Health Tips

8 (Realistic) New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year again. Brace yourself — “New Year, new me!” posts are coming. In the cumulating stack of promises we make to ourselves each year, how do we find ones that actually stick?

The experts at Prevention Magazine, put together a list of resolutions for you to try. Many are a spin on the usual resolutions, but with tips for actually following through.

wellness-clipart-clipart_yoga_animaatjes-151. Change your health outlook.
Instead of seeing it as all-or-nothing, look at health as a continuum, says Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, a family physician in Lexington, Kentucky, and founder and medical director of The Mommy MD Guides. “Every decision that I make moves me closer to one end of the continuum (good health) or the other (poor health),” she says. “For instance, drinking a soda would move me in the wrong direction, while drinking a glass of water would move me in the right direction. By making small, positive decisions, I move closer and closer to good health.”

Climbing-Stairs new
2. Integrate exercise.

For most people, exercise is an add-on, something that they do if they can find time. It’s much easier to accommodate if you find ways to incorporate activity into your daily routine. “Climbing the stairs to the third floor takes just a minute longer than waiting for the elevator. Likewise, jogging to the mailbox at the end of my driveway takes a minute or two, but it’s so much better for me than simply leaning out my car window as I drive by,” McAllister says. (Give these 25 easy ways to fit in 10 minutes of exercise a try.)

This goes for the office. Using a smaller […]

Grief Support During the Holidays



While many people look forward to yearly holiday traditions, gatherings with family and friends and the general good feelings associated with the season, some people dread the holidays. For those who have lost a loved one during the past year, the holidays may emphasize their grief. The holidays, especially the first ones after losing a loved one, are especially difficult for people who are grieving. Often, friends and family members of those affected by a loss are unsure how to act or what to say to support their grieving loved one during the holidays.

Below we’ve listed suggestions on how to navigate such difficult situations for the one’s we love.

Caring Connection’s Twelve Practical Tips for Saying, Doing the Right Things:

1) Be supportive of the way the person chooses to handle the holidays. Some may wish to follow traditions; others may choose to change their rituals. Remember, there is no right way or wrong way to handle the holidays.

2) Offer to help the person with baking and/or cleaning. Both tasks can be overwhelming for one trying to deal with raw emotions.

3) Offer to help him or her decorate for the holidays.

4) Offer to help with holiday shopping or give your loved one catalogs or on-line shopping sites that may be helpful.

5) Invite the person to attend a religious service with you and your family.

6) Invite your loved one to your home for the holidays.

7) Help your loved one prepare and mail holiday cards.

8) Ask the person if he or she is interested in volunteering with you during the holiday season. Doing something for someone else, such as helping at soup kitchens or working with children, may help […]

Beat the Blues, With Vitamin D!


As Alaskans we know the impact the sunless winters have on our bodies. Vitamin D is essential for the health of the human heart and is associated with bone and joint maintenance and helps prevent cancer, disease and diabetes. Despite the many wonderful things a little D can do, it is not always easy for Alaskans to naturally acquire enough, especially during the winter.

But there is good news! Health experts advise we eat foods rich in Vitamin D and we have many vitamin rich food options to choose from. These foods include:

• Vitamin-D enriched milk
• Pork
• Eggs
• Mackerel
• Salmon
• Tuna
• Herring
• Sardines
• Shitake and button mushrooms
• Beef Liver
• Ricotta Cheese

Experts also advise Alaskans to consider regular vitamin D supplements or a few teaspoons of cod liver oil daily — along with a mid afternoon walk. For the month of December, to battle the winter blues and keep your body healthy, our Supplement of the Month is none other than Vitamin D! SVT Health & Wellness features some of the highest quality Vitamin D3 available—and it’s all 10% off during the month of December. Stop on by!

DIY Cold Care Kit

The cold season is fast approaching, are you ready?

The common cold is a contagious, viral infection of the upper respiratory system. The common cold is the most frequent infectious disease in people and is the leading cause of doctor visits, missed days from work and school. Colds usually last between seven to ten days.

