxation, and other times it is to shift my brain to a place to help me think through something (in the back of my mind) or to help me visualize a goal or intention.
Apps that I love are Insight Timer (my fav!), Headspace and Calm. Research shows that meditation can help significantly reduce anxiety, feelings of stress, blood pressure, and reduce insomnia. I can personally attest that if I’m having difficulty sleeping due to ‘monkey mind’ (where you can’t turn your brain off), a deep sleep meditation will put me asleep. Beyond this, it is a practice to help calm and focus the mind. It can be a source of strength during stressful times.
Meditation is lovely tool to bring your mind to center, to bring peace. One of my favorite meditations I do a few times per week is from Mindvalley’s CEO, the ‘Six Phase Meditation.’ Tell me what you think! If you have never meditated, I would open Insight Timer, and search a topic you like, such as ‘reduce stress,’ ‘healing,’ or ‘sleep’ and try the first few you see. Repeat this for 30 days.
And here is where I would like to also give you a challenge… Choose one or two top health goals, and outline how you will accomplish them or work towards them within the next 3 months, and list one thing related to your goal that you can do TODAY. I would love to hear what you decide to do in the next 3 months, please share!
There are so many things we can do together to make 2021 a better year! We believe in community, and would love to be a part of yours.
Please reach out if you have questions or want to share your story!
In love, health and light,
Dr. Angila Jaeggli, ND
Phone: (425) 835-0359
110 James Street, Suite 103
Edmonds, WA 98020
Youtube: Sage Health TV