February Focus

Even though it is the shortest month of the year, many of us have a hard time around now. Cold, dark days have been with us for months, the excitement of holidays has passed and there are still several weeks until spring comes to save us from the winter doldrums.

On a lighter note, February is associated with Valentine’s Day and showing those around us how much we love them. In addition, the American Heart Association recognizes February as Heart Health month and promotes heart healthy lifestyle choices to the public.

In bringing all of these connections together, lets use this month to show OURSELVES love, as much as we show others we love them. This focus can sometimes help lift our spirits through the darker days of winter.

Some suggestions about how to show yourself love and gratitude:

  1. Create a list of accomplishments and review it often. Often when we have the winter blues, it is easy to get focused on what we haven’t accomplished or where we feel weak. Now is a great time to remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments
  2. Learn something new. Try learning a new language, sport or dance. Learning is a great way to get our brain out of the winter motivation slump.
  3. Get some exercise. Indoor or outdoor, this can help you appreciate your body and get those exercise endorphins flowing. Grab a friend and get two for the price of one! (See number 4)
  4. Spend time with supportive, uplifting people. Surround yourself with people and places that have positive effects on you. Positive friends and co-workers can support each other through the winter blahs.
  5. Spend some time just being. Winter is a time for reflection and recovery. Remember to take social, technology and screen breaks to give yourself a break from the hectic schedules we all live.
  6. Do something nice for yourself. Take a bath, make yourself a wholesome, healthy lunch to take to work (see number 8) or spend your break time reading your favorite book.
  7. Get out in nature. Being in nature is good for our heart and our soul. Even the American Heart Association recognizes that exercise outdoors is great for heart health.
  8. Make yourself your favorite healthy meal. Wholesome, home cooked food can boost your mood and support the health of your entire body. Check out some great healthy winter recipes here.
  9. Help someone else. Volunteer work and acts of kindness and compassion help us get out of our own thoughts and are known to change our brains in healthy ways!
  10. Hug somebody. After all, its the month of love and hugging is a great way to show you care. Plus, it can have positive health benefits for both people, including a stronger immune system.

Taking time to appreciate yourself will allow the winter blahs to pass easier and when spring comes, you will be ready to shine!


Cleaning It Up

In the wake of all the holiday goodies that have been consumed, the beginning of the year is a common time for us to re-evaluate our dietary choices. There are so many opinions as to what is the best way to reset our diet, but as with most health practices, there is never a “one size fits all” answer to cleaning it up. Each person has their own needs and concerns that should be considered when chooseing a cleansing diet. Medications, activity levels and health conditions are just some examples of things that can effect how we process food and nutrients and should be taken into consideration when starting a cleansing diet.

There are a few dietary changes that all of us can benefit from and are safe for everyone as we aim to “clean-up” our food choices. The following is a list of guidelines that may work as a starting point:

  1. Avoid processed sugar
  2. Avoid alcohol
  3. Avoid processed carbohydrates
  4. Eat more whole foods (any item that comes in a package should have less than 5 ingredients).
  5. Eat only when sitting and without distractions
  6. Grocery shop only when you are rested and not hungy

As you see in this list, even the WAY we eat can be part of our “reset” for the new year. Even if you just commit to 2 weeks of these guidelines, you will see benefits in breaking poor eating habits and making healthier choices that have the potential to carry on throughout the coming months. For more detailed plans for a diet “clean-up”, consult your health care practitioner or contact us here at IHD. We can help you find the right plan or get you to a person who can help you design one.

May 2017 be a healthy and happy new year for you all!



IHD would like to introduce you to Marin Toscano and share her upcoming events with you!

About Fooition LLC

Fooition is a social enterprise that aims to foster meaningful cross-cultural exchange by celebrating diversity and shared humanity through food. Marin Toscano, founder and CEO, believes “health inspired by food culture,” is vital for the transformation of our food systems to support healthy lifestyles and be sustainable.


Burmese Village is a series of benefit dinners that empowers the Denver/Aurora refugee community by providing opportunities to share their food culture with the greater community. Proceeds support a nutrition program for refugees that I co-teach with Zin Zin, a Burmese refugee and exceptionally talented chef who is determined to open the first Burmese restaurant in Denver.

Dinners and classes are held at the Mango House, 1532 Galena St. Aurora, a center offering various services for refugees. The first Burmese Village dinner will be hosted on July 23rd, 2016 from 5-9pm. Tickets sell for $80 before July 15th, and $90 thereafter. Local businesses can sponsor the event by reserving a company table or donating needed supplies.

Burmese Village dinners are a truly unique experience. Attendees will delight in an authentic 5 course Burmese feast and enjoy traditional dance, food demos and other cultural activities between courses. Denver’s growing refugee community have essential contributions to make, inspiring voices to be heard, and delicious cuisines to be shared. Burmese Village is a doorway into the world of rich and vibrant food culture that exists right under our unsuspecting noses.

Visit the Fooition Events Page to learn more and see pictures from past events.