Dr. Lipman's new book, The New Health Rules, co-authored by yogi and writer Danielle Claro, offers around 100 simple, actionable whole-body wellness tips to start living better now. As much as the mantras, we're loving the look of this small, hardcover book, filled with inspiring photos — it's coffee table, and gifting, worthy.
Here are six rules from the book that got us thinking:
1. Eat The Yolk
Contrary to popular belief, the cholesterol in the food you eat has virtually no impact on the cholesterol level of your blood. It's sugar and carbs that trigger production of bad cholesterol in your body, not, for example, eggs. So eat your eggs (as long as you don't have a food sensitivity to them) and eat them whole—no more egg-white omelets. When you eat fragmented foods, your body starts to crave the rest, and that can make you reach for something unhealthy. Egg yolks contain choline—essential for the functioning of all cells, especially brain cells—and deliver more of those good fats your body needs.
2. A Juice Fast Is Not A Detox
The point of a juice fast is not to nourish your body, it's to rest your digestive system. There's nothing wrong with it, as long as you're juicing mostly green vegetables (not fruits—too much sugar!). But you'll probably feel very hungry consuming nothing but liquid, and that can make you really crabby. Also keep in mind that any weight you lose while juice-fasting will likely reappear as soon as you start eating again.
3. Eat Smallish Fish, Not Big Fish
The bigger and older the fish, the more mercury it's likely to contain. Why is there mercury in fish at all? Power plants that burn coal release mercury into the air, which settles in the water. Tiny plankton absorb it. The plankton are eaten by little fish. The little fish are eaten by big fish. Mercury for everyone. Stay away from really big fish like swordfish and tuna and think more along the lines of wild flounder and salmon. Mercury not only messes with your body's ability to energize cells and hold on to certain important minerals but is also linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's. Really tiny fish, like black cod (also called sable), canned sardines, and anchovies, are lowest in mercury, so eat them freely. To find BPA-free canned fish (and fish that's also low in mercury), go to vitalchoice.com.
4. Adopt A Kitten
Or a puppy. Or a nice old animal that doesn't ask for more than a little love. People with pets live longer, on average, than those without. And stroking a cat or petting a dog releases serotonin, your brain's happy chemical. Feng shui likes pets because they move energy—they keep a space alive. Find a shelter near you at aspca.org.
5. If You Learn Only One Yoga Pose . . .
. . . let it be supta baddha konasana. It's a heart-opening, lung-stretching, deeply restorative posture you can do with or without props—a chance to get a sense of the magic of yoga without straining yourself. Whether you spend your days at a computer, or working with your hands, or on the floor playing with kids, you're likely to be closed and tight in the front of your body (most of us are). This helps. With a bolster under your shoulder blades, and your choice of folded blankets, firm pillows, or yoga blocks supporting knees, spine, and head, you'll feel a gentle (and gradually deepening) release in your hips, chest, shoulders, and throat. Stay for five minutes; it's an amazing way to start or end your day.
6. Watch Your Fruit
In many ways, sugar is sugar, whether it's white and granular or banana-shaped—and your body shouldn't have too much of it. Snacking on a nice fresh piece of organic fruit is fantastic, but don't overdo it. When you can, opt for fruits that are lower in sugar: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, melon, grapefruit. And don't drink fruit juice: It's an intense dose of sugar—often heavily processed—without the fiber benefits of whole fruit.
Excerpted from The New Health Rules by Frank Lipman, M.D. and Danielle Claro (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Gentl & Hyers.