There is no cure for the common cold but can relieve your symptoms by:
• Getting lots of rest
• Drinking plenty of fluids
• Gargling with warm salt water
• Using throat lozenges
• Taking acetaminophen – Tylenol, for example – for headache or fever (Never give aspirin to anyone under the age of 18)

A Cold Care Kit can help soothe your symptoms and make your cold or flu more bearable. Not only is it easy to put together, the supplies are budget friendly!

cold care kitYou will need:

• A cup with lid (we used a latte cup with a snug lid)
• Facial tissue packet (lotion or chamomile infused for less irritation)
• Individual iodized salt packets
• Herbal teas
• Thermometer strips
• Throat lozenges or cough drops
• Hand sanitizer
• Small fever/pain reducer packets (such as Advil® or Tylenol®)

Place items in the cup and secure with lid until needed. Replenish after use.

If your symptoms persist or worsen, call 226-2228 to make an appointment.

How do you battle the flu and cold season? Want to hear from you!


Seven Tips to Managing Your Diabetes



When you are first diagnosed with diabetes, it is often overwhelming. There is so much you need to know and do. Often, the pills or insulin the doctor prescribes are the easiest part of the “self-management” regimen.

Below are seven tips to managing your diabetes. How do you thrive in your personal journey with diabetes?


1. Healthy Eating

This means having foods that provide all three nutrients: protein, carbohydrate and fat in reasonable quantities to help you maintain a healthful weight.

It means eating regular meals that are low in saturated fat and excess sodium and controlling the amount and type of carbohydrate you eat at one time. What it doesn’t mean is that you have to give up all of your favorite foods or that certain foods are taboo.

In order to do this you need to know the nutrient (especially carbohydrate) content of foods, how to read labels, how to cook foods to maintain nutrient content and avoid adding extra saturated fat and sodium and learn how to choose appropriately in restaurants.

2. Being Active

This means engaging in aerobic activity, strength building and flexibility training most days of the week. Being active can help control blood glucose levels if you have type 2 diabetes and improve cardiovascular health and assist in weight loss or control for both type 2 and type 1 diabetes.

You need to know what activities are appropriate for you to do, how often and how forcefully you need to do them and how to handle the possible side effects of exercise (hypo and hypergly

3. Monitoring

Checking your blood glucose allows and your health care provider to see how your blood sugars are responding to the medications and lifestyle […]

Does Yoga Benefit Your Brain?

Research has revealed that just one 20 minute session of yoga considerably improved working memory, the ability to maintain focus, retain and also make use of new information. Individuals that took part in the study performed considerably better on cognitive tests right after the yoga practice as opposed to after moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise for the identical time period.

For more benefits of yoga, check out this infographic below! Image credit:


What’s the NutrEval® diagnostic test?

Watch as Rob Downey, MD and Hillery Daily, ND explain how this new tool can give a precise roadmap for nutrition and supplement recommendations for optimal health.

The Power of HeartMath

SVT Health & Wellness Medical Director Rob Downey, MD discusses HeartMath®, the exciting new program for transforming stress, regulating emotional responses and harnessing the power of the heart/brain connection.

Managing the Three Elements of Burnout

As I was recently reading the AMTA Massage Therapy Journal, I came across an article entitled “Rising From the Ashes of Professional Burnout.” I am going to paraphrase a few key points, interspersed with my own observations.

According to Michael Leiter, PhD, co-author of “Banishing Burnout: Six Strategies for Improving Your Relationships With Work,” burnout has 3 elements that I feel can apply to any situation, not just work. The three elements are:

*  A fatigue you cannot overcome

*  A diminishing joy, and

*  A loss of confidence or being effective

When we are tired it is difficult to truly engage with what is going on around us and enjoy being involved. As health care specialists we are here because we care; we want to help. Unfortunately that caring can drain our energy as well. We need to listen to our body and make sure we are getting enough rest, eating well and allowing ourselves time to decompress after work so that we may fully enjoy and participate in the rest of what life has to offer.

Communication is the key. It is better to say “no” to an event or ask for daily quiet time, than to be cranky or short with the ones we care about and love. When we take care of ourselves, we show those around us by example that taking care of themselves is important, too.

Melody Barrett



by Melody Barrett,

Licensed Massage Practitioner,

SVT Health & Wellness

My Top Six Supplements to Support Healthy Living

SVT Health & Wellness Medical Director Rob Downey, MD gives his recommendations for the use of vitamins, minerals and other nutritional supplements to augment a healthy diet and lifestyle.