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By Dr. Gayle Young, HHP, MA, JD Holistic Wellness Executive and Practitioner

On April 12th and 13th, Southern University hosted the SBA an annual training “Connecting Businesses with Contracts” to link small businesses with Federal, State, and Municipal procurement agents and Prime Contractors.

I was honored to lead a breakout session discussing the “Impact of mental health wellness and how to take care of yourself while taking care of businesses.”

I gave practical, effective, and immediately implementable suggestions. Very similar advice was once given to me, and with just using these five steps to health, I achieved a body free of inflammation, discomfort, and despair. In just a few days, I was no longer testing positive for Lupus, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue. And the best part was that in 7 months, I lost 137 pounds. On average, 20 pounds a month, and you can do it too.

Like the secret to great teeth is healthy gums, the foundation of a solid, robust, viable business is a healthy business owner. Rather than looking at mental health as separate from wellness and wellbeing, approach the body as a whole organism driven by the digestive tract, specifically the gut microbiome.

What you put on your plate today and every day has a significant impact on the health of your brain tomorrow. A nutritious diet is a tool that will help to improve your health, gut health, brain health, and finances.

The five foundational components to jump-start your mental health are:

1) Food: Should be organic, whole, plant-based, and properly combined. Properly combined food is meals that do not mix protein and starches (like a sandwich or rice and meat, or smoothies that contain vegetables and fruit). These combinations create bacterial overgrowth and systemic inflammation, not to mention constipation.

2) Exercise: Physical activity increases blood flow to the brain; your brain gets nourished and instantly feels alert. One Canadian study found that regular physical activity lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 30 percent.

3) Stress: Stress hurts our body and brain. Positive self-talk strengthens your mind and gives you focus and determination. Try saying these: “Everything Is Working Out for Me,” “I am an EFFECTIVE Leader,” “I am a CREATIVE Entrepreneur,” “I have the POWER to change,” “I have the COURAGE to change,” “I am DESTINED to succeed.”

4) Hydration: Half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. Hold each swallow in your mouth for 15 seconds before swallowing. Use spring water or filtered water.

5) Sleep: Make sure you get sunshine daily for at least 20-30 minutes minimum, without sunglasses. The brain produces melatonin around two hours after the sun goes down. Melatonin is multifaceted; it helps you sleep; it is calming. The sun increases Vitamin D production, and Vitamin D helps quell many diseases, including diabetes and even cancer. It also strengthens the bones and regulates the immune system.

6) Pesticides in Foods: Follow the Environmental Working Group list and avoid foods that contain pesticides, like Roundup.

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